Pieces of Gold: Believing the Lord is Faithful

Mark 9 24

I am going to be honest with you, guys. I am someone who seeks and strives for control. I hate not knowing when something is going to happen. Nor do I like it when roadblocks occur in solid plans. It gives me anxiety and floods my thoughts with worry and discontent.

I am one of those people who says, “If something fails, I want it to be because of me.” I do not want to put my trust in something or someone else. I just don’t. It is scary and uncomfortable. Really, though, as scary and uncomfortable as it is, it is downright human nature. Everyone seeks for a certain level of control. For some, it is just a dash. For others, like myself, it is overwhelmingly dominant in their way of life and attitude.

From the moment I accepted Jesus into my heart and my life, I had trouble fully trusting Him. How’s that for some truth? But really, I did. I trusted Him, but I did not fully trust Him. I struggled to give Him all the control, instead of certain portions. I did not say, “Here, Lord. Have all of me. Every part of my life, good or bad, and use if for Your glory.” Realistically, it was more like, “Here, Lord. You can have this part of my life. But not this. Oh, and you can have this, but definitely not that!” A few years later, my walk with the Lord is still similar to this tug and pull mentioned above, though it is not as prevalent.

Instead of trying to quite frankly overwhelm myself, I have learned to trust God with small portions of my life at a time. It is not as dramatic as the tug and pull illustrated above, but it is close. I had to be honest with myself about where I was in my relationship with Christ, before I could start somewhere. Some people may not agree with my decision to go through the process in small steps, but considering I am someone who values control in life, it made sense. Now, I tend to say, “God, I am really struggling to give You this portion of my life. I am struggling to believe You are who You say You are. You have provided time and time again. Help me to believe You can again.”

It is so much easier for me to give God my problem or situation, when I can look at the past times He was faithful and provided much fruit. I guess that would be why I take steps into trusting God, instead of drowning myself in uncertainty. I did not know much about Christ, when I chose to believe in Him. However, after I heard about the gift of His Son, I knew He was faithful.

Mark 9:24 resonates deeply with me any time I, yet again, delve into the challenge that is fully immersing myself in Christ and all that He has to offer. It is a desperate, heartfelt plea that I often cry to the Lord. I so badly want to make sense of everything going on in my life and all that the Lord is trying to teach me the moment it occurs. I want to have the gift that comes from fully trusting in Him before I go through the trenches of learning to do just that. I know, some may be thinking, “Wow! Believing the Lord is faithful and trusting Him is the most difficult commitment in one’s life.” To be honest, sometimes it is. Others times, it is the easiest decision.

To some it seems obvious, but I am just now realizing what it really means to have a relationship with Christ. Much like human relationships, we have to learn to trust people a little bit at a time. I can guarantee you I did not trust my husband when I first met him. However, over time, through previous experiences and situations, I learned it was okay to trust my husband.

Although Christ does seek a relationship with us like that of other humans, He seeks so much more than that as well! If I have learned anything from God this year, it is that when He says He desires a relationship, He means the deepest, most devoted relationship you have ever known or understood. He wants us to understand and know Him better than we know think we know ourselves, our friends, or our family.

Quite frankly, He wants us to completely abandon all that we know about this world and wholeheartedly seek Him. That sounds pretty daunting, yes. Nevertheless, it is also absolutely beautiful to know that our Heavenly Father desires such a meaningful relationship with His Children. It almost makes the troubles and doubts of this world seem like pieces of gold, all working to bring us closer to Him.

My walk with the Lord is a myriad of words—challenging, beautiful, emotional, daring, scary, and peaceful. I am sure everyone can relate in some way. Trusting anyone, let alone the Creator of the world, can seem overwhelming and filled with a whirlwind of emotions. On the other hand, there is a peace that floods my heart when I know Him who is for me is the ultimate Provider and Sustainer.

I do not know where you are in your life. I do not know if you are in a season showered with blessings or a seasons filled with worry and doubt. I do not know if you know Jesus Christ or if you are just now hearing about Him for the first time. I challenge you, if you have questions about Jesus Christ, talk to someone who knows Him. Regardless, whether you completely trust God with every fiber of your being or are struggling to even take the next step, remember He is faithful and with you every step of the way.

