Gianna – 2018 Graduate
My mother and father adopted me at birth. I entered into what I thought was a good home but it turns out that it was not all that it seemed. My parents divorced and I thought it was all my fault. I tried for years to get them back together but that didn’t work. At 5 years old my father physically, mentally, verbally and sexually abused me. My life was filled with pain and suffering. This led me down a path of self-hate. My mother tried to help me but had no idea how to help me. This led me to many psychologists, psychiatrists and multiple mental hospital visits. Year after year, I was struggling even more and I couldn’t get the help I needed. I went through sexual abuse, addictions, various drugs, promiscuity and abuse. Being abused by my father left a huge hole in my chest that I continued to try to fill anyway that I could; I tried to fill it with pornography, boys and drugs. I was in a very abusive relationship that led to me being hospitalized during the next year.
I was out of options but I knew I needed help. I tried applying to many places but they were not willing to take me while I was still on medications. One place recommended that I look at Mercy. I started the application that night. Getting everything together was the hardest part and I thought I was not going to be able to come, but God was with me through it all. I had abandoned God years ago because I thought God had abandoned me, and the thought of asking Him back into my life scared me half to death. But here at Mercy I learned no matter how far away I was God came and found me. I entered Mercy broken and very angry, disliking all authority. I learned that my old ways of thinking and acting were not acceptable. Many people on the staff challenged me to see that God didn’t let the bad things happen to me. They just happened outside of His will, but He was there through it all.
In Renewing the Mind, I was given the choice to stick with the same pattern of living or choose a different path. I found out that when I used scripture to battle the lies that the enemy had told me, I was able to break the chains that bound me. Choosing to Forgive was one of the hardest modules for me to complete. It challenged me to let go of the past and embrace my future. I was finally able to forgive my father for everything I had suffered. It was a struggle but I was finally able to hear God speak to me. He actually speaks to me through my inner voice. It was amazing to hear God. I doubted it at first but I came to rely on His voice for my day-to-day struggles. I was never able to see God as a Father because my earthly father was horrible, but He is my Abba! I learned that I am free and that I cannot be held down anymore from my past. My relationship with God has become close.
After Mercy, my plans are to stay by family, get a full-time job and pursue a teaching degree. Thank you to everyone who provides support for this ministry.