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The 700 Club

Hearing the Message, Seeing the Truth

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Randy Rudder - 700 Club Producer

“My mother and father were both on drugs. Me and my sister came home from wherever we were that day, and walked in the house and there was nothing in it,” recalls Nathan. “She had sold everything at just a garage sale one day, and sold my father’s guitar that he owned, and sold our clothes and sold our appliances and things like that. She had sold everything for drug money.”

Nathan Sheridan grew up in a trailer park in the panhandle of Florida.  “It was definitely in a bad side of town. I remember it just being a very dirty place--definitely a place where you didn’t want to live.”

The same night she sold their possessions, Nathan’s mother made a phone call. “They called my grandparents and said, ‘Come get the kids, or we’re dropping them off at the police station,” Nathan says.

Although life in his grandparents’ home was more stable, Nathan’s resentment toward his parents simmered. “It definitely affected me knowing that, as I was growing up, that that’s how my mother and father treated me. As I got more mature, and I started realizing how severe that actually was, it started to make me pretty angry.”

The pain of rejection was compounded by devastating news about his sister, Sarah. “It was about a year or two after, she fell ill with terminal brain cancer, and that cancer was basically, Stage 4,” Nathan remembers. “There was nothing that could be done about it. It was just an awful time for our family.”

Sarah eventually died and Nathan’s anger morphed into rebellion. “It was definitely something that sparked that in me, you know, that rebellious stage that I had,” Nathan adds. “It was due to a lot of what my parents had done and how they weren’t in my life, and I think I was angry about that even if I didn’t want to really admit it. I didn’t want to let those outside things affect me, but really they did.”

Nathan never turned to drugs or alcohol, but lost interest in school and balked at his grandparent’s faith. “My grandparents, they raised me in a very Christian household and I would just disobey and not do my work in school, and get in trouble in class and stuff like that,” he says. “I always questioned my purpose a lot, what God’s purpose for me was--why things went the way they did. What good could come out of that situation?”

when he was a teenager, Nathan saw a play that changed his life. “I went to a play called Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames,” he says. “It was just a random night really. I didn’t plan on going to it. It was a youth group event. And of course, my grandparents made me go every Wednesday to church. It was a play that was very well done. I went there, and they just showed me the truth, because in the play, it would show good people who had done good things in life, but they would end up going to hell because they never accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. And I saw myself in those people. And it hit home for me: ‘Wow it really is about accepting Jesus as Savior.’ I had heard this message over and over but seeing it played out before your eyes, and seeing there really is two choices in life. So that night I just had to make that decision. I didn’t want to leave there without making that decision.”  

That night, Nathan prayed to receive Christ. “I knew that I wanted something different for my life. I knew I wanted to be close to God, and I wanted to go to heaven,” he says. “Right after the play, they did an altar call and I was super shy and I was super withdrawn, and against everything in me, I just went up front and I did it, and I prayed with somebody for salvation. For me, I still had to grow. I still was going through some rebellion and stuff like that, but I think it definitely brought some healing to my life for sure, and it was something that I could find peace in.”     

Soon after that, Nathan learned to pay guitar and began writing songs. “I was really starting to fall in love with music at this point. I kind of discovered a dream for music but I never quite believed that I could actually do music full time.”

He moved to Nashville to pursue his music career, and doors began opening right away. “It's definitely a God thing. I call it divine orchestration,” he says. “It was just something that I could not have done myself.”

Today, Nathan is married to Harley, and recently released his first CD, Broken With You.
“Finally putting the words down to the paper and really describing how I felt in the past was a way of letting things go,” he says.  

Nathan has forgiven his parents, and is eager to use his music and his life to draw people to Christ. “I don’t have any ill will or any unforgiveness towards them. I'm past that, you know. I have Jesus in my life. I have my wife and I have my career and I have my grandparents, and you know, I’m fine with that,” he says. “I just wanted to use that story as a way to tell other people, that hey, it doesn’t matter where you’ve been, where you’re going, where you are at right now. God is with you through the entire thing, and He’s never left your side.”

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