As a young child, I learned that my dreams were too expensive. I did not know then that my parents were poor because they spent money on their addictions. Instead of a nice meal and plenty of groceries, the money was spent to drown their troubles with alcohol or cigarettes.

I began to weave in and out of many different foster families. The sense of not belonging anywhere I went began to weigh heavily on my heart. I was placed into a mental hospital at the age of five. Being in a mental hospital at such a young age was a traumatizing experience for me. I was tested and poked by needles at least once a week. These experiences created a deep fear in me, making me feel like some experiment in a lab.

My next foster family was full of mental, emotional, and physical abuse. My therapist had me removed from that foster family, and they were stopped permanently. After that, I went to my last foster family and was adopted. As a young teen, I struggled to understand the fact that my life with my biological parents was not healthy, or as amazing and wonderful as I believed. For years, I struggled to move on from my love for my biological mother and accept my adopted mother as my mom. Life was difficult for both me and my new family.

In the past I leaned into my friends for approval and affirmation, so being at Mercy allowed me to be fully submerged in God. I had tried to fill myself up with the approval of people when what I needed was the approval of God.

My counselor and I dug deep into the roots of my problems. I began to break free from emotional numbness and was starting to feel my real emotions. By doing that, I made room for new things. I finally renewed my mind, so God could fill my thoughts with His words. I have heard God so clearly since then and I have gotten to know Him better.

In the past, I viewed God as an angry, judgmental, abusive father that did not care about me because He allowed me to go through so much in my childhood. However, that is not true. I have learned that God is such a loving and merciful father.

As I leave Mercy I will continue to live in freedom. I know that I am not perfect, but I will still have my Father in Heaven to guide me. I will go through my life with the tools I learned at Mercy. I will wear the armor that God created for me.

To all of the donors, thank you so much for supporting me through the program. Without your help and care I wouldn’t have been able to get the healing I needed.