The first time Jennifer was raped was when she was 5 years old. Her abuser became her babysitter and continued to sexually abuse her for 2 years. When Jennifer turned 8, her Uncle began sexually molesting her. By age 9, Jennifer’s mom had married an abusive man and Jennifer was often abused by her stepfather. At age 11, Jennifer’s cousin attacked her and attempted to rape her. By age 18, Jennifer had her first children followed by 2 abortions in her early 20’s. Because of Jennifer’s horrific past, she turned to sex, drugs, and alcohol to cope with her pain. Although she had heard of God’s love when she was at church, she thought that surely God hated her.
One day, Jennifer found out that the cousin who had attacked her had a drug overdose and was in a coma. Upon hearing the news, Jennifer thought, “It’s OK, he deserved it!” Right then, God stirred something in her heart and Jennifer started bawling. God showed her that her cousin may never know forgiveness. She thought back to all the times she had told him she hated him for what he had done to her. The next day, Jennifer went to the hospital. Although her cousin was unresponsive and still in his coma, Jennifer bent down to his ear to talk to him. She told him how much he had hurt her and how much wrong he had done to her, but she also told him how not forgiving him was wrong too. She told him, “I love you. I forgive you. And Jesus forgives you too. If you can hear me, just ask God to forgive you. He is waiting for you.” Jennifer saw his eyebrows lift and heard him sigh. To this day, she’s not positive that her cousin heard her, but prays that he did.
The very next day, Jennifer wrote letters to her Uncle and the babysitter that raped her. She told them that she forgave them and that Jesus would forgive them too. She received amazing responses from both of them. Jennifer realized that Jesus calls us to forgive, and when we do, it is so freeing! Jennifer is now an RN Case manager for Hospice. She spends her days helping others find comfort and come to terms with whatever they are holding onto at the end of their lives. She says, “I let them ALL know that no matter what they have done, God’s Grace is STRONGER.”