Leigh – 2018 Graduate
Before I was born, my mother was in an unhealthy relationship where she endured abuse and threats to her life. She came out of that relationship very self-sufficient, but I felt like I could never mess up because of that. I felt like I had to measure up to what I thought was her expectation of perfection. Due to my mom being a single parent, I set aside my dreams and took on a lot of responsibility. In middle school, I was bullied for the color of my skin and for being overweight. I based my identity on what others labeled me as, and I became depressed. Freshman year my friend took her own life, and I blamed myself, which led me into a further depression. I began self-harming and tried to take my own life. When all of that failed to cover up my real emotions, I wore make up and revealing clothes and began seeking unhealthy friendships. The patterns of destruction continued when I got involved with drugs, which only led to further numbness and feeling alone. Later I entered into an unhealthy relationship, and I ended up having an abortion. I moved back home and knew it was time for a change.
I heard about Mercy three years ago from another Mercy graduate. I chose to apply because I knew I wanted something different for myself and my family. Walking into the doors of Mercy, I was filled with self-hate, anger and insecurity, but I was ready to find out who I was.
One big turning point happened when a team came to the home and prayed over me. God revealed to me how I was going to break the generational curse of poverty that has been on my family and how I was going to be able to help others who have been caught in the same situation as me. I want to be an intercessor for the oppressed and stand in the gap for those who are treated with injustice. I want to be an example for my family and lead others into freedom.
I came to Mercy believing lies about myself and my future, but lining my thoughts with God’s truth helped me through my healing process. God has showed me the difference between religion and the relationship that He truly desires to have with me. When I experienced the love of God, He taught me how to regain appropriate trust in people. I learned that I didn’t have to take anything out on myself because His grace is sufficient. I don’t have to be perfect. Finding out who I am in Christ helped me form healthy relationships. I no longer need to be accepted by everyone else because God accepts me for who I am. I now see how important it is for me to love myself before I can love the ones around me and most importantly receive the love God has for me.
After Mercy, I plan to go home to reconnect with my family and build a community in church. I will continue to further my education, and one day I plan to become a neonatal nurse. To the Mercy donors, thank you so much for donating and supporting me while being here at Mercy!