Blessings,

Renata

From Russia to America: My Answers to Common Questions

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Sixteen years ago, I received the greatest Christmas gift any child could ask for—a family. I was an orphan for the first five years of my life. However, each year, December 21 provides joy and gratitude for another year of life. Nevertheless, it can bring some tough emotions as well. While my adoption is a wonderful gift in my life, my history can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes.

Many times, people ask me questions about my adoption. To be honest, unlike my disability, it can be quite difficult for me to talk about it some days. All these years later, I am still trying to understand the impact it had on me. However, today I will answer some of the most common questions. Maybe, in the process, I can begin to make sense of it myself.

First and foremost, I am the middle of five children, all of whom were adopted from foreign nations. As I have briefly mentioned before, I am from Sterlitamak, Russia, which is located in the southwestern portion of the nation. I can never point out the city on a map, though. I quite literally had to Google the location just now. This is relevant because I tend to block out any portion of my life that relates to my adoption.

I tend to block out any portion related to my adoption, due to lies I have led myself to believe are the truth. To fully understand this, I need to explain the cultural upbringing orphans have in Russia. That began the moment I was born. My biological mother left me in the hospital the day I was born. Two days later, she signed away her maternal rights. A nurse took me to the local orphanage in Sterlitamak.

Although I do not know if the cultural standards have changed, this is how the nation viewed orphans sixteen years ago. When I was born, orphans were considered a disgrace to the nation. No mother dare tell anyone her child is an orphan. The nation wanted nothing to do with orphans. In my orphanage and most others, if a child was not adopted by the age of five, he or she was considered mentally insane. That child then went to a mental institute and was tied to a bed, where he or she stayed until the age of 18 before being thrown out on the streets.

Hearing that alone made it extremely difficult to accept my adoption, but it also made me beyond grateful for my chance at life. By the grace of God, I had one of the most wonderful orphanage caretakers named Galena. She was determined to find me a family. My parents heard about me because of her. Long story short, through Galena’s persistence and the Lord’s guidance, my parents chose me to be their daughter.

I don’t remember much about my time in Russia. My time in the orphanage is a distant fog. What I do know about my orphanage, my parents told me. Thankfully, I was in one of the best orphanages in the nation. I will be forever grateful for that. I had a best friend named Videam. My parents almost adopted him. Unfortunately, a Russian family adopted him before my parents could. Before I left, I gave him a pair of boots as a gift, even though they were much too large for both of us. I also gave all the children in my orphanage bananas because they are a delicacy in Russia. I sang and danced nearly every day. Truth be told, I know with certainty, I begged and begged for a family. Every day, I asked Galena if I was going to have a family.

Sadly, I no longer have my Russian accent. Of all the parts of my heritage, I wish that one stuck. I learned English in three weeks. I talked non-stop, as a child. I was in kindergarten by January 2000. One part of my Russian heritage goes with me anywhere I go, though. I take Russian nesting dolls with me, wherever I live.

Many times, people ask me have I or will I visit Russia again one day. The answer to both questions is no. Aside from the political strife between America and Russia, I personally do not want to go back. Knowing how emotionally unstable I am at times, it would be far too difficult for me to face the nation.

However, nothing would be as difficult as seeing my biological mother. I have not tried to find her, nor do I have future aspirations to do so. I do know a little about her, but it is mainly biological legal information, like her age and appearance. I do not know who my father is. He is listed as unknown on my birth certificate, though I have other legal information that could possibly verify who he is. Personally, though, I do not think it is accurate.

Like I said, I really don’t know much. Honestly, I do not even know if my biological mother is alive. I do not know if I have other siblings, though I would lean towards no. I have not ever spoken with Galena, or tried to contact her. She is the only person I would willingly go see, if I ever went back to Russia. But, like I said, the chances of this occurring are slim and next to none.

Logistics and technicalities aside, my adoption has been difficult to process through the years. To this day, I still find myself angry at my biological mother for leaving me. I can go weeks, sometimes even months, without breaking down because of it. Other times, all it takes is one rough day for me to completely fall apart and go through it all over again. I still find myself confused as to why she abandoned me. I know, ultimately, she probably could not take care of me on her own, but it still hurts.

