Do you need a beautiful story about the power forgiveness? We all do.

God is longing to hear what’s in our hearts. He’s longing to forgive our sins and set us free. 

In this episode, Lorissa shares a powerful story about a teen whose heart has been closed to God but who finally lets Him in. The transformation He gives her is so moving. 

Let us all remember that He is always waiting for us. He wants all of us. And he wants us to live in freedom.

 

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Hello ladies, welcome to episode 20 of Made For Greatness. I am your host today, Lorissa Horn and as always, I am so excited that you are here. Now I cannot wait to dive in today’s episode. I have so much to share with you all on the topic of forgiveness and I hope, and I pray that this, this episode touches your heart or just inspires you in some powerful way. But before I do that, I just I’m really excited because here we are, we’re on episode 20 of this podcast. I still am just in awe at this dream that is unfolding. And just in the last few very short months, just to see how, how far we’ve come in putting this content out into the world. And then also I wanted to just talk for a moment about our Masters program. Here we are, we’re two little over two and a half weeks or two and a half months since we’ve launched our Master’s program.

It’s an extraordinary life coaching program for Catholic moms. And it’s just, I’m just in awe at what God has done in the last few months, the extraordinary women that have joined the Master’s program and just the content that we’ve been pouring into it, the encounters that we’ve had, we have three days a week. We do group coaching calls, live group, coaching calls and women all over the country are popping on and, and women are being coached and sharing. And it’s so powerful. We are continuing to just put in new courses every few weeks, new content. It’s just, it’s super powerful and we’ve been blessed to receive some pretty powerful testimonials from, from a number of our members. And I wanted to share one of those today, because I know that some of you that are listening, you might be thinking, okay, what is this Master’s program?

And what is life coaching and all of that? And I want to just share this testimonial from one of our members with you today to kind of give you a little bit of a perspective from, from one of our members who has been with us now for about two months. So here she says, my husband says he’s not walking on eggshells anymore. I started this program in January when I was in a low spot, my youngest of five was 10 months old. And I thought I should have bounced back mentally by this point. But instead I felt I was slipping into depression. I struggled through my days and often felt defeated by the clutter in the house, my to-do list, overeating and social media use. I was faithful with exercise and prayer, but still I felt I wasn’t living the abundant life to which I believe Christ calls me.

I felt guilty about it, but I didn’t know what else to do. This program seemed expensive to me, but it was also cheaper than going on medication. So I decided to give it a try. I’ve been blown away and so incredibly grateful for what I’m learning and now feel that. And I now feel that the $49 a month is a steal learning the life coaching tools has taught me how to master my mind and bring it into line with truth in multiple areas. In multiple areas. I no longer feel defeated. I still have so much to learn, but both my husband and I recognize a significant change in my outlook ability to deal with daily stressors and engage with my family. I maintaining a less cluttered home, losing weight, and I’m confidently engaging in cultural issues for which I used to steer away. I see how key this program has been in the last two months and helping me enjoy my daily life right here and now, and pursue the large recall God has for me.

If you’re on the fence, if you feel stuck in any area of your life, I urge you to try the master’s program. You have only $49 to lose, and it might just change your life like it has changed mine. This is so powerful. I have to tell you the first time I read through this a testimonial, it just brought me to tears and I just stopped and paused and just took time to pray and to, to thank God to praise God, because really years ago, God had placed the stream on our hearts to put this content out into the world and to create this content for Catholic moms, especially, and to actually really step into the stream, to have kind of a vision and to step into it. And then to actually put this content out there and then to start hearing back from women about the ways in which it’s impacting their lives.

It’s so incredibly powerful. And so I just wanted to just share that and to say, if you are on the fence, if you’re thinking, gosh, could this really help me? I’d like to just encourage you to check it out. We have some just great content in there already. You can dive right in. And I guarantee there is going to be tools that you’re going to learn right off the bat that will instantly like so many of our women in our program, or like, Oh my gosh, just these few tools, like shift and change everything. And then from there, from those foundational pieces, you can dive into any aspect of your life that you’re struggling with and start recognizing how powerful our brains are and our thoughts and how our brain works, and actually start learning how to manage your mind around those struggles in a completely new way.

