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Jenna – 2018 Graduate

I was born in Russia and placed in an adoption center before I was a year old. This caused me to lose the attention, love and care that a child needs in the early stages of development in their life. I grew up unwilling to trust people and went against authority. I was impulsive with a lot of bad behaviors. I lacked self-control and I was defiant against my parents or any role of authority. I grew up feeling really insecure about myself and the way I looked. I was made fun of a lot about the way I looked, which made me believe a lie that I wasn’t good enough. This caused me to turn to self-harm, anorexia and bulimia, same-sex relationships, unsafe relationships with guys and isolation for comfort. This led me to think if I just stopped trying to do things altogether, I couldn’t fail or hurt anyone, including myself. I went through a lot of anxiety and stages of depression because I saw no future for myself. I saw no worth in who I was, and I hated myself.

I found out about Mercy after having a talk with my mom one night when I poured out my heart and apologized for a lot of things that I did, and terrible decisions that I had made. I really wanted to be homeschooled and get out of the environment I had been in at school. I wanted to get away from the influence but as Nancy said, “If you don’t deal with your issues, they will deal with you”, this quote stuck with me throughout my whole process. My mom told me that she and my dad had been looking for some way to help me; a place I could go where I was influenced and taught from a faith-based biblical perspective. She told me that she found a place called Mercy. When she told me about it I watched the online virtual tour of the one of the homes. I knew that this was the place that would change my life and that I needed to go. I filled out the application with my mom and I was accepted into the program. My life has never been the same since I walked through the doors of Mercy. The beginning was hard. I was really broken and confused in my heart, but I learned that the Lord is the ultimate Healer. He covers every single wrong by His love. The phrase “transforming lives” is very true when directed towards Mercy Multiplied. This program does just what it set out to do from the beginning!

I had a turning point during Christmas break when I went home. I set out to show my family and others everything that I learned, but instead I realized that I still had a lot to work on. I had to learn how to surrender to God, so coming back after break I was able to start fresh. I chose to admit that I was not ready to graduate, and I invited the Lord in even more to be the healer and way-maker in my process. That’s when things shifted, and when I experienced true healing. I was honest with myself, others and with the Lord. Now, relationships with my family are restored and I have gained so much more wisdom and trust in the Lord within my decisions! God has been my rock ever since I came into the program, unchanging and unconditionally full of love for me. God has healed my heart. He’s revealed to me that through every place in my life where I thought I was completely alone and unloved that He was there, and He was my protector through every single storm. The Lord revealed to me that He is faithful, and every promise He’s made with me and for me will be fulfilled in His perfect timing. I don’t have to worry but just trust in Him. I’ve learned to be still with the Lord and listen to His voice. I trust that He had my process, He had my family, He had my future, and He was already working on making things better, fulfilling my hearts deepest desires that followed His will for my life.

The Lord showed me that He is steadfast. My whole life I let others take responsibility for me. I depended on others to fix things and be my “bandage,” covering my wounds, which was really unhealthy and one major reason why I came here. God sent me here to be alone with me and to learn that He is who I need to run to. I was able to find some really amazing alone times with the Lord where He revealed incredible things to me, and when a staff member was telling me about how I was here at Mercy to be alone with the Lord, that really moved me because it all made sense. Every time I thought I was facing rejection because things weren’t going as I’d planned, the Lord invited me to be with Him. This is where I saw things change, when I chose to have moments where I escaped with the Lord, alone in His faithfulness and in His goodness. This perspective changed my life, and I was able to hear it exactly when I needed to so then I could reflect back on all the times where this stood true in my process.

My plans after Mercy are to go to college and major in psychology and business. I can start in the fall since through the program I was able to finish my entire senior year. I plan to apply for a job, work really hard, stay connected to Mercy and enter into the next stage of life with all the tools I was equipped with at Mercy. After I get my associates degree in psychology I plan to go to a four-year university and get my masters. I plan to find safe people and be a safe person to others and form long-lasting friendships, spend a lot of time with my family, and go on mission trips. I plan to go to Cambodia one day and help the women there who are struggling, and work with an organization to bring change to their lives and teach them about the Lord. I want to make an impact just like Mercy did in my life! Thank you.

Thank you so much for supporting such a wonderful cause for young women who are hurting. Everything you give whether it be time, money, items or encouraging words, it all makes the difference in each and every one of our lives. Personally, here at Mercy, I was able to go to so many events and have more than I’d ever been able to. I was able to see and experience the love of God. You impacted me so much that I want to give to others and serve others as you do! Thank you so much, you’ve made my process here at Mercy such a blessing!