It is the root cause for my frequent mistrust in people. It is why I have abandonment and attachment issues. It is why I build up thousands of brick walls around new faces. It is why I cling for acceptance and fear rejection with every fiber of my being. I do not think the feelings will ever entirely go away, but they have gotten easier. I am working through them with Jesus Christ and counseling.

Quite frankly, it is only through the power of Jesus that it has gotten easier. In fact, it is only through Jesus Christ that I am not the person I used to be—the cynical and cold person who never let anyone in. And if I did, I always made a reason for them to leave, just because my mother left me. The process towards healing will be lifelong, and that’s okay with me.

Although there are a lot of unknowns and painful emotions with my adoption, there are several God-glorifying absolutes. My life story may be a messy one filled with much emotional strife, but it is God-breathed and it is His. I am thankful for my adoption, though some days I really have to remind myself the gift that it is.

I leave you with this: If you know anyone who is adopted, please love on them like Jesus would. My emotional pain is mainly due to not knowing the love of Jesus for far too long. His unconditional love only comes through a relationship with Him. Love on adopted children like you have never loved someone before. Be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions. Be patient. Oh, so patient. Be honest. Be faithful. Above all else, lead them to the Cross. Lead them to the Father who adopted them and CHOSE them to be His before they ever took a breath.

Blessings,

Renata

My Battle with SAD: A Hint of Depression

Exodus 14 14

Every single year, I become victim to the infamous seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression. According to Mayo Clinic, SAD is defined as a type of depression related to seasons. It usually occurs around the same time of year, beginning in early fall and lasting throughout winter. For the intent and purpose of this blog post, it is merely caused by a lack of sunlight.

Most working individuals like myself, spend majority of their days in an office. If you are like me, this often means very little to no sunlight throughout the entire day. The lack of sunlight can be detrimental to one’s well-being because sunlight gives off vitamin D, which often produces energy. This is why most people tend to be happier in the summer, rather than in the winter. However, that is not to say winter depression is to fully blame. In fact, my frequent winter blues are at a much deeper level year round.

I am a master in the art of self-deception. I am not quick to acknowledge qualities about myself, especially bad ones or ones that further explain why I behave in certain ways. I am someone who tends to deny the truth in a statement or idea or definition, even if all evidence and logic says otherwise. I especially ignore these definitions when I fall under them. One of those definitions is general depression. I spent years of my life trying to deny that I struggled with depression, let alone that it even existed. Although I have never been diagnosed with depression, nor do I take any medication, it is a real and deep concern in my life.

I never wanted to admit that I had struggled with depression, and continue to do so. Depression is just another stigma topic in society. Everyone knows it exists, but no one wants to talk about it. Sadly, I became part of the stigma. I ignored it and I never talked about it. If I did, I always said, “Jesus is enough. If you fully trust in Jesus, you should never be depressed.” While on the surface that is accurate, in my experiences, depression is so much more than a lack of trust in Jesus.

For me, depression consists of a never-ending losing battle with my worst fears and thoughts about myself. In my depressed states, Jesus is entirely gone. In my depressed states, I am not myself. Often times, in the wake of a depressed state, I call myself “Satan’s minion.” It sounds horrible, I know, but it is true. When I am depressed, I am Satan’s pawn. He has complete control over me. Although, I can so desperately feel Jesus fighting for me. Oh, how He fights for me. It is the fiercest, most confusing battle that I am a part of.

Instead of fighting Satan with God, I usually give up. When I say usually, I mean 99.5% of the time. I become a sack of potatoes. Nothing and no one matters to me at the time. The only idea or thought that consumes my entire being is how worthless and unimportant I am. I escape the best way that I know how—sleep. When I am depressed, I sleep just to say I slept, not because I am tired or need the rest. At least in my sleep, I can escape my reality. Or so I think, anyway. After I wake up from a depression induced nap, I feel even worse than before. The idea of waking up from a bad dream and realizing it is your reality is ten times worse.

It makes sense why I feel this heavy weight of no accomplishment following said nap—I did not deal with the situation. I just buried it. Instead of fighting off the evil in my heart and mind, I let it control me and bury me in wallow and pity. I know some of you are probably thinking, well, just snap out of it. Rid yourself of your vice and you will be okay. I truly wish it was that easy. But, much like alcohol and nicotine, depression can often act like a drug.

