Most people grew up in church, but I grew away from it. I was raised as a Roman Catholic, which was very ritualistic and disconnected – it became a chore. My decision to leave church was fueled by my abusive relationship with my grandpa as well. I would live with this scar my entire life until God helped me to deal with it.
I began to feel an absence in my heart when I started working as a nurse. Being in a job where I had to deal with life and death all the time gave me the perspective that a greater force was involved in our lives. It wasn’t until my girlfriend brought me to 180 Church that I discovered that this greater force was Jesus Christ, who offered forgiveness to me. Before Christ, I was living without purpose; I went from paycheck to paycheck, looking for temporary fulfillment. God was willing to forgive that materialistic side of me, but, even more than that, he gave me the power to forgive my grandpa.
Jesus brought to light this hurt I had and helped me to let it go. It was so powerful for me that I told my parents what had happened; they hadn’t even known the extent to which I had been hurt by my grandpa. My parents apologized for not being there, and I forgave them as well. Letting go of all these burdens freed me and made me feel very thankful. God loved me so much that I was eager to model after Him, and in return He gave me a life that speaks strongly of the power of His forgiveness.