Diving through lots of States in the USA🇺🇸

After saying goodbye to my family Luke, Liam and I drove from my hometown to NC. I have to say the US is very picturesque. I immediately fell in love with the countryside and the people were awesome. As we drove we took in the sights. I loved Montana really cute cowboy towns surrounded by the mountains. We drove through Wyoming and another beautiful State. Sheridan was a great town. Then we drove through Iowa, Nabraska to Minnesota. Luke surprised me and took me to the Laura Ingalls Museum. I love that series so much and still own all the seasons on DVD. We camped at Walnut Grove campground. Plum Creek ran beside the place where the museum was. I remember it being so pretty and huge black eyes Susan’s grew by the river back. That was very special and I got a bunch of things from the store in the museum.

We drove through Wisconsin it’s a State known for its cheese and for the first time I ate cheese curds. Not sure they are for me. They are very popular. Then we drove through Illinois and Kentucky. I loved Kentucky because it’s full of horses and huge stables. It is a state known for horseracing, Kentucky fried chicken and Kentucky colonel. It’s had beautiful scenery. Then we drove through Tennessee. Another beautiful State it has the Great smokey Mountains. It took us a week to drive and then we ended up in Asheville, NC. We found a home to rent in Montreat which is where Billy Graham and his wife at that time lived. It’s a beautiful college town surrounded by parks and a lake. Lake Susan I often walked around there.

This is what Lake Susan looked like. Imagine a college with this surrounding it and lots of great trails to walk in. It was so peaceful there. As we settled in and got to know the surrounding areas Luke and I discovered a church that we started going to in the town of Black mountain. I loved the people there so much and they embraced us into their flock. Luke liked it there as well. I joined the woman’s Bible study and I made friends there really fast. Still friends with a lot of them today. Liam decided to move out of the home we rented to do his own thing so we hardly ever saw him. We rented a little double wide trailer right beside this cemetery where Daniel Boone was buried. One great thing about the cemetery is you have the quietest neighbours. It was a really quaint cemetery.

We had started building a life in this town with all these great people. Luke had said when we moved to the US I could have a dog. I wanted a golden retriever so we found a woman in the valley who bred them. That story will be continued. All is I can say is I have not led a boring life. It’s a long trip to NC but I saw a lot of the US I may never see again. The adventure continues…..

Trusting and waiting and being rewarded

You’ve heard that saying when one door closes another one opens. 5 days ago I got news that I had never expected. I was told by my landlady that I was going to have to move in two months because their son was diagnosed with stage 3 emphysema. He can’t be in his place and they want him here. I just found this place 6 months ago and I signed a years lease. I was shocked and overwhelmed. I live in a city where housing is very expensive but there is a shortage. Lots of people with pets trying to find housing that is over priced and nobody wanting pets. To top it off I have two pets a Labradoodle and an outdoor rabbit. My teacher at school recommended I put an ad in to tell people who I am and what I want. I had applied for two places but you never hear back. Seems like landlord’s pile in the people interested and may the best person win.

On the second day my counselor told me that I need to have faith and wait. I don’t know about you but I hate waiting and especially hate the unknown. I reached out to everyone I knew to see if word of mouth would be my best option. Also my landlady told me I had to be out by April 30th even if I hadn’t found a place to live. I would have fought that one as she broke my lease but I also knew that I would not be homeless.

On Tuesday night after I had gone to bed I got an email. I picked it up Wednesday morning and it said that they had seen my ad I had posted looking for a place to live and that they had a one bedroom house separate from their home coming up March 31st and was I interested. I had to reread it twice. They would take me, Zeke my dog and my rabbit. After lots of communication on Wednesday and agreed for me to see it Friday evening.

On Thursday evening I listened to a two hour benefit concert for my friend who a year ago had a brain aneurism and was told she would not survive and that evening online I saw her up on stage with all the people she’s ever sang with. She’s an amazing singer but since her stroke she can’t sing right now. The benefit was to raise money to help her live on her own independently, to get her daughter back, medical and other things.

