Victoria – 2018 Graduate
My mother gave birth to me while she was incarcerated. Due to my parent’s drug addictions they were unable to raise us. My great grandmother raised us and she loved on me the way a mother would. However, she was unable to keep me completely safe. I was raised in a neighborhood that was bounded by gang violence, drugs and poverty. This lifestyle was normal for me; my home fit right in. I couldn’t see the good in any of it. I went to church on Sundays, but I learned about a God I could not understand. I often wondered if God was real. Due to the darkness around me I never doubted that satan was real. I learned early on that I did not have to depend on other people to keep myself safe. This led me to become self-reliant. But the strong will in me could not fix what was wrong. I couldn’t fix where I lived. I couldn’t fix my family. The little hope I had became a torment. I tried my best to control what I could, which was myself. At age 11 I began to self-harm and developed an eating disorder; one that would reign over my life for more than a decade. Around that same time I was sexually assaulted, and less than a year later I lost the only parent I had ever known.
My eating disorder was deteriorating my physical health. My doctors were confident that if I did not have a drastic change, I would die soon. My church didn’t give up on me, and they decided to fight for me. They searched for options that were residential based off of the doctor’s recommendations. My church had done something with Mercy before so I applied to Mercy out of obedience and a fear for my life. I reluctantly walked through the doors of Mercy and things were not what I expected. I thought I knew what was best for myself. About a month into living here, I decided I was ready to go home. Well, God felt otherwise. That very same week we had visitors come and pray over us. It was through the visitors that the Lord cautioned me that if I returned home during this time it would lead me to death. My heart was not soft; I didn’t know how to love or receive love.
During my time in counseling, my counselor and I discussed freedom from oppression we read Deuteronomy 30:19. I wanted to choose life but I didn’t really know how. Through a vision, God showed me that in order to choose life, as the scripture had mentioned, I needed to take death off of the table. I began searching for ways to choose life daily. God met me in every single way.
After Mercy, I plan on living out God’s will for my life. I will be going back home where I will honor God fully. I will love others well, the same way I have been loved on in this home. It was prophesied that I would be a leader in my city, write a book and travel to tell my story. So when God leads me to do that, I will share the same transformation techniques that changed my life here with other hurting people. I also want to have a family and babies.
I am super thankful for the donors because without them this wouldn’t be possible. Since we have donors we don’t have to rely on the government and that gives us full access to God’s truth. God’s teaching is what sets this program apart and it is how I was able to overcome.