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I am a poet...among other things. I recently published a collection of poems on Amazon called "Love Free!" Search (Mara+Merce+love+free) I've been writing for over two decades now, but have been focused more on my own process than sharing my work with others until now. My work is important. I know that, and I've always known at some point I'd have to give it back to the world. I grew up "disadvantaged" which I find to be an advantage as a human being and as a writer. Nothing grows compassion deeper in a person than knowing from experience what it's like to be abandoned, neglected, abused, hungry, and poor. I know what it's like to be invisible to others and in silent pain your entire life with no one to care or listen to your stories about your bruises and scars. I also know what it's like to overcome it all with faith, joy, and hope.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.

Psalm 27:1-3

Sometimes I look at people who are broken and weary and think if you only knew how much God loves you. You are so, so special to Him. I grew up feeling so unloved and so unspecial so it's just sort of this mission and passion I have in life to make sure EVERYONE knows how special they are and how much a loving God delights in them the way He delights in me, a wretched, poor little thing.

If God can love me in all my flaws, I know He can truly love anyone.

A special thanks to everyone who voted for my hub to receive the Rising Star accolade. It's so wonderful to be a part of a writing community that encourages and supports you. Thanks again!