Beth Moore who is an amazing Bible teacher for up and spoke. One of the things she talked about was if your in the middle of something that is when God can use you. That day I felt such peace and knew whatever happened with the house that I would be ok. Fast forward I took my friend to see the house last night. It’s perfect and less rent then I’m paying now. I told her I would like to rent it and signed me up. I have her references and she thanked me. She took me on my emails and obviously I was the person she had picked for her suite so she didn’t call references. She never advertises her suite. I’ve had people say wow in 5 days you were given notice and got a suite what great luck that is. With God is not luck, it’s part of His plan and with all that stacked against me in this housing market. This could only be God so he closed one door but he opened a huge one for me and blessed my socks off. The timing couldn’t be better either at I’m off two weeks for Spring break and I move at the end of my Spring break. In 26 days I move. Thank goodness I downsized the last time and because my suite is so small it’s not a hard move for me and the place was brand new and I’ve kept it really clean.

I’m looking forward to a new adventure when we left I saw the most incredible colorful sunset with a great view. The place was peaceful and soon I will be a part of that. Here we come!!!!!

Working with kids and families

I worked at four different jobs before finding one that I loved. I got lots of different experience working in different centers with different clientele and families. The job I loved the most was a Christian daycare. There was many different areas you could work in the same company. For a year I worked in a teen centre at a local high school. I had four teen moms and their children. I helped them juggle school and how to be a parent and while the teens went to school I looked after their children. It was a good job and challenging at the same time. I loved working right by the school. I loved the dedication each of the teen moms had with their children. Teens moms seem have a bad reputation but every girl I worked with really cared and loved their children and wanted a better life for their child. I found many of the boyfriends moms would try and take their children from them. Ironically the boyfriends would disappear from their lives and they were left on their own. Some of them their families disowned them and kicked them out of their homes, so not only were they in school full time with a child they had to find somewhere to live. I built strong relationships with them and I’ve met some of them since they graduated and how they turned their lives around. It’s truly amazing.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances I only worked there a year but learned so many things about myself and the teens. I went back into just regular daycare with infants. Lots of the families who came were low income. That often comes with difficulties with their families. I loved working there because we would give out food to our families if they needed it. I worked there 5 years and took a voluntarily layoff to stay at the same wage I had had instead of going to a lower wage.

The last year I was working at the Daycare I met a guy. Let’s call him Luke. I was not looking for a relationship but I really enjoyed his company and after about six months I moved into his home and lived there. We dated and it was cheap rent because Luke’s best friend Liam lived there as well. Luke had three children from a previous marriage but he only got to see them occasionally. I met them quite a lot before they eventually moved to Ontario. It was hard on Luke losing the children and I often saw him go into deep depressions. I won’t go into that, but there was a whole bunch of circumstances surrounding it and that’s not my story to tell.

In Luke’s home he rented I opened a licenced family daycare in the two bedroom suite below. We already had a big fenced back yard. I loved working with all the families that came. I only could find children under 3 so only being able to have 3 under 3’s two of my children came part time so I had four boys enrolled. They each were two months apart. Our neighbourhood back then was going under a lot of construction so everyday rain or shine we went out for a walk around the neighbourhood. Sometimes we didn’t get far because of an excuvator or other trucks. The boys and I would sit on top of the dirt and watch. They sat for a long time. One of the great memories I have and I have many was dressing them up in their boots and muddy buddies and we could walk in the ditches as they were wide enough and not filled with piles of water and I felt like mother duck with her babies. They would follow me and often they would find sticks and pretend they were fishing. When some of them were younger I would pull them in a wagon. I still have that same wagon today. They loved to garden and often could be out gardening with Luke. He loved spending time with them. Three of the moms had flex time on Fridays so we would go in field trips to see the Christmas trees, go every year to the pumpkin patch. We went on some great trips and I’m still friends today with one of the moms. Last year two of the boys who were friends in my daycare and are still friends today. They both graduated from high school last year.

