When I looked at this picture, I just cried. Not often do I think about when I was a baby, or about good memories with my biological family. Maybe it’s because I don’t have many good memories. Or maybe it’s because the memories I do have hurt so bad to think about. I looked at these pictures and I saw my genetics show through. Through both of us. Good and bad memories hit me from my childhood. I remembered people I didn’t want to remember. I felt the nostalgia of hope created in me over the years from a very painful journey through foster care. Then I switched between anger, bitterness, sadness, and regret. How can I forgive? How can I move past this? How can I give my children what they deserve from me? How do I let it go? God reminded me this week that all of his children are his Beloved, even the abusers. Yes. EVEN the abusers. The people who neglected me, abused me, hurt me. They deserve the same forgiveness God has granted me. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with forgiveness. Some days it feels like I start all over. Even though the pain always hurts the same, my healing continues, and with time has begun to outweigh the suffering. My growth in learning the true meaning of forgiveness and grace humbles me. God’s work humbles me. This is why I choose to forgive. I choose to forgive the ones who left me, hurt me, neglected me, and the ones who talk about me. You see God picks no favorites. He commands us to love our neighbor. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 NIV Throughout reading scripture you are always reminded to love. We are all sinners, every single one of us. Sin is not a deal breaker for God. His Grace is real! God gave his only Son’s life because he knew we would sin and all fall short. His love is real. This includes all of the people that hurt you, abuse you, and leave you. Forgive. Let God turn your pain into something beautiful. “and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3 NIV I don’t like putting my feelings and hardships on social media. Sometimes I know that I need too. Why? Because I hope and pray to make a difference maybe in just one persons’ life. I take that very seriously. Some of you have watched me really struggle so I want you to know when I’m progressing. Many of you have helped in different ways. “It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.” Daniel 4:2 NIV No words can ever explain what it feels like living in so many placements, losing all family, continually losing relationships, being separated from your siblings, and ultimately being voiceless. No words can explain the trauma that comes with it. I moved to and from 23 homes as a child. I hated many people for so long. What a joy to be set free from hate. I forgive you. It’s hard, and I struggle through many days. I will tell you one thing though, nothing has stopped me. Nothing will stop me. I have God in front of me, in me, and for me. He keeps every promise to me. He will keep me persevering. I’m thankful everyday for this sweet boy and my husband. I’m thankful to be God’s child. I’m glad hate didn’t draw me in. I’m learning to embrace moments and not let my past overtake my future.