I have struggled with depression for probably about three or four years. For three or years, I have fed off this drug of depression. I have listened to the lies in my head. I have tried nearly everything that I can to get rid of it. Thankfully, my depression is not too frequent. However, when it does occur, it is horrible. Sometimes, all it takes is one bad comment or bad afternoon, and I begin the all too familiar downward spiral.

Honestly, I do not know if there is a factual medical reason behind my kind of depression. I really do not know. With the advancements in the medical field, I am sure there is. Nevertheless, I do know winter depression does exist. I do know it is very real and very active in my life. While this season may be much harder than the last, I have to keep reminding myself that this is not my battle to fight. This is the Lord’s.

As a follower of Christ, I can combat the lies in my head with the power of His Word by meditating on it day and night. To be honest, that has been a struggle in my life. I can also keep myself from being stagnant and break the typical routine, even if it means walking outside in the cold just to get some fresh air and sunlight. Right now, I am at the point of just trying to figure out WHY it occurs. I am trying to pinpoint the lies or the previous actions that tend to lead to my depression, so I can stop it once and for all. No matter how I far I have left to go, I praise God that He is present and faithful, although I may forget or ignore Him when I need Him most. Time and time again, I say, He is not finished with me yet! He who began a new work in me, will continue to until the coming of Jesus.

Honestly, I do not know why I am telling all of you this. Telling anyone that I struggle with depression is always super awkward for me. Heck, I am still trying to make sense of it all myself. Nevertheless, I know I am not alone in this cabin fever-winter depression-where is the sun-season of the year. By the grace of God, I hope and pray these words may be an encouragement to someone.

Blessings,

Renata

 

My Recent Semester: Why I Stopped Caring About My Education

Carl Jung Lesson College

As of 11:58 p.m. on Dec. 8, I am done with my first semester towards my bachelor’s degree. Even though I love school and learning, as always, I am incredibly thankful the semester is over. For the next six weeks, I can comfortably breathe without worrying about what assignment or paper is due. In other words, I can relax.

This semester, I only took two courses. Nevertheless, life kept me plenty busy. Looking back now, I am glad I only took two courses. Obviously, I would have loved to know I had four or more classes out of my way by now. But, overall, I think taking two was the right choice for me personally, especially considering I recently got married, took a gap year, and worked. My situation could be completely different than the student’s beside me, and that’s okay. It’s called life.

Walking into this semester, I knew I would learn a thing or two. I would hope so, at least! Indeed, I did learn quite a bit. However, most of the lessons I learned came from experience–i.e. practice, failure, disappoint, pressure, etc. Textbooks are flooded with great information, yes. Without a doubt, though, the greatest lesson I learned this semester happened outside of the classroom.

Let’s set the scene first. My husband and I made plans to go out of town to see some friends one night. I also had homework due. The drive was nearly 45 minutes long, so I had great aspirations to finish my homework to and from our destination. Lo and behold, though, I was not making much progress on my assignment, by the time we arrived to our destination.

Now, I had a dilemma. I had three options and only enough time for two. I had to choose: Go to only one of our preplanned events and do homework. Or go to both events and not finish my homework. In my eyes, I was in a catch-22. No matter what option I chose, I had to let someone down, whether it be myself or one of my friends. Eventually, I decided to skip out on one of the events and finish my homework assignment. Let the lesson begin!

Looking back now, I realized I made the wrong decision that night. In my gut, I knew I did the moment I said the words, yet I still followed through with my choice anyway. This situation is one of the life moments I like to call: I would not fully understand it was mistake until I make the mistake.

If that doesn’t make sense, that’s the point. How many times do we blindly and fervently go into situations knowing they will be bad or hurt us in the end? A lot. It’s human nature. However, there is a beauty in this. God uses every situation to mold our story and walk with Him. It may not make sense to us then or even years later, but God still uses it. Even in our flawed human nature and innate desire to intentionally go against what we know is right, God uses it for His good. He did in this situation and He will continue to in every other situation.

Now, that we understand it was a mistake, let’s recognize why.  Down to the root, I chose a letter grade over human relationships. Writing those words hurt, but they are truth. Acknowledging this was one of the deepest struggles of my semester, seriously. I could not break my task-oriented, must make all A’s tendencies until I reevaluated my priorities. I put an inanimate object over human life! Dumb, so dumb. Yet, of course, because I am sinful and prideful, I would not admit that to myself.