I loved running that daycare even though it was 10 hour days. I was tired at the end of my weeks but so filling. I ran my daycare for two and a half years and closed it up because Luke, Liam and were heading to the USA in North Carolina. I decided it would be fun to go and see the US. It was hard to leave my family and say goodbye to them. North Carolina is about over 4,000 miles away from where I lived. Saying goodbye is never easy for me especially my family. I never imagined I would be gone for five years. I thought we’d be gone for six months to a year.

Doing the right thing even if it’s hard…..

After a year in Ottawa I came back to my home town to work. I have worked in many different places with different children. One of the biggest reasons I got into childcare was yes I loved children but I would be a voice for them. I would stand in the gap for them no matter what it cost. I would make a difference in the lives of those precious children. In the 35 years as an educator I have spoken out on 5 different occasions from things that needed to stop and when I spoke to the people in charge it continued or was ignored. It’s amazing how many people in this day and age turn a blind eye to what is happening. At one of the centres I had a boss from hell. She was a bully to children and adults and for some reason she targeted me. Every morning she would yell at me to come into her office and I would have to do her paperwork. Then she would make me prepare all these stories for resources. Lots of people were scared of her including the pastor who worked at the church. She yelled at Parents, staff and the children. One day she was outside stuffing a piece of cucumber into a child’s mouth making her eat it and she was gagging. I lost it and went over to her and told her to get away from that child. In front of all the staff and children she freaked out at me and told me to get into her office. I told her no I’m not coming and that’s the last time I do your paperwork do it yourself that’s what you get paid for. She was so livid she left.

After she went home I went to ask the staff and said enough is enough I’m done with her yelling and bullying all of us and that we need to band together as staff and stand up to her. I was shocked how many of them were worried about their jobs. I told them that the loss of their jobs was insignificant at this point. Only one of the gals decided to support me I told them that I would go to the press and the media and that today was the last day this would ever happen again. Later the staff stepped up because I told them how do you sleep at night knowing this is going on. We went to the church board and it was reported and the woman eventually got fired and left.

The other ones I reported were just me but each person went under investigation and each one was fired for what had happened. Even though its really hard to do what I did I had to be a voice for the children. I had to speak out for each one. It was the right thing to do. If I hadn’t spoken up for them that behavior would have continued. I also believe when you cross that line then it’s easier and easier to keep doing it.

For me I set the bar high and if I ever crossed it then I would step away from child care. One thing I heard over and over again in school was if you came from an abusive situation or home that you were more likely to repeat that with children. That horrified me to no end. Nobody in school ever knew where I had come from. When we were asked to recall when we were a child to remember things we did. The generational abuse that happened in my family ended with both my brother and I. We both stopped it. Even though I don’t have children my brother has a son. My nephew just turned 16 and he’s had so much love in his life. I love that guy.

What bothers me is how people use their abuse to take advantage of people and children and then blame it on their past. You have all read about my past and it was really horrific but I have never ever justified what happened to me as a child to turn around and do it to others. I’ve worked so hard on myself to be a better person and have had lots of support in my life. I have made a difference in the lives of others and will continue to do that everyday. Will you stand in the gap for people today and stand on bullying?

Wednesday February 23rd is anti bullying day in Canada. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart. We will wear pink and be reminded that there is zero tolerance for bullying. I know full well what is like to be a person who has been bullied much of their life. I no longer have to fear that but can stand strongly against it. 💗

Changing the lives of Children through Trust and Love.

As I said in my previous post I lived in Ottawa for a year while I completed my schooling. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and you all probably have seen it in the news lately. It’s a really neat city. It was hard to get used to it being completely flat. Here on the West Coast we are surrounded by mountains.” The Rideau River drains an area of over 4,000 square kilometres of Eastern Ontario. The main stem of the river flows in a northerly direction from Upper Rideau Lake near Newboro to the City of Ottawa where it tumbles over Rideau Falls into the Ottawa River”. (Taken from Wikipedia) The river runs through many parts of Ottawa. I originally stayed with David Anderson he was a MP  in my city and his wife and they lived in the higher end of Ottawa. I had to take the bus to school so everyday I got to walk through downtown Ottawa. It’s a beautiful city.

