Iíd
like to be able to offer up an artful or at the very least an eloquent description of who I was and how I came to be the woman I am today, but I donít know that a simple explanation of the sort exists, for anyone.

I would foremost like to convey the fact that somewhere along the way I decided to make the most of what God has made available to me. I imagine that sounds rather simplistic and in reality it is, yet at the same time many will pass over that bit of information, determine it to be trivial or inconsequential without coming to the realization that the potential influence a decision of the like has in affecting a life is of enormous magnitude. Notice I said what God has made available to me as opposed to what God has given me, and therein lies the gist of the statement.

I was born in northwest Ohio and now reside in an unincorporated rural town where I spent a good part of my childhood. I was introduced to God early on through Sunday school and accepted Christ at age nine during a summer Bible School Program. God has been the center of my life for as far back as I can remember. As a child of a broken home, I spent much of my time alone even into early adulthood, and the single most saving grace for me was Psalms 27:10,

ďAlthough my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up and adopt me as His child.Ē

If I had any sort of talent in my youth, it was with a horse. I was riding by the age of three and excelled in this discipline as much as I possibly could, albeit with limited resources. This is something I hope to greatly expand upon in the somewhat near future. In college, while searching for a sense of direction, I majored first in child psychology and then I tried my hand at theater, where I immensely enjoyed the storytelling aspect of drama. After performing in three stage plays, I moved on to major in English, but I did not finish my degree. I instead allowed my time and focus to center on writing, as it had become the solitary thing I desired to do.

A great source of enjoyment for me, quite possibly the greatest, is found in the companionship of the many different animals Iíve known all throughout my life. I am often struck with wonder when I observe the ingenuity of God which is so clearly expressed in the variety, both the construction and the character, of His creatures.

I am well aware of the fact that opinions on animals and their value or what is termed by some their Ďusefulnessí varies greatly from person to person. To be perfectly honest, I believe there is much more to the reasoning behind the creation of animals than the vast majority of people want to recognize, or even care to consider, most prominently, the fact that animals are very much a part of Godís creation and in that respect, they deserve to be appreciated, or at the very least, respected. Adding to that theory is the realization that animals are in a sense prisoners in this fallen world of ours through no fault of their own, and it isnít only mankind who wait for the redemption of the creation of God:

Romans 8

"The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."

Working in wildlife rehabilitation, I have had the privilege of caring for orphaned and injured animals and aiding in the return to their natural life, they along with the many domesticated animals who have been in my care throughout the years are considered dear friends to me. I will continue to cherish the bonds I have made with them all, even into eternity.

- Saraiah Faith Gracie

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