My name is Emma and my story is something that I would like to share with many people so they can learn that no matter what they go through, with God’s help, all things are possible.So I want to give you a little bit of a background. I am 15 years old. When I was eight, I was baptized by my father and about six months later he was sentenced to 0-5 years in Prison and did the whole five years, along with remaining on the sex offenders list for eight years after he got out.
At eight years old I was very confused and didn’t know what was going on. I felt that God was punishing me and I didn’t know for what. I was able to get help and was encouraged by many people to pray and trust in him. At that time I didn’t want to pray, but when I did, I came to Heavenly Father with my doubts and fears and He reassured me that this was just a small moment in my life and although it will be difficult He will help me through it.
I took on a lot more responsibilities at home because my mom was now a single mom and couldn’t do it all on her own. At eight years old, I would come home from school and do the dishes and laundry and make dinner and then have to deal with my homework. I had to do this for many years and it was really hard and at times I didn’t want to trust in God because I felt He wasn’t listening to me and was just being mean and cruel and I hadn’t done anything wrong.
One day in Seminary class and we were reading in the Doctrine and Covenants and we came across the scripture of how we have to forgive all men and the lord will help us do that. All this time I thought that I had done nothing wrong but I was continuously talking bad about my dad and how he was such a horrible person that I didn’t realize that there would come a time that I would need to forgive him and the Lord would forgive any sins that I have committed.
A few nights later I received a call from my grandparent’s house (dad’s side) and thinking that it was them I picked up the phone and to my surprise it was my dad. At that shock I dropped the phone and just bawled. I think that night I cried more than I have in a really long time (or in my life) and I just didn’t know what to do. So I dropped to my knees and prayed to my Heavenly Father to give me strength to get through this trial and I prayed that he would forgive the sins that I have committed, and to carry me that night as I talked with my dad on the phone for the first time in three years. I don’t really remember much about the phone call except the tone in my dad’s voice and how he felt so badly about he wasn’t there for me (I think he could feel the pain I was in through my tears). Right after the phone call ended and we scheduled a time to meet for the first time in 5 years (at my grandpa’s birthday party).
I wrote him a letter that contained so many questions and concerns that I was going through and in the letter I told him that I wanted him to be honest. That is exactly what he did and that night I went home and was able to come to the conclusion to forgive him for that sin he had committed. It took me almost a year to fully forgive him for what he did but as soon as I did I felt at peace and the love that my Father in Heaven has for me. I want to let others know that although forgiveness isn’t an overnight process it really is worth it and it can help you get through things that you didn’t think you could go through let alone get through it in one piece. I want to let others know how much of a testimony I have of God’s plan for me and the love he has for me and the fact that the atonement is a real thing and it really is a net for us and can bring us back up if we fall.
No matter what you are going through, you can be happy again! I promise. And God promises happiness for you too.
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