Being from Ireland and then Victoria I was not used to the winters. That was like a culture shock I had to budget from my student loan for winter clothing a heavy jacket and boots. My first practicum I loved it so much it was nearby where I lived. It was a French /English daycare but mostly French. All the educators spoke French and a lot of the children did as well. I didn’t speak French but I loved the children and almost all the children spoke both languages. I Remember this little French boy as I struggled to do circle time. He came up to me he was four and told me that he would help me speak French. I spoke English and he translated it into French. That totally blew me away. I fit in there so well and I was like a sub for them because I had worked in the field before. I did extremely well in my practicum and was sad to say goodbye to them.

My second practicum was at the college but nobody wanted to work there because it was known as the fish bowl because the Daycare was surrounded by observation rooms for students to observe. I loved it because like I told people if your doing your job who do you care who is watching you. I got to do a pilot project. I loved it because I got to use a lot of communication skills. One day the staff sent me out with this ice picking tool to clear the paths so the kids could ride their bikes. I headed out no idea how to use this tool let alone seem one. A staff member came and laughed at me and showed me how to chip at the ice. It was amazing. From then on I was teased by them for haying no idea how to chip ice. Again I did exceptionally well and passed with flying colors.

One of the teachers I got on well with her she told me that she wanted to send me to a Head start program and that I may feel like I wanted to quit but I needed to come and talk to her. It would be hard and difficult but she had worked there before teaching. I remember the Preschool was right in the middle of a whole bunch of homes that all looked the same. I walked through having no idea what a Head Start program was. It’s a program for low income families where they promote cognitive, social and emotional development.

Before the program started we went around the neighbourhood with a bus and picked up each child. I was told to sit beside a certain child and I had to make sure all the children stayed seated while the bus was moving. Not one adult I saw just kids waiting outside their doors for the bus. The child I had to sit beside was super physical and tried to bite me many times and kick me. The child sat as close to the window as he could. I spoke quietly to him but he totally ignored me. He tired many times to Jump over me to get out of his seat. It was just me and the bus driver. The children all came into the Preschool and I will never forget what I saw. They had a breakfast program and some of those children ate the whole entire time of preschool. Apparently that was the last meal they had was when they came the previous day. The children had no idea how to play they would go into housekeeping and with their arm clear out all the shelves and dump everything on the ground. Outside they would try and kick me and bite if I got too close to them. At the end of Preschool we dropped them back off at home again not a soul to greet them. I left the Preschool weeping. It effected me so much.

I went back to my teacher and told her that I couldn’t work there it was too much and how could I make a difference. I never forgot what she said to me. Sarah the time you are at the Preschool you make it the best time for those children. You can’t control what happens when they leave there but you can control the time they come. That’s your time. I went the next day picked up all the children and came back to Preschool. I went into the housekeeping corner and I set up a bunch of dishes on the table with food and cups and tea and I sat there and offered the children to come and join me. Not one person came so I put teddy bears and dolls in the chairs and always left one open. Every day for a week I set up the same thing. The children watched from afar. On the Friday a boy came and joined me for my pretend tea party. From then on I set it up and the children came themselves and sat and had pretend tea parties. My heart soared. I am smiling now as I remember that. The children softened as they began to trust me. They just needed someone to be there for them. They had no idea how to play so I was modelling that to them. Apparently many of them hid in their homes while their families fought with each other. Hunger was huge and good was so important to them. This reminded me where I had come from and how little I trusted adults. They just needed time and patience and love. They needed someone who would love them just where they were. No expectations and praise they loved that and I noticed the more I praised them the more they did what they needed to do. I often had a bunch of them surrounding me.

