I grew up in a christian home. My mother was a preachers kid; however, i did not come to "know" the Lord personally until the age of 17. My Christian walk hasn't been the easiest road i've traveled. After being molested at an early age and dealing with all that comes with forgiveness, insecurities, and self-blame, i experienced more challenges. My husband and i found out just 2 years after our little girl, Brooke was born that she had autism and severely mentally retarded. I know what it is like to experience loss. I know what it is like for your heart to be so burdened with hurt. I know fear, failure, and fatigue. I know what it is like to live without your 7-year- old child and entrust her to the care of someone that you do not even know. I know what it is like to live in the frustration, the “I do not know!”, chaos and chronic depression. I know what it is like to rejoice in the smallest victories that others call mundane. I know what it is like to have continuous thoughts of physically dying because waking up seems more like a death sentence than an enjoyment. I know what it is like to be sexually violated as a little girl and again as an adult by those you trusted. I know what it is like to give all you have for nothing in return. I know what it is like to tell your husband that you have been over-medicating to hide the pain, fear, and loss. I know what it is like to have so many panic attacks in one day that you dread the thought of opening your eyes. I know what it is like to hear the words, “Your child is autistic.” I know what it is like to put your dreams, goals, and desires away because you know that your daughter will never walk down the aisle to meet her husband or to bear children. However, I know what it is like, when the rug is pulled out from underneath you, to realize God is there. I find that God is there listening to every complaint, heartache, praise, and recognition, and will fight on my behalf when the sword is just too hard to hold up. God has been my sustainer, my constant Presence, Guild, Mediator, and dearest Friend. I learned the hard way that covering up your pain with all sorts of means that it only makes things harder and I found myself in a very selfish situation of being in control. However, it's when I gave up my control to Him and started living underneath His authority and wisdom I experienced much peace. I know my circumstances will not change; however, it's how i look at my circumstances that God is changing me. I'm grateful for His mercy and grace i took advantage of for many years. My passion in life is to express to others what I have learned in my journey and offer to others encouragement in the midst of suffering, pain and loss and to offer mercy and forgiveness just as the Lord has given to me.