700 Club interview
Jesse Finds Acceptance in Christ
By Mia Evans-Saracual
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“My choice of drug and addiction was cutting.” Jesse reveals. “By hurting myself I felt I deserved it. I was punishing myself because I hated myself, because everyone else hated me. That's the way I took it.”
Jesse Morales lived in a secret prison of self-injury. Growing up, he often escaped to his closet. “It was a very dark world, and it was very sad.” Jesse remembers. “I was always crying, but that was my place where I wouldn’t get yelled at. I wouldn’t mess up. My mom would really say hurtful things to me, and in Spanish they sound worse. So it really put a really big fear in me and it really hurt hard because words hurt deep.”
A troubled relationship with his father left even deeper scars. “As a young person, when you feel like you're not loved by your father because he's not giving you that attention, to you life seems worthless. You feel of less value. I felt like a failure. I felt like an embarrassment, and a burden to my parents.”
The rejection bred feelings of intense anger. Soon Jesse became his own worst enemy. “I was like a soda bottle shaken, with no release.” Jesse describes. “You just had a lid on. I had nowhere to explode. So for me, it was mainly where I reached boiling point is where I would have to cut myself. Things that triggered me to cut myself were my anger, when I would do something wrong, when I would be rejected or made fun of. As a self-injurer, I lied a lot. I manipulated people because I didn't want them to know what I was doing.”
He also hid his addiction to alcohol. Over time, he found new ways to punish himself. “I started punching myself, and I could cover those up easy by saying I got in fights, or I tripped, or I hurt myself in PE.” Jesse recalls. “I would just punch myself and I would beat myself with anything: with my hands, with golf clubs, with chains or a baseball bat. It wasn't comfortable because I was walking in pain all the time, but that pain is what got me through the other pain. It was just one pain covering up another pain.”
By his senior year, Jesse feared his self-inflicted violence would explode on someone else. “I got to the point where I realized if I continued living the life I was living and behaving the way I was, I was going to end up killing somebody and being in prison for life, or I was going to end up killing myself. So I got to the point where I needed to do something different.”
One weekend, his parents’ pastor asked him to drive some teenagers to a youth convention. “There were 3,000 kids – teenagers – in there praising God and crying, and that did something to me.” Jesse shares. “That was the first time I felt the presence of God, and I can still remember it man. It was like a wave just hit me, but it didn't take me all the way down. It was just enough to give me a little taste.”
He searched the Bible to find out more about God. “I was in my bedroom and I'm like, ‘If this God is real, I'm not going to know unless I give Him a try.’ I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I asked Him to forgive me of my sins, and I just put my trust in Him from there. I said 'Lord take my life, I surrender it to You because I can't do it on my own. I tried and I couldn’t.’ It felt like He was over me, and He was maybe putting a blanket or something over me, covering me and just hugging me. I felt good, and for once in my life I felt like, ‘I'm not going to do this on my own. God is going to take this away. God is going to get me to the path that I need to go.'”
Jesse made Christian friends at his new church. “He brought people into my life that were there to love on me and to help me,” Jesse remembers.
He says Jesus healed all of his addictions. “I made it a habit to pray. Instead of getting down on the ground and cutting myself like I normally would, I would get on my knees and pray. I finally had an identity and I identified myself with Christ, because I knew who Christ was. I knew He created me, I knew that I'm in His image, I knew that He valued me and I'm important to Him. So I no longer defined myself by what the world thought of me, I no longer defined myself by what my parents or the past defined me—because I was defining myself by my past. My future was Jesus Christ so I defined myself by Him.”
Jesse made the choice to forgive his parents before they passed away. “The key to healing is forgiveness.” Jesse says. “Not only did God give me the strength and power to forgive my parents, but He gave me the power and strength to forgive myself.”
Jesse met the love of his life in 1995. Together he and his wife, Tammy, are raising a daughter, Trinity. Jesse has a growing passion to minister to young people who struggle with self-injury. “God is a God of miracles and a God of power and He'll change you.” Jesse shares. “It doesn't matter what you've done. Don't hold back. His hand is reaching out there. Take it. Take it because He will take your hand and He will take you down that road of restoration and healing.”
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