I have never forgotten what Kathy told me about making the space for the children to be the best it can be for them. I was so sad when my practicum ended and the children cried when I left and the staff told me if I ever wanted a job there they would love to have me. I made a difference that’s all that matters in anything we do. I know my experience at the Head Start Preschool shaped me into the educator I am today. For that I’m eternally grateful. ❤️

Looking for love in all the wrong places

When I finally decided to have a relationship there’s much I know now that I didn’t know back in my 20’s. Having attachment issues complicates relationships even more. My first boyfriend was a couple of years of an unhealthy relationship. Looking back now no idea when I was in it. My boyfriend came from a very strict religious family nobody in his life was good enough. He never told them about me. I spent all my time with him and left my friends in the dust. I wish I had waited until marriage but had a sexual relationship to top it off. That complicates things even more. So many unhealthy things and we both claimed to be Christians. How can you have a healthy relationship when two people have no idea how to make it healthy. We both went to the same church and hung out with the same people. After a year and a half of dating he asked me to marry him and I said no. It seemed like he only asked me because he got moved in his job to Ottawa.

I had a chance to go to Ottawa and do a nanny job and go to school and complete my diploma in Early Childhood Education. I decided to see where that would leave us in our relationship. I had free room and board as long as I looked after the two children in the home I lived it. I loved school in Ottawa and it’s such a beautiful city. I loved school and did really well there because I had worked out in the field for a year. A lot of people in my class where jealous of me because I had experience and they had none. I got to do pilot projects and had awesome practicums which I will save for another blog.

After a semester of school the people who I was helping with their children let me go as they wanted me to miss to much school. I got home from school one day to find all my belongings outside the front door asking me to never see the kids again or come back. Thank goodness my boyfriend had a two bedroom apartment so I moved into his place. After a couple of months he broke up with me and said I could stay until I went back to Victoria where I lived. Thank goodness I had school and friends I had made as it was horrible living with him after we broke up. Obviously marriage wouldn’t have worked. I was not upset and glad to be out of the dysfunctional relationship.

Today being Valentine’s Day today is just a normal day for me. I posted on my Facebook this morning that we should love people all year round. I’m super happy and content in my life and so glad I have many awesome great friends. I love my life the way it is now. ❤️

How I became a Christian

Growing up in Ireland I used to go to a Christian camp every summer for a few years. I loved it there a place that was safe and I got to learn about God and Jesus. I felt so changed and happy there but everytime I came home after a couple of weeks the darkness would creep back into my life again and I would lose hope that there was a God. I loved camp because it was a week out of the hell of my home friends I got to see each year, tuck shop time, swimming and being able to have as much freedom as I wanted. When I was in high school the people I hung out with went to church and invited me to Youth group and I loved it again. We did really fun things. There was a retreat for youth up at Camp Quanoes and I went and one of the nights one of the guys I knew was playing his guitar and when it was time to come forward I did and committed my life to Jesus. The reason I stayed with it this time was my friends and my youth group. My family are not Christians.

Like anything else in my life my walk with God was bumpy and I’ve been through many trials but at least this time I knew God was with me. He’s done amazing things in my life. I was healed from alcoholism, healed from the trauma’s in my life, seen Him do miracles in people’s lives that should have been dead. 9 months ago when one of my friends at church lost her husband. It was so hard on many of us. The day he died my friend Lici had a brain anurusum with a two massive clots on her brain the size of a lemon and an orange. She started to bleed out and was in a coma for two weeks. This is a woman I know really well and she’s super special to me. Lots of people all around the world were praying for her. The longer she was in her coma the less likely she would survive. She woke up and the progress she’s made in 9 months can only be known as a miracle. She should be dead and when she left the hospital the doctors told her she will have full recovery. I’ve seen amazing things with God and then others He took home that have been really hard. My friend at church grieves her husband everyday. I hate that for her so much.

My faith is strong now but it’s taken a long time to get here. As I continue with my memoirs I will touch on who I am today because of God. I would not be here today if it was not for Him and what’s He’s done in my life. I love Him with all my heart and soul. I know not everyone believes in Him. I couldn’t imagine my life with Him. He is what gives me strength to go through tough trials and He helped me survive that horrific truama I went through as a child. How else could anyone survive that?

