I was raised in a solid, Christian family who poured out grace unending. I felt the need to critique myself because it seemed no one was ever hard on me. This led to an 8 year battle with over-exercising and an eating disorder stemming from my high expectations of myself. I sought comfort in controlling what my body looked like, and I felt bound by the pressure to maintain a perfect image. After being taken advantage of at a college party, I saw myself as trash, and I fell into a downward spiral that involved alcohol abuse, depression, and a promiscuous lifestyle with empty relationships. I used alcohol as a way to numb my pain, and I slowly began shutting people out of my life. I treated myself the way I saw myself: unworthy.

Then I heard about Mercy from a graduate of the program. I was willing to do anything to change my life and be happy again, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned the truth about my worth to God and the value I have in Him. The Lord showed me that my body is beautifully and carefully designed by Him and that nothing can change my value to Him. I met Jesus at Mercy, and I see myself as beautiful through His eyes. I am no longer concerned with my reflection in the mirror; it’s my reflection in Him that I seek.

Coming to Mercy meant coming to end of the thoughts that the enemy was pouring into my head. I was swept off my feet by Jesus Christ, and He taught me how to receive love from Him, others, and myself. I am deserving of this kind of love! Now, I have experienced healing that could only come from Christ, and I am learning what it means to love others with that same love. My body is a temple– rather than bowing down to my body, I worship the One Who dwells inside of it. Every race I compete in is a testimony of the victory I have experienced in this race of life. The Lord continues to lead me by the hand, and we always finish victorious!

God has used Mercy to help restore every area of my life – spiritually, emotionally and physically. Since graduating from Mercy, I have seen God’s faithfulness to me in abundance! One example is that the Lord has brought me a wonderful husband! God has used Daniel as a true picture of grace and forgiveness. I am blessed beyond belief to be marrying a man who first pursued Christ to get to me. I am so thankful!