Forgiveness. That’s something all Christians are called to do, right? Sometimes, it is easier to say rather than do though. Don’t shout me down when I’m preaching good! You know what I’m talking about!
But for some, life is not all sunshine and roses. It’s a nightmare. One that they cannot wake up from. One that drags them further and further into a deepening pit that they cannot seem to climb out of.
Our guest today lived that nightmare…
Suffering from physical, emotional and sexual abuse from the age of 7 until 14, in ways that most people cannot even imagine, Mark Sowersby emerged hurt, broken, resentful, rebellious and, well, the list goes on and on.
Then, one day, someone asked him to go to church. He heard the message of salvation and a seed was planted.
Forgiveness did not pop up like Jonah’s gourd. No, it took time.
Matthew tells us we need to forgive… But sometimes, there are time gaps between knowing what to do and actually doing it.
Pastor Mark Sowersby is the author of a great book detailing his journey. It’s titled, “Forgiving the Nightmare.” Mark is also the lead pastor at Calvary Community Church in Dudley, MA. He is here today to discuss his book and to share his story in the hope of touching someone somewhere with that same kind of seed. The seed of forgiveness.
Here are some of the questions discussed in the podcast:
First question, other than that brief information I just shared, can you tell us in your own words, “Who is Mark Sowersby?”
Your father was absent during your upbringing and you were raised by your mother. But that does not sound like it was a nurturing relationship either. Share with us just a little of what growing up in this environment was like?
Did your mother know what was happening?
Did any teachers or anyone in authority ever question what was going on?
Did you have any friends you confided in?
You said it stopped about age 14. How did your uncle provided the support you needed?
How did you come to meet the Lord?
How did you receive your calling into the ministry? Surely, the enemy tried to dissuade you from answering that calling, right?
You’re familiar with the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel who touched his hip and gave him a new name. The Bible says, basically, he walked with a limp the rest of his life, that’s the way I see it. But it was a continual reminder that his past was past and he now had a new name, Israel. He could never forget that the “old Jacob” was different from the man named “Israel.” Do you see yourself relating to Jacob in that matter?
Why did you write your book, “Forgiving the Nightmare” at this point in your life?
Folks, not everyone has gone through life carrying the burden Pastor Mark has had to carry. But each one of us has had to carry something. Jesus is big enough to handle it. Jesus can remove those burdens and help you to forgive. Forgive those who have hurt you and even to forgive yourself.