It’s it’s so cool. It’s so crazy. Cool. And I just want it, I just want every Catholic mom to learn this stuff because once we learn it, we can’t learn it. And once we understand this, like we, it really does have an impact. And then that’s where we can then impact our families and our children and others in our lives. So go check it out, madeforgreatness.co C O, and you’ll click on the masters. You can learn all about it. Get a little bit of a, you can see like a test run of the website and all that. That’s super cool. So go check it out. Now, diving into today’s topic. I want to talk all about forgiveness. Oh my goodness. And I can tell you, I’m probably going to do several episodes on this, you know, on our podcasts about forgiveness over the course of the next few months, but I want, I have a story I want to share with you.

This is a really powerful story. And I actually shared a lot with teenagers. And I think that this was one of those moments where God gave me front-row seats. Watch His grace just happened in a powerful way, his grace and his mercy. So this situation happened to me a number of years ago when I was doing youth ministry. And there was as a girl that was in our youth group, really awesome girl. She’d been in our youth group for years. And I think it was maybe her junior or senior year. She started to bring a friend with her to youth group. Her friend was a really sweet girl. She was pretty quiet, pretty shy. And the girl that was in our youth group was pretty like super bubbly and friendly. And her friend just was quiet a little bit reserved. And I just noticed kind of from the beginning, like I could tell even the first time she came, that she seemed pretty hesitant.

And, and I don’t know, I, I wouldn’t she wasn’t rude or anything. Very nice, but just, I could tell that there was some sadness in her life. She just looks a little, she didn’t just smile a lot. She had looked a little bit. Yeah. Sad and horrible back is I kind of learned it a little bit. Her, she was born into a Catholic family, you know, it was baptized, got her first communion, first reconciliation in second grade, like most Catholic children do. But shortly after that, her parents went through a pretty painful divorce and obviously separated, divorced, and her and her brother started going back and forth between the two parents. And at that point they stopped attending Mass. So she has, she had not attended mass all like for all those years. And until her friend started bringing her later on in high school to our youth group, and then she started going to Mass with her friend.

And so I could tell that there was some pain there. I could tell that maybe the family situation wasn’t necessarily great. I could tell that there was a little bit of resentment there. And just in a few little things that she had shared with me, I could tell her there was just some hurt there anyways, to make a long story short. We ended up taking a group of, of our students, that our youth group to a Steubenville conference in San Diego. And these two girls were part of that group. And there was about 25 of our students that we took to that conference that year. And we flew down from Boise, went to the conference. The conference was absolutely amazing. And when we got there, I, myself and my husband, several times, we had talked to our students and we really encourage them all to take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation.

And we told them that there’s going to be all these priests there. It’s a really powerful experience. You can take your time. You don’t have to feel rushed. You get to, you know, we just didn’t really encourage them that they were going to get so much more out of the experience if they took advantage of going to the sacrament of reconciliation. And I told all of them, listen, if it’s been a while for you, or if you’re not quite sure what to do, then don’t worry. Like we can walk you through it. If you have any questions, let me know. I kind of gave him a brief summary of like how to do it. If it’s been a while. And then every, you know, throughout the conference, we would kind of check in with them and, and we’d have small group discussions. And a number of our students actually shared in those small group discussions that how did they, that they did end up going to confession and how powerful it was and, and stuff like that.

