My daughter and I had just moved into our new home in the middle of an old southern plantation surrounded by a national forest. Just two months earlier, we had been living in a homeless shelter. When we moved into the shelter, I was so disappointed. Not a single person was willing to offer a corner in their house with a bed. Where was love when we needed it?
We had been at the homeless shelter for three months. I could not believe the reality of our situation. My work had been slow and eventually nonexistent. I tried everything in my power to avoid the homeless shelter. The stress of protecting my daughter, emotionally and physically, was so intense. I felt the darkness in my life and I could not find the light. I prayed and prayed. I did not feel loved.
I felt so alone. But love was there for me, even in the darkest days. Love was there for me in my daughter. And my love for her was and is incredibly overwhelming; we have bonded in a way that is unspeakable. I found love through my service dog, Sky, as well. I never thought I could love an animal so much. And God loved me by giving us a new start, in our own home.
Now, every night I sit on the front porch, taking in the cool air as my thoughts about life slow down. It is incredibly quiet; other than the sounds that come with living in the country. The stars get brighter as it gets darker. The constellations are breathtaking.
The first night I sat on the porch of my new house, I could hear the owls having deep conversations with each other. Deer emerged from the forest and hopped across my front lawn. Shooting stars seemed to shout the message God had for me all along: “You are loved.”
Sitting out there, surrounded by raw nature, I can feel my body relaxing and the anxiety of life floating away into the night. This is the life I yearned for over the past year. This is the life I wanted for my daughter. The journey to this moment was agonizing and unimaginable, but I finally found my forever home. I realize now that the love I was looking for was there for me all along. I believe in love because love is everywhere.
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