"If I've made you feel loved,then I've served my purpose in this World."
This is what Maria has come to believe her purpose in Life is. But who is Maria exactly?
Maria Votto started out life as Maria Williams, an only child living with her Mother and her Mother's parents in the small town of Green Creek, New Jersey until her mother remarried an ex-Marine and gave birth to her little brother John in 1992. She grew up in the church, went to Christian school her whole young life, graduated as the Salutatorian of her high school class and went on to get her Associates Degree in Psychology from the local college.
For most of her adolescent life, she bore witness to the brutal realities of life with 1 alcoholic step parent and 1 very co-dependant parent. She was forced to grow up quickly, take on many responsibilities to "help out" around the house, take on the task of being her little brother's main source of entertainment and companionship, all while struggling with the loss of her grandparents(in the same week ) and her own self loathing body image. It was during these "dark years" Maria began to develop a keen sense of who a person really was- what they are all about and began to hone in on an almost primal sense of a person's true nature upon meeting them for the first time. This new sense gave way to a deep rooted interest in the human mind, thoughts and motives- hence her choice of college majors. Unfortunately it was also at this time she began to question whether there really was any good in people, or is everyone truly just as disposable as she felt she was to them?
In 1999 she met her first and only boyfriend John. They dated for almost 2 years and were engaged another year and a half. They wed in August of 2002 and 6 weeks later discovered they were expecting their first child, a daughter. 2 years later a second daughter was born, followed by a son 18 months later. Finally in 2009 she then gave birth to their 4th child, another little girl. In the mix of all these wonderful life events was a lot of turmoil as well.
There was her first birth being an unnecessary but forced c-section which led to 3 more obsessively failed attempts at having a VBAC, a very heartbreaking move from her beloved beach resort town to the rural and tiny mountainous town of Spencer,WV., as well as an indescribable amount of pain associated with her nearly losing her son on 4 separate occasions and a night of life altering confessions from her husband. The straw that should have broken this young lady's back came in 2010 when she was suddenly diagnosed with diabetes. The word "should" is used here because where many would have given up and continued to live the destructive lifestyle that caused her to balloon to her highest weight of 232lbs at only 29 years of age, Maria saw this as a personal challenge to take all that hurt/self-loathing/feelings of worthlessness and attack her new condition right back with a vengeance. In just under a year she cut her A1c in half and shrank herself by 50lbs without the help of pills,fad diets or expensive weight loss programs.
If you were to ask her how in the world she was able to do this, you would most likely hear, "I didn't do anything. It was all God." It was the realization of just how close she could have been to dying young that made Maria want to discover her purpose in life, because she believes EVERYONE has a purpose- it's just up to us to discover it.Yes, being a wife and mother is such an honor and a wonderful Purpose in and of itself, but this doesn't mean there couldn't have been more to her life. She believes that God used this condition to open her eyes to her worth as well as the worth in others. Through many tears and prayers her purpose has become reality and can best be described through the video on the Home page.
It is through the entries of this blog Maria hopes to fulfill her life's purpose of spreading the message that no, people are NOT disposable. There IS good in everyone. We ALL need Jesus and most of all, how very much He loves us all. If you ever get to meet Maria or even correspond with her in some fashion and you go away feeling like you now understand the immensity of God's Love for you....well, then the first line of this bio couldn't be more of a compliment or a blessing.