A pastor from Madisonville, Tennessee, is hoping to help others by sharing his incredibly personal story of overcoming the odds and forgiving the man who he says raped him more than 52 times during his childhood.
Morgan Clough, pastor of Outreach Across America Worship Center, recently released a new book titled, “Renegade Preacher: From Rape to Recovery” — a book that explains how he followed God and found freedom after coping with the horrific situation.
“For me, I had to forgive the man who raped me 52 times and that was almost insurmountable,” Clough told WATE-TV. “How do you forgive somebody that does that? But, it was only in that forgiveness process that I found my freedom.”
Clough said that, after surviving rape, he turned to drugs and alcohol before finding God.
Eventually, he decided to sit down and write his life story as a way to find personal healing. While he initially had no plans to publish it, that soon changed after his sister convinced him that doing so would benefit others.
“My sister put it to me this way: there is a story in the Bible about a little boy who had lunch and he gave up his lunch to feed 20,000 people,” Clough told the outlet. “My sister looked at me and said ‘that’s your lunch, go feed some other people.'”
In the end, Clough is hoping to inspire others to look beyond their own personal struggles with drugs, alcohol and other life issues and to turn to God for strength.
Rather than placing the focus of peoples’ addictions or other afflictions, he said there’s something deeper that must be considered.
“The problem is we have a root cause issue deep inside of us that causes us to self-medicate,” he said, noting that he hopes the book helps people process their pain. “I hope that somebody takes away from it that the alcohol or the drug abuse is not the problem. Look to God for the real answer for healing.”