I grew up in a loving home with my parents and my three siblings. When I started elementary school, I struggled to make friends, and I was bullied for my weight and my appearance. This is where rejection, fear, and insecurity took root in my life. When I was twelve years old, I came home from school one day to find out my parents were getting a divorce. I felt heartbroken and abandoned.

Soon I began skipping school, drinking, smoking, and doing drugs. All I wanted was for the pain that I was feeling to go away. I even began to engage in self-harm as an attempt to alleviate the hurt that I felt inside. I was angry and violent, and I lashed out at everyone around me. I continued to skip school and began experimenting with harder drugs. As a result, I wound up on probation and I was in and out of juvenile hall frequently.

Throughout my teenage years, I was sexually assaulted two different times. This developed a feeling of worthlessness, which led to promiscuous behavior. I soon got into an extremely abusive relationship. When things got to the extent that I feared for my life, my abuser was suddenly sent to prison, and I was finally able to escape from him. This is when I began to see God working in my life. Over time, I became hopelessly addicted to drugs and alcohol. I attempted suicide on three different occasions, and God saved me every single time.

After another suicide attempt, I was released from the hospital and went to a crisis home. My counselor there told me about Mercy Multiplied and gave me Nancy Alcorn’s book “Echoes of Mercy”. I knew that this was where I needed to be, so I decided to apply to the program. When I walked through the doors of Mercy, the staff were so welcoming and kind to me, and I felt at home right away. During my first week there, my relationship with the Lord blossomed, and I dedicated my life to Christ. I had a lot of misconceptions about God before coming to Mercy, but I know now that they were only lies of the enemy.

I used to be so full of shame, guilt, and condemnation. I believed that God hated me for all the wrong decisions that I made and that He was the source of my pain and suffering. During my time at Mercy, I learned the truth about God and His unconditional love for me. The principles that helped me the most were renewing the mind, choosing to forgive, and healing life’s hurts. In renewing the mind, I learned to recognize the lies that I believed and to replace them with God’s truth. I took negative thoughts captive and replaced them with positive ones.

In choosing to forgive, I was able to recognize the people that have hurt me and see them through God’s eyes. I was able to forgive them and pray that God would bless them the same way He has blessed me. The hardest person for me to forgive was myself because I didn’t think I was worthy, but once I learned my identity in Christ, it changed everything for me. In healing life hurts, I was able to address all of the things that I went through in my life that brought me pain. God gave me revelation and understanding and showed me He was with me every step of the way. Even when I couldn’t see it, He was working things out for my good.

God has transformed my life throughout my time here at Mercy. He has given me a spirit of joy and peace instead of fear. He has completely restored my relationship with my family. I thought that I would never be able to overcome the things that I went through, but with the power of God, all things are possible. Satan can no longer deceive me because I know the authority that I have in Christ. I am free because of the blood of Jesus, and it is nothing short of a miracle that I am here today.

After Mercy, I will be attending college to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, specializing in the area of Children and Families. I want to be an advocate for the children and teens who are living in unhealthy environments and are unable to help themselves. My hope is to be able to save lives by sharing the love of God with others and showing them the power of His truth.  While going to school, I plan to work as a caregiver for the elderly and to spend my free time volunteering within my community and Church. The Lord has put it on my heart to love and serve others as much as possible.

I used to question who I was and tell myself I would never be enough. Now I know who I am. I am chosen by God, adopted as His own, accepted in His sight, redeemed by his blood, saved by His grace, and forgiven of my sins. I am a child of God and that is enough.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to come to Mercy free-of-charge. It wouldn’t have been possible for me to get the healing that I desperately needed without your generosity and kindness. Thank you so much to all the donors for your support, I appreciate it!