“My daughter was only 19 when she was raped,” she began. “She hasn’t been the same person since. And neither have I.”

It was a sad story. I get calls like this pretty often. The young lady mentioned here had a complete personality change after this devastating event. She was an only child. So, obviously, her parents was just as devastated. Hope crushed. A bright future snuffed out. An overwhelming sense of loss and hurt and shame. Unfortunately, it’s a story that’s all too common…

But right now, let’s focus on the mom. She made a starting confession (though understandable) to me when she called. Let me explain.

She explained that she was reading my book, “What Are The Stakes?,” and it helped her to realize that she absolutely HATED the boy who had done this to her daughter. But then she said what I hoped to hear: “I realized I needed to forgive him, because that hatred was eating me up on the inside.”

“I saw him in town recently,” she continued, “so I asked him if I could talk to him for a minute.”

The young man consented.

“I told him how hurt I was; how much our entire family was hurt by what he had done to our only child, and then I told him that I forgave him.”

“He just sort of sat there without responding,” she explained. “I don’t know what I expected, but I admit it was confusing for me to see him just shrug his shoulders as I told him I forgave him.”

“Then I went home,” she went on, “and I realized how good and unburdened I felt because I had forgiven him. I never knew hatred–even justified hatred–could be such a heavy burden until I put it down.”

“Thank you,” she concluded.

It made my day.

Lord, thank You for using my meager efforts as a writer to help lift the burden off a fellow traveler. In Jesus Name…

Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?”

About Steve Hemphill

Steve Hemphill grew up in Mason, a small town in Central Texas. He graduated high school in 1975, and received a B.A. in Marketing from Abilene Christian University in 1979. He married his college sweetheart immediately after graduating, and is the father of three boys. He was the founder and owner of a successful technology company in Northeast Texas for almost 30 years, with over 30 employees and annual revenue of over $6 million. Steve was the son of a missionary until his Father passed away in 2000. He and his brother searched for the “Last Will and Testament” and found it in a safe that contained a sealed envelope which stated, “If you find this after my death, do NOT open it, destroy it, it’s not important, Dad”. This led him to research what the Bible has to say about “Heaven” resulting in his first book, My Search for the Real Heaven. He later wrote My Search for Prayers Satan Hates, a detailed look at the Bible’s teaching on demons, prayer and spiritual warfare. His speaking career began in 2009. Since selling his business, Steve now dedicates his time to speaking, writing and leading retreats. His outreaches and inspirational events include sharing “God’s Stories”. He has lectured in many states and several foreign countries on a variety of topics. He keeps audiences spellbound and focused with his fast-paced, enthusiastic presentations and compelling real-life stories.

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