I was born in Missouri to teenage parents. While they had nothing to their name, not even high school diplomas, I’m thankful to them for giving me life. Things were not great, however, and my three younger siblings and I joined the foster care system when I was nine. We lived with an aunt and uncle for a while before meeting our adoptive parents. We were in their care for two years before we were legally adopted and moved to Ohio. I was twelve.
The ages surrounding the teenage years are crucial when trying to figure out one’s identity. Besides my biological siblings, I had no one else around me who had experienced the same things as I had. It was hard to try to fit into an already created family where differences were looked down upon, not celebrated.
I tried to find my identity in many places, including inappropriate relationships. I felt that’s all I deserved, not realizing I could have so much more out of life. About a month before my eighteenth birthday, I was attending a camp with my church youth group. The speaker’s name was Aaron Cavin. Mr. Cavin talked about God’s unconditional love. He explained that no matter what we had done, or what we had been through, God loved us. He told us that even when we were in the middle of doing something wrong, God still loved us. That’s not something I had ever experienced. My biological father was abusive and would quickly explode without much warning. My adoptive parents often lacked affection, showing approval only when their exceedingly high expectations were met.
This love that Mr. Cavin talked about was something I so desperately craved. I had always known about God, going to church since a young child, but never had a relationship with Him. I always felt too ashamed and unworthy. When I realized that kind of love was obtainable, I clung to it. My relationship with God has evolved over the years and I know He saved me that day from an undoubtedly troubled life.
I attended Grace College and Theological Seminary in Indiana from 2008-2012, majoring in psychology. My goal was to help others, counseling them. Two years in the social work field, however, proved to be nothing I thought it would be. Many of my clients were court ordered to see us, never truly wanting to be there.
In 2016, my husband was offered a new job in Indianapolis. I had a hard time with all of the changes at first. I quickly embraced it! Instead of all of the things I missed from our previous home, I discovered all the opportunities that awaited us here.
One of these new opportunities was the chance for me to test my skills in the craft I have always loved. I had always enjoyed writing, even in elementary school. It was my favorite part of any class, even if the assignment was boring. Sending in my first ever writing application, I was accepted as a new columnist for Voices as Justice Magazine. My writing ability is being stretched daily, especially with each new novel. My prayer is that someone out there is inspired and encouraged by my story and those I tell through my books.
When I’m not writing, I still have quite the full life. We have three small children and just discovered that we are expecting twins in the Spring! Life is busy, but it’s also beautiful.
Wherever you are in your walk with the Lord, I hope you know just how precious you are and just how much He truly loves you.