Cari (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
I am a preacher's daughter from Oklahoma who was raised in church by loving parents who have supported each other and their marriage for 35 years.
When I turned 18, I moved away and decided to go my own way and live a life doing whatever I wanted. At 21, I found out that I was pregnant by my boyfriend of two years ... and four months into my pregnancy I found out that another woman was pregnant by him. I was devastated, scared, financially struggling, and I felt so alone. I was so ashamed to talk to my parents about the situation I was in, but through many tears it was evident how much they loved me.
I found out I was going to have a daughter, and I could not stop thinking about her growing up in my mess. Would she grow up thinking it was alright for a man to treat her the way her father treated me? How could I have allowed this to happen to me?
On February 4th of 2008, I brought the most beautiful little girl into this world. I also made the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life on that day; I handed my daughter to her new mom and dad who had been desperately trying to adopt for years.
The first year was the most brutal. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt worthless and empty. I went through therapy and met other women like me, but I still felt so alone.
One day my mom came to visit and told me she found a song she wanted me to hear. The moment I heard “Your Hands”, I was overcome with emotion. I could feel Jesus wrap His arms around me and hold me through the pain.
The heartache and loss I still feel today will never be gone, but I thank God every single day for my daughter because she changed me. I have worked to do better and be the woman God intended. No matter what I face, no matter how broken my heart is, no matter how different life is from what I always dreamed it would be, I know I never leave His hands!