6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Forgiving those close to us

Amnesty - Part 4, Pastor Rob Ketterling

SARAH: On June 9th of 1997, it was a Monday, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon. Got off early that day, and I used to love going down to the bluffs over the Mississippi River. Decided to sunbathe laying on a towel. And you know when you've had your eyes closed, and it is a really sunny day, it takes awhile for your eyes to adjust. All I could see in front of me as my eyes slowly adjusted was the figure of a man, his shadow over the top of me. He'd been stalking me. He had a mask on. That was the only thing

that he was wearing. I mean, the next thing I knew he was on top of me. And I screamed. And he wasn't expecting that. He tried to run. And I'm not sure why to this day, but I decided to chase him. I turned into that girl that runs up the stairs instead of out the front door in those movies where you're like, "Go out the front door!" That's when I realized I could die. I turned and ran and I went in the opposite direction.

I like to say that I survived that day, but that day was the beginning of a slow, long death. I think that I wanted to be living, but I knew that I wasn't. It was kind of this

thing that my family didn't talk about. You know, six months later I was called in for a lineup.

I mean, it was something that didn't necessarily go away right away. But it wasn't discussed.

And because of my lack of support system and family, I was left to fend for myself, and I had a lot of anger and bitterness. And I was suicidal. And as the drinking got worse to cope, or the drugs got worse, the more desperately I wanted to be free of all of that. And I got to the point where I realized I didn't want to die; I just didn't want to hurt anymore. I was ready to be free.

And I made the decision to forgive; not just forgiving him, but forgiving my parents. And even better, forgiving myself for a lot of things. And when I chose to let go of

that pain and that bitterness and that anger and that frustration, I got something far greater in return. You can't buy, you can't box freedom.

God restores and he redeems and in a very tangible way blotted out that day with something so much greater. Last year on June 10th I gave birth to my twin boys, Evan and Avery, on a Monday as well, between four and five in the afternoon. So almost exactly 17 years later. I don't think the timing was an accident. That date and that day and that hour, they used to own me. Not anymore. Something else owns me now. Two little people. And I love it. But I also love what God has created, something so beautiful out of something so ugly. It just blows me away on a daily basis. I love it.

PASTOR ROB: Thanks Sarah. I love that. Let's show our appreciation to Sarah for being vulnerable. That's so good.

I love what she said. You can't buy, you can't box freedom. And when you give forgiveness, when you ask God to give you that ability to forgive, man that freedom just takes place.

I can just tell you all the testimonies, I have loved all of them throughout this whole series. And I just so appreciate people saying, "I want to take my hurt, my pain, and use it for God's glory. I've worked through this. I am working through this, and I want to help others in that." So thank you to all those that shared and were vulnerable.

How many know this series has really hit home? As I traveled around and I'm out in the community, and I'm eating and people come up to me, I'm at a restaurant, and they are like, "This series is really, really good."

And I go, "Great."

And they are like, "I mean the other ones are good, too, but this one is really


And I know what they mean. They are saying this one is really hitting home because we all need forgiveness. We all realize that. We all need forgiveness. We desire to be forgiven. That's just one hand; I need it, I desire it. And then I know what they mean as well, like, God is working on me because I need to give forgiveness, and I might not be that excited about giving it, but I need to realize that I need to do it.

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