To the point that pretty much all of our students went. However, this one girl that came with her friends, she, every time like the topic of reconciliation came up, I could just see her kind of shut down. She would cross her arms. She would look down at the ground and I could just sense that there was something there holding her back. And so on Saturday evening, I pulled her aside and I said to her, are you interested at all in going to confession? I can walk with you over to the, and I can help you if you have any questions. And she actually got pretty defensive. She just looked at me. She said, no, I’m not going to confession. And please don’t ask me to go. I get, so she just kind of responded back pretty harshly. And I tried to like ask her why, but she really closed down and she didn’t want to talk any more about it.

So I kind of just let it go. And then later that night we had adoration, it was super powerful. I remember just praying for her throughout it, that God’s grace would just flood her heart and that whatever this harness was, that seemed to be kind of around her, around, around her heart, around like holding her back, that maybe God would soften that just a little bit. And that night came and went. It was Sunday morning. The next day there was another talk in the morning. And then there was some praise and worship. And then we were going to be going into the closing Mass. So the conference was kind of winding down and coming to an end. And we were sitting there during this last talk. And all of a sudden, as we’re in this big auditorium literally thousands of teenagers in this auditorium listening to this talk.

I feel it a tap on my shoulder and I turn around and it’s this girl. And she looks at me and she says, Lorissa, I want to go to confession. Can you help me? Can you take me to confession? And I was like, I mean, first of all, it was just like, wow, this is where, this is like, this is how cool God is. Like, this blows me away. Like it was the last, the thing I was expecting. But then at this moment I was thinking of it. So I got up out of the chair and I walk over, I get up and walk out with her and she’s really nervous. I can see like her hands shaking and she’s, she’s breathing hard. And she, you know, she’s turning red. I can tell, she looks like she’s about to pass out. I looked at her, I just said, let’s go over to the console where the confessionals are.

And I said to her, I said, but I have to be honest with you. They might not be offering confession right now because all the priests are probably getting ready for Mass. They might be preparing. So I said, we can go try to find a priest, but I just don’t know if we’re going to find one right now. And in this moment I just started praying. I was like, okay, God, seriously, if you will, if you brought this girl to this point where you’ve softened to her heart and you have placed it on her, her to come to the sacrament of reconciliation, I know you can provide a priest for this. Like, I know you’ve got this, but please God, please like, let us find a priest that is willing to hear a confession right now. And so we walk over to where all the confession booths are, and there’s like 50 confession booths.

And yes, like the day before they were all full during the times of confession. But we start walking over to these booths and each one’s like empty, empty, empty, and we’re walking and she’s like super nervous and trying to talk to her and kind of coaching her on what to say. And one of the reasons that she was so scared was that she hadn’t been to confession since her first reconciliation. So it’d been like 10 years. And she like had all this time is she just like, said to me, she’s like, I can’t even remember all my sins. And I was like, of course you can’t. I said, just try to like, what are kind of the big ones and kind of try to talk to her and let her know that she doesn’t have to remember every single one of them, just, just the big ones and that God will help her.

And the priest will help her and God will give her the grace to do this and to make a good confession. And we keep walking, we keep walking and I’m praying like, God, please bring us a priest. Please let us find some priests that can hear her confession. And we keep going. There’s like empty confessional, empty confessional, empty confessional. And then we go to this other, like, we kind of go around this corner and there’s a confessional. And I just peeked my head in. And there he is a priest sitting in this confessional booth, just sitting there reading his Bible and he looks up and I say to him, father, there’s this young woman here. She would like to go to confession. Would that be okay? And he, he just looked, looks up from his Bible. He smiles as he says, absolutely. That’s why I’m here.

Come on in. And he’s just like smiling and joyful and like so full of love. And I say to him, I just kinda, I knew I just to help her. I said, I just want to let you know that she hasn’t been since our first reconciliation. And she’s a little bit nervous. And he smiles at me. He says, and he smiles at her and he’s like, you don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll walk you through this. Everything’s going to be great. And I walk away from the compassion bill. You know, I like walk like 20 feet away. And literally, like, I walked past all the other confession booths. There’s not a single other priest there. Just this one priest sitting there waiting for us. This is how cool God is. Of course, God would do this. Of course, God would orchestrate this. Of course, God would soften her heart in such a way and prepare her for the most perfect time that he would have the most perfect priest right there for her in this moment.

