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Kelly - Colorado

I was raised Catholic and attended a private school. I did not believe what I was being taught. But I always knew there was a higher power just wasn't sure what it was. After I joined the military religion, faith was the furthest from my mind. I got married and had children in my early 20s. My youngest was born with some pretty serious medical problems. I think that pushed me further away from God when I saw the pain that he was always in. In January of 2013 he had a bone marrow transplant and my question was always why him? Why does my child have to suffer? This caused me to fall into a further depression and negative view of myself and life in general. I turned to sex and alcohol to self heal. I stepped out on my husband at the time, and chose to give into my constant pain. In Sep 2018 my husband and I separated and soon divorced. My daughter started attending a church and wanted me to join her. I was very hesitant because I believed God didn't love me because of all my mistakes. I first started going in May 2019, at that time I started opening my mind to the healing power of Christ. I began to realize that I was not alone and I could always turn to the Lord. I attended Jon's eight week class in the beginning of 2020 called Break Free. Jon helped me see what forgiveness was and encouraged me to ask for it. I use his advice almost daily.

When it came time in Jon's class to ask for forgiveness it was a very difficult and raw emotion for me. I had to ask God for forgiveness for myself, I had to say out loud that I was sorry for my past and I wanted God to forgive me. The freeing feeling being forgiven gave me was the most powerful feeling I have ever experienced. I was able to start looking in the mirror and love what I saw. Knowing that I was so imperfect and God still loved me and forgave me for my sins was such an exciting feeling. The next thing Jon asked me to do was name the person that hurt me the most in my life. Another very hard task, but again I knew I was not alone and I was able to do it. My answer was my ex husband, we were married for 17 years and I think the stress of our sick son took him in a different direction. Instead of self destruction, he took it out on me, he often called me names and tried to control my every move. He made me believe that I was worthless and a bad mother. Being able to forgive him for that was scary but it was freeing. It let me see that no matter what, I can't change what he did, but I could forgive him for it and I did. I don't feel anger or hatred anymore towards him. I am able to approach things with a positive light because I know I always have God on my side.

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