by Lt. Victoria Alip

My journey of reconciliation hasn’t been easy but necessary for my healing. At age 5, I entered the foster care system, and eventually I was placed in an orphanage. Separated from my family, I felt lost and was abused by foster families who used me as a means to a paycheck. By the time I was adopted at age 12, I’d locked up my heart tightly so no one else could hurt me. Though I tried not to care, when I entered college I had to come to terms with my childhood and what I believed to be true about God.

To walk forward in the freedom God was offering me, I had to decide to lay down the bitterness, anger and unforgiveness I held toward people in my past. It required genuine repentance and forgiveness. But when I chose to forgive those who hurt me the most, I found healing, restoration and freedom in Christ. I now understand that we were created for God and to be in deep long-lasting relationships with others.

As I grow in holiness, I am growing in a spirit of reconciliation that models God who is quick to forgive, loving, gracious and merciful. He is the ultimate reconciler.

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