No other, no other priests around no other people around, not long lines of people, just a Holy priest waiting for her. God is so good. So anyways, I kind of walk around now, like at this point, the, the praise and worship band is like leading and they’re like prep doing songs running through songs that they’re about to do for Mass. I could tell like Mass was getting ready to get started and these songs are playing and five minutes goes by and then 10 minutes goes by 15 minutes, goes by 20 minutes, goes by and I’m starting to think to myself. Wow. Like she’s been in there for a long time. And this whole time I’m praying for her and praying for just her to experience the true healing of the sacrament and mass, like the opening song of masters. And I’m kind of like, I’m probably like 50 feet away from where the confessionals are at this point.

And I’m kind of like watching the opening song and all the priests are precessing in. And I start walking back cause I start kind of panicking. Like I thought to myself, well, what if she came out of the confessionals and went the other way? And maybe I missed her. And I started worrying and thinking, okay, well, what if she’s somewhere crying? Or I don’t know. It just seemed like it was taking a really long time. And so I start walking back over by the confessionals and she comes out and she starts walking towards me. And I, I promise you like, it was literally like a movie, like this memory is burned into my brain because I felt like it was like this background music, this beautiful song was playing. And I see her and literally like this girl had the biggest smile on her face.

I have never seen her smile like this, this, like, she was beaming with joy and she starts running towards me and I’m like walking back towards her. And she was running at me and the music’s playing and she looks like a whole new person. And she runs up to me and she’s crying and laughing. And this emotion is like so crazy. She literally jumps into my arms and I’m like holding her in my arms as she’s laughing and sobbing at the same time. Like she’s laughing and sobbing. I’m just holding her in my arms, just her whole, body’s just laughing and sobbing. And she finally, like, she finally lets go of me and I look at her as she’s just totally transformed. And she’s like Lorissa. She starts like stomping on the ground. And she’s like, I don’t even know if I can feel the ground.

Like I she’s like, I feel like I’m, I feel like I’m floating right now. She’s like, I feel like thousands of pounds of weight have just been lifted off of me. And she’s just, just so ecstatic as so happy. And I can’t even believe it. And I’m like, how was it? She was like, it was so amazing. And that priest was so amazing. She’s like I told him everything. I told him all this pain and all this stuff. And ever since my parents divorce and all of the hurt and all that, the pain that I’ve caused and the way I’ve hurt my parents and the way I’ve hurt others. And she just started like saying, Oh, this stuff and telling me she’s like, I just, and then she’s like, and then he told me I’m forgiven and she’s crying. And she’s just like, Oh my gosh.

She said, you told me I would, I was so better, but I had no idea. I feel this good. And we start walking back and again, she’s like just crying and laughing and hugging me. And I was like, seriously in awe, just totally it all. So we go, we go back and we sit down and mass starts and she’s just beaming the whole time. And it was so transformational this moment. And then the conference ended and we went back to our own hotel because we were in California. We decided to stay for a couple of days. We went to the beach and the, an amusement park and spent a couple more days down there. And then on the last night of our time in California we were, I was like going around to all of our, the hotel rooms that our students, that our kids were staying in and saying goodnight to them.

And I went to her room where she was in a room with a couple other girls and I said, goodnight to all of them. And I started to leave and she said, Hey, Lorissa, can I talk to you for a minute? And I said, yes. And so we stepped out into the hallway and she had two pieces of paper in her hand. And she said, would you mind reading these for me? And just telling me what you think of them? And so we sat down together in the hallway, just kind of our backs up against the wall sitting there. And the first piece of paper was a letter to her mom and said, dear mom. And then it was this beautiful letter. And basically it was just this letter telling her mom, I just want to let you know that I am so sorry for all the times that I have hurt you for the times that I’ve been angry at you and resentful.

