Author’s identity asked to remain anonymous.

I know you’re feeling alone, scared and worried about the future. I know that every day you just wish you were normal, that the family you see walking down the street could be your family. Instead you’ve had to endure the decisions of another person and spend every day feeling like something is wrong with you, that you’re unworthy of being loved. 

I know because I was you. I went into a group home at 16, I didn’t know how to use a tampon, I couldn’t remember  having 3 square meals a day, and it had been years since I had a bed to sleep on or even a pillow to sleep with. That group home gave me back a shred of my security and it was in that moment I learned so much about myself, my strength, my resilience and my understanding of people. Little did I know that there would be many more trials before it was all over. 

Now, I am sitting here 15 years later. I have this incredible life, with amazing friends, family I didn’t even know I had. I have my own apartment, a bad ass job, I am financially stable and secure. Life could not be better. I would be lying if I said the road was easy, if I told you that God didn’t have a hand in my past and present. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t believe that God has a hand in my future and that I believe in His purpose for my life, but that faith and belief comes with work on my end and lots of heartache. 

Dream big, befriend people who are living your dreams, don’t incur debt, save your money, indulge in chocolate on a Tuesday just because you can. Forgive the people who break your heart and leave them in your past. Love the people who love you so hard that you feel like you could explode with joy. Most of all, give people grace because they don’t know or understand what it took for you to get where you are. What you overcame to be the woman you have become. Be proud of those milestones because even though they may seem small to someone else, they are HUGE to you and that is what matters. Celebrate each baby step that you take to accomplish your dreams and scream and pray to God when things get hard because he is always listening and loves you dearly. 

When I was your age having suffered the unspeakable, not knowing that I would suffer so much more before it was all over, I wish I had someone that had gone through it to tell me it would all be ok. So that is what I want to assure you of now. No one not now, not ever has a hold on what you can be and accomplish. Your past does not define your future. Your circumstances are not who you are. You are a child of God who is loved and was created with purpose. You may feel like you are broken but you are not, you are incredible and have the tools to do amazing things in your life. 

I hope today you know you are loved and prayed over because you are. The Lord has a great purpose for you in life and even though it doesn’t feel like it right now He chose you for a greater purpose. I know how you feel and I’m here to tell you that I’m fighting for you, praying for you, and encouraging you. Soon, all of Georgia will be too! 

Darling, you are so much more loved than you can ever imagine. Don’t be discouraged or give up hope for these trials will give you strength. 

“For you are God’s masterpiece.” (Ephesians 2:10)

“Blessed is she who has believed the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)