Following my parents’ divorce, I was never somewhere long enough to feel at home. When I was eleven, the sexual abuse I was experiencing stopped, but bullying at school quickly consumed any self-worth I had. Consistent death threats and encouragement to hurt myself confirmed my understanding that my life was a burden and really wasn’t worth much. I began what became a twelve-year addiction to self-harm and overdosing on medication. The risk of death soothed the desire to punish myself for the pain I so easily seemed to cause people.

In the years to come, I was hospitalized four times for self-harm and suicide attempts. If this was all life had for me, I didn’t want a part of it. After hearing about Mercy, I told God that this was my last chance. By the strength and desperation of my loved ones around me, I continued my pursuit to Mercy and kept my promise to God that I’d give life one more chance.

I was nervous that the Mercy staff would find me a burden and send me home. But, of course, Jesus makes beauty from ashes, and He broke down some of the walls I had spent years building up in the shadows of feeling like a burden. God poured His love over me in so many ways, but as the intentional Father that He is, He specifically used staff to show me how He intended those who love Him to be. While here at Mercy, the Lord has renewed my hope and faith in His miraculous, healing hands.

Never in my life have I experienced this kind of healing. God saw me where I was. He heard me. He renewed my spirit. He restored my hope. And He reminded me of His faithfulness! I began to claim His victory and healing over my whole body! I am still choosing, each day, to claim victory and healing over my body. The Lord has taught me so much about the beauty of hoping again. He has taught me so much about expecting good things and trusting Him with all that lies before me. I have seen that there is so much freedom in truly speaking life over myself. My mind, once consumed by death, now has thoughts of life and a future!

After Mercy, I plan to use my gifts with children and become a nanny that can fill a home with renewed laughter, joy, and peace. But most importantly, I plan to LIVE. I plan to embrace the gift of being fully alive because, for the first time in my life, I’m thankful to be!

To all the donors, thank you so incredibly much. I cannot begin to explain how much your donations have meant to me during my time here at Mercy. It was such a blessing to be able to do so many fun things and to be able to be here free-of-charge and truly gain freedom!