"I Now Have Hope"—Rhianne's Story

"I Now Have Hope"—Rhianne's Story

We received this letter from Rhianne, a young woman who lived at the Ranch.

My thanks to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch,

Growing up, I never really had anybody to talk to when I was upset, and I couldn’t really show I was upset either.

My family believed it was a sign of weakness to cry. I coped with my feelings the same way my Mom did, drugs. I thought it was normal. I started getting into fights all the time too. When I was 11, my Mom gave me up to the state. I was in and out of foster homes until I was 13.

One month after I turned 13, I was sent to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in Minot. I didn’t believe in God and I didn’t believe that anyone really even wanted me, but that changed. I had really bad anger issues and if I didn’t get my way I would scream, swear, hit, kick and bite anyone in my path. After about seven months, I left Minot and went to the Bismarck [Ranch], but I was the same way there.

After a while I was sent to YCC [Youth Correctional Center] for about a year-and-a-half. I was suicidal and I hated everyone.

I finally came to Fargo. At first, I was pretty much the same way I was everywhere else, but then I kinda realized that the staff are not here to get me mad or to ruin my life. They are here to help.

I started to open up to staff about everything and I finally felt safe and wanted. I met Jay [Jay Schaefer, spiritual life specialist] and he helped me to open my eyes and my heart up to God.

I finally feel like I belong somewhere. My life is still hard and my future is still very uncertain. I’ve only got two years until I’m 18, but I know that I’ve got a lot of people who love me, and care, but most of all, I know I have a Savior to look to for guidance and assurance. I now have hope.

So I thank all of the staff members and people who made it possible. Thank you for showing me the way to my Savior and hope.

Rhianne

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