// Gateway Students Spring Camp // Friday-Sunday, March 20-22 // Lakeview Camp and Retreat Center | Waxahachie, TX //

This weekend, incredible things happened in my life and many others in Gateway Students. Saturday night I was finally relieved of a burden that has been on my heart for years without me even knowing it. I’m adopted. It’s not something that I’ve ever been ashamed of. I’ve always known I was adopted and have always known the story behind it. But when Pastor Dan Lian was preaching, he called anybody out with any burdens on their hearts up to the alter and without even knowing what my burden was, I knew that I needed to go up. A dear friend of mine went as well and as we’re in the aisle, surrounded by people, I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and start to cry. She wrapped her arms around me and held me as I cried out to my Father. I soon felt another hand on my arm and when I looked up, a sweet girl was praying silently for me. Now, I usually don’t like people touching me but I kept my mouth shut and let her do whatever she was feeling led to do. Not even a few minutes later, I felt multiple hands being laid upon my shoulders, back, and head. So many people were feeling led to pray for me – not even knowing who I was, my name, or my story. I cried like I’ve never cried before. I felt the Holy Spirit’s presence in a way that I never have before. After all was said and done and the students were sent to either their seats or to a leader to pray individually, the girl that started praying for me first hugged me. One of the guys who had prayed for me came up to us and said, “The Lord told me that this was the most beautiful thing that He has seen.” Wow. Something that happened to me was qualified as beautiful to the Lord. The same guy came up to me after that and said, “The Lord’s got you. You need to let whatever is eating at you go because He has it in His hands.” I went back to my seat and sat down while the worship team was singing and just started thinking about what had such a heavy burden on me that I didn’t even know about. I then went to go pray with a leader. As I started talking with her, it became clear. I’ve forever struggled with a part of my adoption – the part where I have two older brothers and a younger half sister, but only I was put up for adoption. I know the reasons why but I’ve always felt that I’ve never been wanted. I don’t allow myself to become close with others because I’m scared of rejection or that they will get tired of me and push me out. I know that I push people away but it’s something that I can’t help because it’s something that I deem as completely natural. I know that giving me to another family was no where easy to my biological mother. But there are times when I start to think, “Was it easy for her?” “Did she not want me?” “Was I not good enough?” Now I know that all of that was Satan trying to get me to feel sorry for myself or that I’m not worthy. And always thinking those thoughts is the reason why I was never able to become close to people or talk about anything that was troubling me. But now I know. I am loved by the Lord and that He is always with me. He knows exactly who I need in my life and that I am wanted by many. This weekend was something that I needed in so many ways. I am beyond blessed to go to a church where events like this can happen and life-changing things happen there. Thank you Gateway Students for putting this amazing weekend together where I was finally released of strongest burden. And thank you all who took the time to read this word for word, all the way through.

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