Nathan Is Rebuilding His Life After Years Of Loneliness

Jul 23, 2018

Forgiveness and humility. Those are two virtues Nathan is holding close during his time at the mission. “All alcoholics try to find something to blame their problem on, and I had some pretty good reasons, but that’s not right,” he said. “It’s just time to start being a man of God.”

One obstacle for Nathan was forgiving the three gang members who murdered his mother. “When I was 19, my mother was walking home from the grocery store,” he said. “Two girls jumped out of car and started beating her. The guy who was driving got out and kicked her right in the face and broke her neck. She was there for three or four hours before the ambulance showed up.

“For a while I had a lot of hostility. I had thought I had forgiven him, but I still held myself in bondage until Jesus came and broke that chain. I still miss her, but I know where she’s at.”

Nathan has also struggled with some serious major health issues, including the discovery of a grapefruit-sized brain tumor in 2007. Doctors told him he had just an 11 percent chance of surviving. “Twenty minutes before the surgery, I just started praying. A preacher walked by and stopped dead in his tracks. He came and asked if I’d like him to pray for me, and I said, ‘I want to give my heart and soul to the Lord.’”

After an 11-hour surgery, Nathan woke up in great condition and went on to spend three months in a recovery facility. “I saw so many people going through stuff so much worse than me,” Nathan said. “My time was a walk in the park—twice a day I’d get 11 minutes of radiation, that’s it.”

In an effort to give back, Nathan, who boasted years of restaurant experience, started preparing meals every Wednesday. “The way Jesus works in my heart leaves me in awe,” he said. “For him to give me the ability to change someone’s frown when they take a bite of what I cook … it means so much to me.”

When Nathan left, he started becoming lonely and depressed. He wasn’t able to continue working in kitchens because of the stress level and the heat. “It just really started to affect me,” Nathan said. “I started drinking more. That was the biggest crutch I could rely on. Just run away from reality and responsibility and pain. People started looking at me like I was going to die.”

When Nathan entered the mission, humility started to take hold. “A lot of people are afraid to swallow humility,” Nathan said. “But it went down as smooth as a milkshake with me. I understand why I’m here and my eyes are wide open.”


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