Let’s look at it from a different perspective: Would it matter in a day, a week, a month, or even a year, if I did not do too well on ONE assignment? Would my entire academic foundation begin to crumble? Would I suddenly become a non-studious student? No. All the answers are no. Honestly, though, I don’t always answer each of them with a no. One question always earns a yes.

Now, would it matter if I did not go to the event and support a friend? Would my entire relationship with him change? Would I make an idol of my school, if I did not go to the event? Yes. All of those answers are yes. The night in focus, I answered one of the questions with a no. I promised him I would be there, and I did not show. As much as he jokes with me, I am sure it hurt a little bit to not see my husband and me there. Quite frankly, I put my own needs, wants, and desires before a friend. That’s sin.

Thankfully, our relationship with this friend was already great to begin with, but it has only improved since then. In fact, most of my relationships have improved since then. Here’s why: My heart changed. My heart put God and others before myself. I began serving others before myself. From that day on, I told myself that no matter how much homework or any other occurrences I had, I would see someone when I said I would. I would drop everything. I told myself my relationship with Christ and other humans matter way more than other accomplishment ever could.

Ultimately, I would trust God with my schoolwork, not myself. Let me tell you, a newfound freedom and peace came over me when I gave my schoolwork to Him. The last project I just turned in was the biggest assignment I had all semester. Instead of being a recluse this past weekend, I saw my family when they needed me most. I spent time with my husband when he needed me most. I may not have finished when I wanted to, but I have never been more at peace about my education.

I challenge you to evaluate your priorities in life. Who or what do you put first? Who or what do you rely on? When you look your life, can you say with absolute certain that your heart was in the right place?

Lastly, I tell you this: Don’t lose heart. Understanding who we are and why we behave the way we do is not an easy process. That’s why God is ever-present, ever-faithful, and ever-knowing. I am not denying there will be future moments when I wrongly align my priorities again. Not at all. I am not denying there will be future moments when I rely on my own will and way, not God’s. Not at all.

Nevertheless, I am already improving and growing because I acknowledge and pinpoint my struggles, especially on a heart level. I am honest with myself, even when the truth hurts. How I see it, an ugly truth is better than an ugly heart.

Blessings,

Renata

Life with Cerebral Palsy: Embracing Who I Am in Christ

Psalm 139, 14

Nearly everyone—actually, everyone—has something they do not like about themselves and wish they could change. Someone with curly hair wants straight hair. Someone with freckles wants a face without freckles. Someone with blonde hair wants brunette hair. Someone with cerebral palsy wants to walk without a disability. You get the point.

We are all imperfect people wishing we were perfect, instead of embracing what God gave us. Funny enough, the things we usually want to change are the NATURAL, God-given and God-designed features—i.e. curly hair, freckles, hair color, or a disability. Yes, we can change them to what we would prefer, think looks better, or makes us more comfortable in our own skin. The truth is, though, those changes will not be natural. They will be for our glory, not God’s. This is the same God who knows the number of EVERY hair on our heads. He knew what He was doing when He created each human and creature of this earth. The least we should do is try not to squander it.

However, I know this is easier said than done. It is in human nature to be bitter about the things we do not like about ourselves, instead of being thankful. Being bitter seems easier; it seems less painful. But, really, that is further from the truth. Being bitter is harder and it is way more painful. I say this because I used to be bitter about my disability. I used to be angry at God for giving me my disability. I used to think my life would be so much better if I was not deformed and different.

God gave me cerebral palsy for a reason; therefore, I will not hide it. I will freely discuss it and ultimately glorify Christ. If I had the option to live without my disability, I would not take it. Ultimately, I would not be who God made me to be in Christ without my disability. Although it has brought its challenges along the way, I am grateful I am made full in Christ with my cerebral palsy and all. The journey to this acceptance—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—was not easy or short, but it sure was beautiful and flooded with God’s grace.