And for the times that I didn’t want to be close to you. I turned, you know, turned away from you and, and all of this stuff. And it was just this like beautiful apology letter. And then she just said, I’m just coming to you because I would like to start over. I want to have a relationship with you and a friendship with you. And I want you to know how much I love you. And then she signed her name and I was in tears, reading this letter. And then she handed me the other one. And it was a very similar letter to her father. And I looked at her and I said to her, I was like, wow, like this is so powerful. And she said to me, she said, you know, what’s crazy. Lorissa. And I said, what? And she said for the last 10 years, I have never once told you that my parents, that I love them.

And yet those were the last words on this letter. And I looked up to her, I looked up at her and I said to her, I said, what has got you? What brought you to this point that you’ve been able to write this letter? And she said, honestly, it was going to confession the other day. She said, when I came out of that confessional, she said, I felt like a brand new person. And I thought to myself, she said, I spent the whole rest of the day thinking about how powerful it feels to be forgiven. And she said, I brought all my sin. I confessed all of it to God. And he forgave me. And I had this realization that if God can forgive me for all the things that I’ve done, then who am I to not forgive others? And she said, I’ve been so mad at my parents for so long.

And she said in really all these years, they’ve just tried to love me, but I’ve just been so angry. And she said, I think it’s time to really start over. She’s I want a relationship with my parents. I want them to know that I love them. And if God can forgive me that I can forgive them and I can come to them and I can ask for their forgiveness. And literally, as we were sitting in that hallway, I mean, I was choking back the tears. I was thinking, Oh my gosh, like, this is the power of God’s mercy. This is, this is his mercy in real life. Like, this is what it looks like in our lives. When we allow his mercy to envelop our hearts, when, when we come to him and seek his mercy. And then when we receive grace and when we’re able to extend that mercy to others, like this is the power of the sacrament of reconciliation.

This is why the sacrament is a sacrament of healing. It heals us spiritually, but also it heals us in so many other ways that heals relationships, it heals memories. It heals our hearts. It heals our soul. It heals like the world. The world is healed. Like I experienced in this moment. I, I experienced that, this understanding that this relationship that had been broken for so long was in the process of being repaired. And every time that happens, the world becomes a better place. The world becomes healed. And I couldn’t, I couldn’t wait. Like the next day we went home and flew home.

She was so excited to go home. She called me the next day after that. And she said, Lorissa, I can’t wait to tell you what happened. She said, I had got home. And I went to my mom’s house and I gave her the letter and my mom read the letter and she cried and we cried together. And then we talked for four hours about everything and it was so special and it was so beautiful. And then she said, then I got in the car and I drove over, over to my dad’s and I gave him his letter and we cried and we talked and it was so powerful.

And this, my sisters in Christ is what I want to share with all of us today. The power of God’s mercy. And this is why, like, I believe that it is so important for us to forgive. We have pain in our lives. No doubt. We live in a broken world where there is sin. There is pain. We as human beings, we make mistakes. Sometimes we make little mistakes. Sometimes we make really big mistakes, but the beauty of God’s mercy is that there is nothing that is too big, that He cannot forgive and that He will not heal. He wants to bring healing to our lives. He also knows how powerful our brains are and how we can have pain, or maybe someone hurts us from our past. And if we don’t process through that pain, and if we don’t come to a place of really being able to surrender that to God, to let it go, to ask Him for his grace to be able to others, then we just hold onto that pain.

We keep reliving it. We keep allowing, like we can have something that happened to us painfully years ago. And if we don’t process through that, don’t allow healing to if we don’t bring God’s healing to it, then every time we have that memory, we just keep reliving that. And that, even if it’s something that happened years ago, we can relive it in our brain. And our brain will have those like relive that memory. And then we have the exact same emotions as if that painful experience happened to us. Yes. Like, like right now or just yesterday, and then we can just keep reliving it and reliving it and reliving it. And so even though maybe somebody heard us five years ago and they’re not still here. Yes. The memory still is. And so essentially at this point point, then we’re allowing those thoughts and those memories to just keep hurting them.

