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Orion's Story



Orion Moreland's Story-From Chains to Freedom.

Orion's heart is to share her story with Vertical Church with the hope of encouraging many and testifying to the power and grace of JESUS at work in her life!

"I'm originally from Washington state. I grew up with a religious background to a single mom who was loving, but also used the Bible as an excuse for abuse and unkind behaviors. As a result, I've experienced immense childhood trauma.

In 2019, I interned at a mega church in Washington. I suffered severe church trauma, finding out my youth pastor I worked under sexually assaulted my friend.

Over 3 years ago, I started smoking weed after my boyfriend coerced me out of my virginity and became abusive. I packed up all my stuff and went back home-which was just as physically and emotionally tumultuous as the last time I was there.

I experienced some significant trauma for the last time on my 21st birthday.

Something changed and I knew I wanted to get out, but I couldn't, so I just abused weed to not feel anything.

During the summer of 2022, my mom drove me across the country to a tiny village in rural Wisconsin to work on a sustainable agriculture farm. It was the best thing ever, so much hard work and so many beautiful lessons learned.

However, I was still surrounded by liberal ideologies and fell further into thinking I was bisexual. It was so easy to fall into different types of sexual sin due to labels placed upon me since childhood and because of the hyper sexualization by peers, sexual harassment, and assaults.

I had been running from God out of such extreme hurt, but on the night of January 31st that changed.

I was drunk, started crying, put on worship music, fell to my knees, and started praying for the first time in over 3 years.

I started asking God to meet me there in my living room, telling Him I was done with myself. So I started googling churches, and I found Vertical Church.

I listened to a sermon on Spotify, I read the doctrine, and checked out the Instagram page, but I didn't know anyone, so I went to the staff page.

Wondering who I could email, I found Lauren Whalen (she seemed most my speed and also had a septum piercing) and I sent her a brief synopsis of my past and told her that I'd be at the 11AM that following Sunday, February 4th.

She emailed back and I was in shock, what?! I sent in a prayer request and was met with an encouraging email by Pastor Garrett.

I thought to myself, "what?!? They actually care???" This isn't just for show?!

I knew I was making the right decision. I showed up to Vertical and saw Pastor Chris get down on one knee to pray for the congregation.

So, once again I thought:

"What?!?! He's actually kneeling before God?!?"

"He's not doing this for his own glory?! He's not trying to call attention to himself?!?"

"He's exalting Him right before my eyes?!"

The message was wonderful, but what was truly life changing was a brother in Christ came up to me after service, asked about me, and invited me to a Bible study group.

On February 25th I gave it ALL over to God, and the next morning I woke up feeling like a new person.

I am now sober, and off of my depression, OCD, and anxiety meds.

God has blessed me!! I work full-time as an assistant teacher at the YMCA with 2-3 year olds and I'll be starting school this fall completely online to get my AS in Early Childhood Education and Special Education, because I believe God is calling me to do something great for His namesake.

God has freed me, He has forgiven me, and washed away all my iniquities, the least I can do is show that same forgiveness to the people in my life.

I have forgiven all those who have hurt me and feel no hatred nor animosity towards anyone. He gave me an empathy and understanding that surpasses all worldly knowledge.

Because of Jesus…

I was able to reconcile with my mom and thank her for laying down the foundation of Christ before me.

I was able to reach out to my ex fiancé and wish him well for the beautiful family he has created with his wife.

For who am I to hold judgment over another within the body? For who am I to not forgive when I was forgiven, and continue to be forgiven day by day!

I realized God was not hurting me, but people in His house were. I very mistakenly confused people with God and almost lost my life to a bruised ego, church hurt, and a life of sin.

You can love the world and lose your soul, or love the Father and gain everlasting life.

I chose the latter, and truly gained the best gift of all, everlasting life through Him."

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:20

Have a story of God at work in your life? Let the body of Christ know!

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
Psalm 66:16

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Vertical Church St. Paul
55 Victoria Street North
St. Paul, MN 55102

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