Embracing who I am in Christ with my cerebral palsy was a challenge physically. Often times, I resented God for the fact that I could not run fast. In high school, I ran four miles every morning because it felt good, but also because I wanted to prove that I COULD do it. I remember during each mile, my ultimate goal was to continuously improve my time from the last and so forth. Yes, it was a practical goal on the surface. But, deep down, it was destructive and manipulative. Here’s why, and this may upset some people: It was destructive and manipulative because I was relying in MY own strength, not God’s. I was not listening to the limitations God had set before. Yes, all things are possible with God. But, not everything is possible with man. Let me say that again. Yes, all things are possible with God. But, not all things are possible with man.

Man believes there is no such things as a barrier, that the sky’s the limit with dreams and possibilities. But, God says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10. In other words, God has unique plans and gifts for each of our lives. If everyone could do everything, then human nature would no longer be unique. My journey towards defying all barriers by bettering my time and proving I could simply do it was not one towards improvement. Instead, it was a journey towards perfection, which is unattainable and impossible. Four diligent years later, when I truly accepted that truth, I overcame the physical anchor of being disabled. I let go of the rude comments people made to me in middle school. I let go of the way I looked when I walked.

Embracing who I am in Christ with my cerebral palsy was a challenge mentally. If I have not already said it once, I have horrible, degrading self-talk. The ratio of how much I encourage myself to that of how much I tear myself down is an ugly sight. For every little mistake I make, I completely destroy myself inside. I say to myself, “You are such a failure, Renata. You are so dumb. Why do you even put in effort? It does not even matter. Stop trying to believe that people even care about you.” The last is the biggest lie I feed myself. Even amidst all the despair of those words, though, with the grace of Jesus Christ, I transformed my mental attitude about my disability when I began looking at the way I fall differently. Growing up, I used to be livid anytime I fell down, big or small. I did not talk to anyone, and if I did, I was enraged beyond control. Ironically enough, I was enraged because I lost control. For so long, walking properly was nothing but a battle to maintain that control. I wanted something to be mine and only mine.

I had no joy in my suffering. Yes, there can be joy in suffering—Christ-centered joy—as shown in Romans 5:3-5: “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  The moment I chose to find joy in my falls, the Lord began a new work in me. As a result, I grew more Christ-like fruit and a greater dependency on Him. Joy for me is being able to laugh at my falls, being able to stand up and say, “Praise the Lord, gravity still works!” It is simple, yet so profound.

Embracing who I am in Christ with cerebral palsy was a challenge emotionally. As I have a shared before, I often consider myself an emotionally unstable person. Knowing this alone, one can understand why embracing who I am in Christ on this level was a challenge. Realistically, I had to learn how to not let the anger of where I wanted to be compared to where I was consume me. I could not let the fire of discontent roar without an extinguisher—forgiveness—nearby.

I had to learn how to forgive myself for all the degrading thoughts I said about myself whenever I “fell short” in my disability. I had to be okay with falling. I had to be okay with the lack of control. If I could not emotionally be content with that, I would never be complete in Christ. I would love to tell you I have found a complete peace in this area, but I have not. I am getting there. Presently, there are still moments when I cannot forgive myself in this area—and really, many areas—of my sinful self. Nevertheless, praise God! I do not get upset as often, which is HUGE for me. God continuously shows me through this journey that He is not finished with me yet, that I am still the clay in the Potter’s Hands and will be until He calls me home.

Embracing who I am in Christ with my cerebral palsy was a challenge spiritually. To my surprise and joy, though, this was the easiest part to embrace of all the areas. Quite frankly, it was the challenge flooded with Jesus. Yes, every other obstacle named above can be flooded with Jesus. However, this forenamed one would not exist without Jesus. To some, that seems quite obvious. But, for me, it just did not make sense until I clung to Him. All I had to do was open my heart to Him and say, “Thank you. Thank you for making me complete in You.”

That moment occurred when I meditated on one of my most treasured passages of scripture—Psalm 139. No passage speaks more clearly to me about the power and purpose God intended for each of us, that we are not a mistake. But, we are, in fact, unique, beautiful, cared for, loved and made with PURPOSE. God knows us by name and every detail about our lives before it unfolds. What wonderful, sweet, reassuring peace. In the moments filled with the most doubt, I cling to Psalm 139. I know God cares. I know I am valued and cared for. I know I am completely and utterly HIS. I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made—cerebral palsy and all.

Blessings,

Renata