For the first year and a half of my life, I was severely neglected and was eventually placed in my Grandma’s care for a few years while my dad was serving in the U.S. Air Force, and my mom struggled with drug addiction. Growing up, my dad had toxic relationships in which I was subjected to verbal, physical, and emotional abuse starting from the age of four.

I grew up going to a Christian school and accepted Jesus into my heart at age seven. I was taught the truth of God’s Word at school, but it would quickly be invalidated once I got home. At age 12, I was exposed to pornography, which planted deep roots of fear and shame. When I began to believe the lie that I was bad, I began to self-harm in secret and began striving to people please in an attempt to resolve the conflict at home.

At ages 17 and 18, I was sexually violated by several men. I was convinced that I was the one at fault and began believing the enemy’s lies, which led to confusing my sexual identity. In ignorance, I started my rebellion against God by turning to unhealthy relationships. This began a 17-year journey of dark roads where I continued to be subjected to every type of abuse possible and became a victim of many more sexual assaults. I fell into drug addiction to self-medicate from these hurts.

I was diagnosed with bipolar type II with psychosis, anxiety, ADD, substance abuse disorder, and complex PTSD. I went to four secular treatment centers, was in and out of psych wards a dozen times, and attempted to OD on my medications twice as cries for help, but by the grace of God, I survived.

After several more years of abuse, I finally got to the end of myself. God finally captured my attention through a woman’s unshaken faith in Jesus even after the loss of her four-year-old girl. I realized that if she could get through something as devastating as that with Jesus, then Jesus had to be the answer to my problems too.

The next morning after this encounter with Jesus, I was completely delivered from my 11-year drug addiction and no longer confused about my sexuality. On October 21, 2022, I became a new creation in Christ. This was the start of my transformation, and by divine provision, I was able to come to Mercy.

When I walked through the doors of Mercy, I knew this was the place God wanted me. I had tried everything the world had to offer, and it only left me empty and hopeless. At Mercy, I have learned how crucial it is to live within the boundaries God has set for us in His Word to live in freedom and how setting healthy boundaries with myself and others is necessary to steward the treasure within me.

In counseling, the Holy Spirit began to reveal specific lies that I had been operating out of, and I began using God’s Truth to renew my mind. Another crucial step was choosing to forgive myself and the long list of people who had hurt me. What I’ve been through, what’s been done to me and said to me DOES NOT DEFINE ME. My value is based on who He says I am. I have been washed by the blood of Jesus from the inside out. He truly has given me beauty for ashes.

If I had the choice to change my past, I wouldn’t. I have realized that it was my mistakes and the dark roads I went down that brought me to the end of myself, and the lessons I’ve learned from my pain have created depth within my soul. It all brought me to my knees in humility, realizing just how desperately I truly needed my Savior, which led me to experience Jesus in a radical way.

After graduation, God provided me with a job as an assistant teacher working with kids with disabilities. I desire to serve in the children’s ministry and go on future mission trips to share the good news of the Gospel.

Thank you for your generous donations! Because of your obedience to God, I have been blessed beyond measure in a way that has forever changed my life and generations to come. I am eternally grateful, and I pray that the Lord blesses you abundantly!