Yes. But God is like, no, I don’t want you to keep reliving that. I don’t want you to keep, you know, I don’t want you to hurt yourself now by continuing to let, just relive it. And to think those thoughts and over and over and evoke all those emotions. I want to give you the sacrament of reconciliation. I want to give you the sacrament. Of course, grace and ease. And it was like the other sacraments, like the sacrament of the Eucharist, like receiving the Eucharist, like all of that is sacramental grace that we receive. And, and God gives us the strength and the ability to be able to forgive this is why in scripture, when they, when the disciples say, Lord Lord, like how many times are we, are we supposed to forgive like seven times? Like, could you imagine the apostles, the disciples are like, like, do you really, you want us to re-slate forgive like 17, that’s a lie.

And Jesus like, no, no, no, not seven times, like 70 times seven. That’s how many times I want you to forgive. Like, I don’t want you to, or carry the burden and the pain of carrying anger and hatred in your heart. I want to set you free from that. And it starts with, with forgiveness and it starts with seeking forgiveness for our own sins and coming to him and, and like true humility and recognizing like, yeah, I make money steaks. I’ve hurt people, but I can forgive me. Then that gives me the strength and the ability to know that other people are human and other people make mistakes. And my experience has been in my own life, particularly in regards to the people that have hurt me the most, like some pretty painful things that have happened to me in my past. And, and I have thankfully been able to process through and that God has given me the grace to, to truly forgive those people.

But what I have come to understand is that this phrase hurt people, hurt people. And I can clearly see that like the people in my life that that have hurt me, like I can see how much they were hurting in their lives, how much pain and not that it justifies in any way their actions, but it just allows me to, in somewhat of a profound way, have compassion and to really be able to turn to God and to say, God, I don’t know how you’re going to sort this out. And I don’t necessarily feel like I need to be friends or be close to these individuals. But I do know that I desire for them. I desire healing for them in their lives. And I, I desire your mercy to flood their hearts. And I also do not want to carry the burden of anything, anything negative about them, because ultimately when we hold on to unforgiveness in our hearts, we’re just hurting ourselves.

It’s just causing us that pain. And so my sisters in Christ, this is just a story that I wanted to share with you today of the power of God’s mercy and how how much he longs to set us free. But us run to confession. Let us never stop even, you know, whether it’s the big sins that we’re just like, Oh my gosh, like God kit, is it even possible? You can forgive me for this. The answer is yes, yes. A million times over, yes. Let us run to him. And I would like to just also, I mean, here we are in the middle of lent just to encourage all of us that if there is maybe something painful in our past that, that we are still like, ha maybe haven’t completely processed through the pain or are holding onto anger or resentment, or even the thought like it wasn’t fair.

What happened to me or that should never happen to me. Like even just holding onto those thoughts can really keep us like, hold us back from truly experiencing the surge, like the ability to just surrender of it to God, just like all of it. Because when we still hold on to those types of thoughts, we’re not really letting them go. We’re not really processing through. We’re not really allowing full and total forgiveness to penetrate into our hearts. And so my sisters in Christ please know that I am praying for you. And that I know that God desires freedom for all of us, that he desires healing for all of us in our lives.

And may we ask St. Joseph whose feast day is coming up this week to please intercede on our behalf and that through the power of his prayers, we might truly experience the fullness of God’s mercy in our lives and the fullness of the grace that he wants to bestow on us to live lives of holiness lives of forgiveness and lives of greatness. Because remember, mama, we are not made for comfort, but we are made for greatness. May you have a truly blessed week? And if you haven’t already come check out our Master’s program, go to madeforgreatness.co we hope to see you there. God bless.