Graduation and Early Childhood Education

Finding out that I was so behind in all my subjects especially English was good for me to realize that I was not dumb or stupid. After been told that your whole life you start to think maybe it’s true. My high school was awesome and gave me lots of extra help and my teachers were great. I still struggled socially but at least the teasing and bullying stopped so I could relax a bit at school. I made friends and many of them I still keep in touch with today. In two years I caught up to college level which is amazing. I actually was smart. Cool who knew. My brain needed to be challenged and it was indeed.

In 1988 I graduated from high school which was a miracle with all that I had been through. It took a lot of hard work but I never gave up and had a lot of support. After I graduated from high school I went back to Ireland to spend some time with my dad, step mom and my half brother and sisters. Despite what had happened I had missed my siblings so much. I hardly got to say goodbye to them. I had strong relationships with the oldest ones Laura was like my best friend and Lily. We went on another camping trip to the ring of Kerry. It was so nice to be treated like one of the family. I had been worried about returning what would it be like and how would I be treated.

I spent three weeks with them. I also got to see my best friend from school Karen who had missed me terribly. She had left the only school we knew and went to a different school. I had been a huge loss in her life. Things were different when I went home to visit but I was different and it was nice to visit. Even though I had missed them terribly I knew my home was in Canada with my mom. When I left to come back to Canada in 1988 that was the last time I saw my family. I’ve never gone back.

In the September of that year I enrolled in College and took an English course and then I started my Early Childhood Course. I decided to take that course because I wanted to be a voice for children. A voice that Spoke up to protect them. Someone who noticed that if things were wrong at home to speak out. Not one person ever spoke out for me even when there were huge warning signs something was wrong. I still stand of that today. I’ve stood out and up for many children when others refused to. I became an advocate for those who can’t speak out for themselves.

I struggled in my ECE course and could just about figure out class things but had the hardest time putting into practice what I had learned. My first practicum I was lost and super overwhelmed and ended up failing it and to my horror watched my whole graduation class graduate without me. What a failure I felt? I was super depressed. I got fairly good marks in my courses but had no idea how to do it practically.

I finished all my courses but would have to come back and just do practicum the following year. I joined the next year but they had no idea who I was. I worked in a job in child care and then joined them for two practicums and did amazingly well. I just needed more time to perfect it all. I graduated that following and I had gained that confidence that I needed. Success finally. I got a good job and for my second year of ECE I had worked out in the field I had a Chance to go to Ottawa and take my two specialities under three’s and my special needs diploma.

That was an awesome opportunity because I had an advantage because I had already worked in the field. I got opportunities nobody else in my class got. I will write about the two practicums I had in Ottawa because they shaped me into who I am today. I realized that I just needed more time and because I was held back I’m now an awesome outgoing and confident educator. I’ve had many experiences and done a lot of different things in my work. I will write more in my next blog.

We all learn at different rates some of us may need more time but In the end we can do what we need to do. Not everyone learns the same way. I see this in school with children. Patience and understanding is crucial. I’m so glad I had that and amazing support. Thank you to all my teachers. 🙂

The death of an awesome guy

A guy I knew through his photography passed away from cancer this past Monday. I’m devestated by his death. I had noticed that he had stopped putting up photos on his Facebook page and wondered if he was ok. Then January 6th he posted that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer a couple of months before that. I was shocked and I know how hard kidney cancer is. He said he was getting out of hospice and was feeling better and was optimistic. I started praying for him and it sounded like there was a glimmer of hope. A friend of his organized a go fund me page so that when Dave felt better he could still go out and take his photographs. In a week all the money plus more was raised so that his truck could be purchased.

