Although my parents were Christians and we went to church, I grew up in a broken home affected by alcoholism and domestic violence. My parents divorced when I was eight years old, and my dad moved out of the home. My mom worked long hours to provide for her kids and we were often without adult supervision. I started experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and sex at a young age.

I dropped out of high school and started hanging out with people who were a bad influence on me which subjected me to dangerous situations. I experienced a series of toxic relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault. My promiscuity would later lead to an unplanned pregnancy and an abortion. When my best friend died of an accidental drug overdose in 2016, I started using more heavily as a means of coping with my grief. I found myself in a dangerous downward spiral. I was broken, trying to fill a void and find some sense of identity to prove my worth.

When I arrived at Mercy, I was angry and felt like God had abandoned me. I believed the lies of the enemy and allowed him so much power over me. I was wallowing in self-pity. Mercy soon became a refuge for me; a place to heal and process the decisions of my past. Working through “Keys to Freedom” with my counselor forced me to take a long, hard look at myself. I expected to be harshly judged but what I received instead was understanding and grace. I reconciled with God after years of estrangement and began to hear His voice again. I addressed the shame, bitterness, and resentment I had been holding onto for so long and was able to forgive myself and forgive God. I allowed the Lord into the dark places of my heart and started to heal. God met me here and has been so patient. I am walking in my new and true identity, and I have so much to look forward to.

After Mercy, I am most eager to spend time loving my family the way they deserve. God has totally restored the relationship I have with my dad and today we have a close bond. I look forward to building a Christian community around me and serving my new church family. I also want to go back to school, and I would love to have a family someday. I am so grateful for this ministry and know first-hand that lives are changed here.

Thank you to all the donors! You made this experience possible for me and I will never be the same. I am free! You are sowing seed in good soil, and I can’t wait to do the same!