Heather never knew her father, and the effects sent dangerous ripples through her life. After a fatal accident, Heather needed to find wholeness.
- [Narrator] Heather Heck wasraised by a single mother.
When she was 12 years old,
Heather found out who her father was.
Even though he was never around,
Heather longed to know him.
- Although I had a really loving family,
there was a piece of me that was missing.
You know, I wanted to know who my dad was.
I wanted to have a relationship with him.
I remember being a kidand watching other fathers
interact with their daughters
and it was something thatI always wanted for myself.
- [Narrator] Several years later,
Heather finally got achance to meet her father.
- I was 18 years old, very excited
that this man wanted toattempt to have a relationship
with me and so when I knocked on the door,
an aunt answered the door and looked at me
and said, "This isn't a good time."
And about that time, I sawmy father walk behind her
through the hall, look atme, and continue to walk by
and for whatever reason,he didn't want to see me
and after that night, I stopped trying.
And it began to spiral,all of these feelings
that I had bottled up for years.
Just feeling like I wasn't good enough,
that I wasn't worthy to be loved,
this feeling of being rejected.
And for me it was really the turning point
in my own lifestyle, from that point,
I didn't want to feel anything
and I really turned to drugs and alcohol
after that point just to be numb.
- [Narrator] Heather hadgrown up in the church
and learned about God's love for her,
but her drug and alcoholabuse had blinded her
to what she knew to be true.
- So I didn't have to deal with the hurt
or the brokenness or even dealwith all of these emotions
about my father, just feeling inadequate.
I liked the way that drugsand alcohol made me feel
because I didn't have to feel anything.
- [Narrator] Heather gotpregnant and had a son, Jonah.
Even though she was a single mom,
her lifestyle still revolvedaround drugs and alcohol.
One night after smokingpot and excessive drinking,
Heather was riding ina car with her friend.
The driver, also drinking,crashed into another car,
killing those two people instantly.
Heather was charged with DUI by allowance.
- And I remember theinvestigator looks at me
and he says, "Do you have any idea
"what happened here tonight?"
And I said "no" and he tookthe couple that passed away,
he took their driver's licenseand he threw them at me
across the table and he said,
"You murdered these two people."
And that's really when theweight of, the full weight
of what the reality of what had happened,
that's when it hit me andI remember looking down
at this couple's face that I'll never know
and knowing that becauseof me and my actions,
they weren't going hometo see their family.
- [Narrator] The accident threw Heather
into a deep depression.
- I had the audacity to be angry at God
throughout all of itbecause I was angry at him
because he took them and he left me.
And I knew I didn't deserve to live.
- [Narrator] A week later, Heather's mom
asked her to go to church with her.
Heather agreed to go.
- I think that in that moment, I finally
heard the Gospel withmy heart and not my head
and I realized that theweight that I was carrying
was this weight of sin, but you see,
Jesus had come to take thatweight so I could be free.
I walked down to the altarand it was, I was a mess.
And a woman at the front, she stepped out
and met me and brought me back with her
and helped me walk the rest of the way.
That day for the first time in my life,
it was as if I finally got it.
That God loved me with this unending,
never failing, all-consuming love.
No matter how hard I tried torun from him, he pursued me.
He never gave up and reallystarted thinking about
what kind of love would goto those kind of lengths
and then it dawned on me the kind of love
that would die on a cross.
- [Narrator] Heather askedJesus into her heart that day.
Women from the church loved her
and taught her what itmeant to be a Christian.
- I had a woman who was patient with me
and she just began to walk with me
and break things down likerepentance and baptism
and little by little,God was shifting things
and I was changing andI didn't even realize
that he was doing it 'causeit wasn't that I had to try
or strive, just the morethat we got in the Word,
the more he just began to renew me.
- [Narrator] A year after the deadly DUI,
the case finally went to trial.
Heather pled guilty to felony charges
and had to serve one year in prison.
- We began a Bible study there in this
maximum security facility every day
and we grew to almost 30 women
and the entire atmosphere inthat place began to shift.
We saw signs and wonders and miracles
and I saw as one by one these women
began to give their lives to Jesus.
- [Narrator] Heather alsolearned to forgive her father,
who had passed away years before.
- Forgiveness is a hard thing because
it wasn't letting him off the hook.
That it was just really kindof taking back the power.
It was a really healingmoment and the truth is
unless we forgive them,then how can God forgive us?
And who are we to holdanything against anyone?
- [Narrator] Heather neverknew her earthly father,
but her heavenly fatherwas there all along.
- Every little girl wants a hero.
A knight in shining armorthat will rescue her
and it's the beauty of God, you know,
when you begin to understandthe father heart of God
and really, you know, he isthe father to the fatherless.
And he heals all things, all wounds,
and he fills every bit ofemptiness with his love.
- [Narrator] Today, Heather works for
a campus ministry called Every Nation.
She says the leaders of tomorrow are
on the college campuses of today.
Heather loves to sharethe Gospel of Christ
with students wheneverand wherever she can.
- My spiritual journey has been more
of just really the story of restoration.
You know, I know that many times we think
about the cross, we justthink about salvation,
but you see the thing is the cross
doesn't just bring salvation.
It brings restoration andlooking back at my life
and the mess that was there, the one thing
that sums up what Jesus has done
is he has restoredeverything that was broken.