Last week I felt this urgency to pray for him so I did and he had many praying. Tuesday morning I work up and found out Dave had passed away Monday night. He had, had many strokes and his body gave out. I’m so sad. Dave was an awesome man who loved nature and adventure. I got to know Dave through his exceptional photography of my favorite place in the world. The high desert in Bend, Oregon. The 3 sisters mountains are so Beautiful. Everywhere you go in Bend those beautiful mountains loom in the background. Sometimes they are covered in clouds or fog but most days they are so clear in the distance. The high desert has some of the most beautiful scenery. It’s so different in so many ways. In many of the photos I will post you will see Juniper trees all twisted in different ways and Sage bushes. They grow all over the high desert. Five years ago I found Dave on Facebook and we often chatted about the scenery. He would comment on my comments of his photos. Seeing as he lived in Central Oregon I had asked him if he knew about Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch my favorite ranch. He knew where it was yes because he was a sanitation worker and had picked up garbage from the ranch. I told him he needed to visit. He photographed many of my favorite spots in Oregon.

Dave loved to get up really early in the morning to capture that photo and he loved sunrises and sunsets. He’d get to just the right spot to capture that amazing photo before others came. He loved finding new places to capture. His photography captured my heart all those years ago and still to this day. You can view his work at Dave White Photography on Facebook and some of his prints are for sale. All the money for his truck went to help with his medical bills and for his memorial and his celebration of life. I brought two of my favorite prints of his to honor this wonderful man. I will miss our chats and seeing the places and adventures he went on. He will be missed by many. I do know God put Dave in my life for a reason and I do know I will see him again. Dave you were one of a kind and I’m honoured to have known you for the time I did. Dave loved that I wanted to share his photos on my blog. I’m so glad you don’t have to suffer anymore. Your photographys will live on in your legacy. ❤️🙂

Addiction and Forgiveness

After being healed from alcoholism I know know if you don’t deal with why you drank you can easily get caught up in other addictions. Addiction is numbing out feelings and I already had become really good at that. Yes I didn’t drink anymore but I still carried all the pain, hurt, anger, unforgiveness, and was still running from my past. It seemed like the harder I ran the tougher life became. I still had depression and still found life really hard to deal with. I often got overwhelmed and shut down. Any habit that you have and you don’t deal with it with can turn into an addiction. I had a intimacy disorder from attachment issues that started from when my dad took me from my mom at a year and a half old. I had serious trust issues because everyone I loved hurt me in some way or another. I learned that love always came at a price. It was so hard to love anybody and what I thought was love was not. Don’t get me wrong my mom and stepdad loved me but I had no idea how to love back. My family loved me my grandparents but love was so confusing to me.

I still needed to numb out feelings I didn’t know how to deal with and one addiction replaced another one. I again sought out counselling from a Christian lady who helped me so much and today I’m free of that addiction. I realized that I had deep rooted unforgiveness in my heart. I hated my dad and stepmom for what they had done to me. That hate consumed my life for years and years. Finally I asked God to show me why I kept failing in my addiction. I used blame as a tool to keep me in bondage. One day brushing my teeth God showed me that the root to my addiction was unforgiveness.

On a trip to Bend, Oregon to visit Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch I had an opportunity to go for a walk with one of the founders of the ranch. Her and I have become good friends. I had gone to Oregon at Christmas time and the day we walked in the wilderness it was a day when the sun was out. It beat on our faces as we walked. At one stage we stopped and we knelt down in the dust and prayed. God showed me where He had been with me when I was locked in my bedroom and I called out to Him to help me. I saw him He was standing behind me and He was holding me when I was scared and alone. We prayed more and with tears streaming down my cheeks I forgave my dad and stepmom for all the pain and abuse I had endure all those years. Forgiveness is not a free pass to those who hurt me but a way for me to be freed up from that pain I carried everyday of my life. It was a release and I realized that day was the last day that they ever could hurt me again.

I had forgotten that I was out in the Wilderness with my friend. I forgave myself as well for that hate I carried in my life for so long not knowing what to do with it. It was not my fault. I was reminded that day that I am so loved and that God was standing beside me everyday and that is how I was able to survive. I’m almost 5 years free of that addiction. It went away because I dealt with the root of it. I now live life to its fullest because everyday is precious. I follow my passions and live life in freedom and redemption. This is why my blog is called Beauty from Ashes. Even though forgiveness was so hard for me to do it was the best thing I’ve ever done. That love grew in my heart and its not stopped growing.