When I was two, my grandparents acquired full parental custody of me. They embodied the command of Christ to “care for the orphans” and raised me in the faith of Christianity. I was exposed to different denominations, different forms of worship, different means to salvation. I attended church regularly and embraced the knowledge and idea of a relationship with Christ, but it wasn’t until I was 29 that I accepted Christ as my Savior. Growing up, I attended a Christian school and when I graduated attended a Christian college in Florida. There was no lack of salvation chances. I could repeat the “Sinners Prayer” forward and backwards and had said it more times than I could count. But something was missing. I was longing and yearning and no matter how many times I said the prayer, I was still standing on the outside of a relationship with Christ. I wanted a relationship, but there was always an underlying ache of abandonment and rejection holding me back from fully giving my heart and life to the Lord. My parents had abandoned me. I was afraid to be abandoned by Christ too. So, I lived many years of my life participating in religion but not engaging in a relationship. Fast forward through college graduation, marriage, years of infertility and into a downward spiral of failed relationships, loss of faith and more doubts than my head could hold. Out of desperation, I scheduled a meeting with our Pastor. I poured my heart out to him, seeking answers he didn’t have. Before I left the meeting he leaned in towards me, took my hands in his and imploringly asked if I had a personal relationship with Christ. I scoffed. I had been attending church, Bible studies, etc. I was serving Christ. Of course I did. Again he asked, “Annie, do you have a personal relationship with Christ”? I broke. There were tears. Twenty-nine years worth of ugly-cry tears. I confessed my sins before a loving, accepting, forgiving Father and turned my heart fully over to Him. In that moment, He became my mother and my father; the Healing Balm my soul had been aching for. And, I became His daughter. The journey He has given me to walk hasn’t been an easy one, but it truly bears testimony to His promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you”.