Sarah – 2018 Graduate
I was raised in a dysfunctional home filled with darkness and sickness. My father has Asperger’s and was unable to express love the way I needed it. From the time I was in elementary school, I felt overlooked and like a burden, and I began to wish I was dead. I struggled for the next 15 years to make sense of the world and why I was alive. I had many experiences that led me to believe life was cruel and pointless. For example, a doctor abused me while I was in a psychiatric hospital. This began a pattern of men using me sexually and then discarding me. When I came forward about the abuse to my pastors at church, they did not believe me and labeled me as a liar. I felt I had nothing to offer the world. I saw no point in living and made several suicide attempts on my life throughout my teens and twenties, but they never worked. I carried so much grief, brokenness and self-hatred that it often felt impossible to breathe. I lied all the time to keep people from seeing the darkness I was wading in.
After my final failed attempt at suicide, I met with a friend who was able to see that I was a scared girl who needed to discover how loved I was by my Creator. She told me about Mercy Multiplied. I had tried counseling, doing good things, going to church, and just doing whatever I wanted to silence the deafening void in my heart. But none of that worked. So I went home and immediately applied to Mercy. I just knew something was going to be different with this place.
A huge turning point for me at Mercy was learning that I had total authority in the name of Jesus. When dark thoughts come into my mind, I need to bring them into the light because darkness has to flee in the presence of light. I began to take ownership over my life. I knew no one else could give me a healthy mind—I had to fight for it. God developed a tenacity and drive inside of me for freedom that I never knew was possible. God has taught me how to really smile for the first time, and I have learned that He is all around me if I just pay attention. He has become the peace in my soul that I once thought was only attainable through death. He is my reason for living, and I feel Him in every breath. He literally raised me from the dead.
After I graduate from Mercy I plan to go home, begin working, find a new church, and get rooted in new community. God has put the call on my heart to teach. I’m not 100 percent sure what that looks like yet, but I’m excited to find out! He has also given me a strong passion for revival in the church and a vision to bring revival to my community through the revival He did in my spirit.
I will be so thankful for each of the Mercy donors for the rest of my life. Thank you all so much for making my victory over darkness possible! I would not be here today without you believing in me and the faith you have in God, knowing that He can take the super dark, heavy, ugly things and make them so beautiful!