My name is Amanda Sears.   I must say it has been such a long hard road for me from the age of 4-12 years. I was sexually abused by my mother's husband. My mother knew from the first time it happened, but didn't really know what to do or was too scared to do anything. (I forgive her) I remember times of waking up and not even being able to say anything because I was too afraid. I would just go crawl on the other side of my Mom because there I felt what little safety I had.

At the age of 6, two of my sisters and I ended up being taken away to foster care because my dad who had main custody of us was really bad into drugs and alcohol. I pretty much grew up doing whatever I wanted. At the age of 13, I was looking for all of the wrong things, and I started drinking and smoking marijuana just to fit in. I wanted to feel loved because most of my life I was picked on by everyone including my four sisters and the kids at school, I never felt like I belonged anywhere.

It all came to a boiling point five days after my 14th birthday. I decided I couldn't deal with it all anymore and decided I was going to put an end to everything. I took a bunch of pills. It just so happened my only friend at the time came over that morning and called my dad at work.  I was rushed to the hospital. My mother had me put in a facility called Oaklawn, because she didn't know what to do. Even though this embarrassed me, it was a God send. At Oaklawn, I finally opened up about what my mother's husband had been doing to me and my sisters. Before this happened everyone kept it as a dirty little secret.

When I turned 17, I came across an ex-boyfriend. I was young and naive and thought the way to keep someone with you was to have a baby. I had my first daughter at the age of 18. It was about six months after my daughter was born I became pregnant again. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, but I ended up giving my baby, my second child, a daughter, up for adoption. My decision came from my struggling with care for my first daughter, and my boyfriend was into drugs and refused to try to get a job.

I have been called many horrible things because of this, and even hated by some. It was during this time, I was completely alone. It was only my daughter and me, because I had broken up with my boyfriend. Even he blamed me for giving the child up for adoption. Again, I started feeling like I couldn't continue going on and I was utterly hopeless.

But one day, after the adoption was finalized I walked outside and something really amazing happened. When I walked outside, the sun shone on me, and I felt like someone, God, put his hand on my shoulder and said it is going to be ok. This was the first time I really knew and felt God with me. Unfortunately, it took time for me to really turn to God.

I was using birth control at that time, but ended up pregnant again. Again, like before, I gave my child, another daughter, up for adoption. One thing that was very good, was that both my daughters went to the same home. The family they went to told me they thought God hated them because they had been praying and praying and they still weren't able to have kids.

This was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I know I should've made better decisions. Not long after this happened, about three years ago, I was invited to go to church. I went and began reading my Bible. I continue to read it today. (I thought I "knew" God back then, but how wrong I was) I have never been the same since God has come in my life. He has done a lot of work in my life starting with forgiveness. He continues to change me. God has also shown me that I am His and that He loves me and nothing can take His amazing love away. All the lies I have been told that I'm worthless and so on were just LIES that were meant to break me and keep me in hopelessness. (Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord).

I believe God is the only reason I am here today and that I was able to make it through all of this and more. God is my strength, my hope, and my everything. My life just goes to show that no matter what you go through God is with you and there is nothing in this life that you can't overcome when God is with you. I am now married and teaching my daughter all about our amazing God. (Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.)