Bethany – 2018 Graduate
My biological family was really healthy when I was young. We went to church every week, and I got saved when I was young. However, when I was 10 years old, my parents became really busy. This started negative attention-seeking in me, because I was longing to be noticed.
When I was 12 years old, my dad unexpectedly passed away. This left me feeling very alone. Shortly after my dad died, I started being sexually abused. This left me feeling very confused about my identity. I was bullied for 6 years, because I was different from everyone else, and I developed an eating disorder and started to self-harm in order to feel the pain externally that I was experiencing internally. I became suicidal and attempted suicide a couple times. I didn’t think my life was worth anything because of what had happened to me. I started making up lies about my past and what I had gone through so that people would notice me. I felt invisible and thought I could only fix it if I lied about my life.
I left my biological family when I was 18 and was adopted by a loving family. Even though they loved me, I still struggled with my behaviors. I eventually turned to promiscuous sexual relationships and addictions. I began to find my identity, worth, and value through sex. I was diagnosed with PTSD and I allowed that diagnosis to become my label. I carried the weight of the sexual abuse with me everywhere I went. I was afraid to let people see who I really was, and I didn’t think that God was able to help me because of all the problems that I had created in my life.
My adoptive mom is a graduate of Mercy Multiplied. Although she never told me that I should go to Mercy, she was very supportive when I decided to apply while I was in the hospital and finally saw the path that I was going down. When I came to Mercy, I was very shy and scared. I was afraid to let people in, and I didn’t want my problems to be exposed. I didn’t think that God was still loving to me and that He could fix me.
While I was at Mercy, I really understood the need for change in my life once I knew who God was to me. When I realized that He still loved me, even though I had done so many bad things, I finally found value and purpose to my life. God has shown me who He is and how He sees me. I have learned how much God truly cares about me and how important I am to Him.
After Mercy, I plan to live with my adoptive parents to work on building that relationship in healthy ways. I also plan to go back to college and get my degree in Social Work to help other people that have gone through similar things as me.
Thank you to the Mercy donors for allowing me to come to Mercy. I have learned so much at Mercy, and I am excited to go out and live my life for God. If it weren’t for Mercy and the gifts of donors, I probably wouldn’t be alive today. Thank you!