My story is one of sort of surviving while simultaneously growing my faith. Growing up, I was a christian and always went to church but it wasn’t until I was 19 that God forever changed my life. At this point, I had strayed from the Lord and literally hit rock bottom. I was in a verbally and physically abusive relationship and raped when I tried to leave. He got me pregnant so (he thought) I couldn’t leave him.

That was the turning point. I packed my stuff and took refuge with my wonderful, gracious parents and began attending church again. At about 4 months pregnant, I worked full time as a car hop at a local restaurant and that’s when I met some amazing people passing through my hometown from Victory Life Church Brownwood. I knew who Duane Sheriff was and listened to the podcasts every night. I was having a really rough night when this happened and my whole story just sort of spilled out and they prayed with me and that completely changed my outlook on things. I no longer saw myself as this person who was broken beyond repair and a victim. I was an overcomer through Christ and my son was the biggest blessing.

Fast forward a few months, and my son makes his arrival at 34 weeks gestation. He is placed in the NICU, and once again, my faith is tested. He had issues breathing and eating, so there was no telling how long he’d have to stay in the NICU. I vividly remember breaking down in tears multiple times as I went back and forth from the NICU every 3 hours for feedings. I remember my heart shattering with every setback. I remember rejoicing and thanking my God for him, even when it was so hard and there seemed to be no end in sight.

Then, an awesome thing happened. After two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, Uriah Finn (weighing a whole 5 pounds 4 ounces; he started @ 4 pounds 14 ounces) came home!!! Now, while holding my healthy 14 pound 4 month old, I thank God for that struggle. Out of that struggle came an unshakable faith; tried and tested!

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