Nige Burr's father was a womaniser, had a violent temper and didn't like working. This wrecked any chances of Nige having what would be considered a 'normal' upbringing.
"At the heart of every abuser a coward is revealed," says Nige. "Every kick, punch, slap or grabbing of my throat moulded me."
With years of sexual abuse and secret callous bullying from his uncle, early life for Nige was far from sweet, and it didn't turn any sweeter when he was placed in secondary school.
As a state housing lad, he stood out among the sons of business men. "I arrived with my free school uniform and meal tickets and they arrived in Mercedes and Jaguars, I couldn't stand the place," Nige admits
His home life was no better with his father constantly yelling and abusing him and his siblings. "The more my father yelled, the less I cared about life, which spilled into my schooling life with me failing classes and getting into fights most of which I didn't win, but that didn't bother me. Hitting and being hit seemed to dull my inner ache," says Nige.
During this time he started to feel more and more like a lost soul with no identity. He began to fantasise about being adopted and that one day everything would be over and that he would finally feel peace.
"It was a happy and sad day when Dad left home. The last time we saw our father he was carrying his boxes out of our house. I swore I would never shed a tear for anyone again, and I didn't for years."
Throwing himself into his martial arts training, Nige made a pact with his brother: That one day they would kill their dad. "I'm not proud of it but that was the way it was," Nige confesses.
He then turned to alcohol as a way of escaping his situation and pain, whilst attempting to exist for the moment and not worry about tomorrow.
After failing both his Maths and English exams, Nige struggled with finding work and finding something to do with his life. This all changed when his mother marched him into the local College and said that there was nothing she could do about him.
After taking an engineering paper and getting 98% Nige was accepted into a Motor Trade Engineering, Management and Law course. However, his mother, sick of his bad attitude, shipped him off to go live with his Nan who was a Christian.
gamble on”Nige started to notice the difference within his Nan when, after treating her disgracefully, he was never yelled at. He concluded that there was either something wrong with her or something very different about her.
He then saw a billboard advertising Pastor Billy Graham speaking in Sheffield and whenever he saw it he felt a wave of peace wash over him, that he described as hitting him like a wrecking ball.
Considering Nige was planning to end his life through substance abuse, he thought that seeing Billy Graham wouldn't make that much of a difference, since he was going to die anyway. Little did he know that after that weekend he would never be the same again.
"At the meeting Billy Graham described clearly about God becoming a man called Jesus. That Jesus died on a cross in our place, rose from the dead and was still alive today transforming men and women. Against the battles going on within me, I knew, standing there on the pitch I had to repent (decide to leave my old ways). Jesus gave me a new life in exchange for my old life."
On that night Nige confessed his sins to God and as a result he was changed into a new man. "I was completely transformed. The inner pain disappeared, my turmoil was switched off, my guilt lifted away, and the evil fear I was experiencing, was taken away. I felt unnervingly light, free from anguish; I was given purpose. The desire to kill my dad was permanently transformed into wanting to hug him."
Nige felt forgiven for all his sins and that "God had ripped up my * old life and had passed me a blank sheet of paper representing my new life, on which I could start to write a whole new book."
His life was transformed for the better and continues to improve. From leaving school with no qualifications, to exiting the Motor Trade Engineering, Management and Law course with scores that catapulted him into the top 10 graduates in the UK. Nige feels that his life has been given a purpose through God.
"I cannot say I fully understood what happened, but I can say the change was genuine, deep and permanent. I knew I was loved, had worth and could start life all over again. God gave me a new life in exchange for the old life, a life to last," Nige gratefully acknowledges.
He can happily confirm "this Christian life was worth taking a gamble on. God was and is always with me and I know He isn't leaving me."•