If you are struggling with forgiveness, then you can relate to Angeline’s story.
What would you do if you were given an opportunity to go to college?
Most people would agree that a good education is a ticket to a brighter future. But for Angeline Gacosta, it is a perfect plot for revenge.
Angeline went to college and took up Criminology because she wanted to have a gun. She thought that maybe a gun could protect her from bad people, from abusers… from her own father.
To say that Angeline hates her father would be an understatement. Time heals all wounds for some people, but for Angeline, the pain her father inflicted on her still stung even after all these years. His beatings. His cruel words. She remembers everything as if they were just yesterday.
“I did not feel that my father ever loved me because of the things he did to me,” Angeline lamented.
But more than the bruises and wounds from his fists, Angeline’s father did what no father should ever do to an innocent child. Angeline was molested by her own father.
She was too young to know what was “normal behavior” then, but she felt what her father did to her was wrong. What hurts her more is that her mother knew about it, but she did not do anything to stop him.
“My mother was in denial about what happened. Growing up, I had to force a smile or a laugh to hide all my fears,” Angeline cried. “I told myself that I will not be a girl. I will hide my pain and would never let any man touch me again.”
Dread overtook Angeline when she realized that their home had not been a safe place for her growing up. The trauma and the horrible memories from her father’s abuse and her mom’s denial of it left Angeline angry, confused, scared, and scarred for a long time.
To mask her pain, Angeline dressed and behaved like a man. She took all the rage she felt toward men and tried beating up her younger brother. The pain affected almost every area of her life.
“I took up Criminology because, with a gun, I could protect myself from men,” Angeline confessed “Eventually, I realized that taking that course just so I can avenge myself was wrong.”
However, her epiphany wasn’t enough to dissolve all the hate in her heart. Angeline spiraled into depression and decided to end all her miseries.
“Before jumping off our school building, I prayed, ‘Lord, why did this happen to me? Why is my family like this?’” Angeline recalled.
Do you, like Angeline, struggle to forgive? Do you find it difficult to let go of your painful past?
Trust that God can set you free!
Believe that there is a loving God who can help you let go of any pain or bitterness. Believe that He can mend your brokenness and make you feel whole again!
This has been true to Angeline. Just before she jumped off the building, God spoke to her heart.
She remembered, “The wind blew, and I heard a voice saying, ‘Hold on, My child. I love you. I am here for you.’ It was the first time I heard God’s voice.”
Angeline got to know God better when she joined Youth with a Mission – a Christian movement that helped her realize God’s purpose for her life. As she experienced God’s transforming love, she also learned to forgive her parents and herself.
“I had to release forgiveness so that I could forgive myself, too. If it wasn’t for God, I never could have forgiven my father. I never would have asked the forgiveness of my brother,” Angeline said.
She discovered that time doesn’t heal all wounds – forgiveness does. And if you are struggling to forgive someone who hurt you deeply, Angeline has a message for you:
“We just have to embrace life’s challenges and allow them to point us to our faithful Lord. Troubles come and go, but God’s love remains forever,” Angeline ended.
Come to Jesus and let Him help you break free from the shackles of your past. Call upon Him and let His power lift all your heartaches, pain, and unforgiveness.
God is willing to give you a new heart – a heart that truly loves and truly forgives. Just ask for it!
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
Do you also want to experience God’s love and restoration?