Growing up, I didn’t know much about God. I saw Him as a stern and strict Father. As a young child, my family seemed mostly happy and loving. But my parents divorced when I was in the eighth grade and my mom and I left and moved to a different state. That is when I began to be bullied and harassed. I received a text that said I needed to end my life, and I believed the lies spoken over me. So, I attempted to do just that. That was the beginning of a 12-year period of severe depression. I was in and out of programs and I made 2-3 suicide attempts a year.

Being promiscuous was a way of finding temporary value and worth. I was in abusive and toxic relationships and at the ages of 16 and 18, I got pregnant, and I chose to end both pregnancies. I started to have severe panic attacks. Prayer was the only thing that calmed me. But, when my brother passed away unexpectedly, I felt so betrayed by God. I began to deny Him and His very existence.

I tried multiple mental health programs, and nothing was working, so I began to misuse my medication for about a year. This resulted in days, even weeks at a time of no sleeping and eating. I was in a self-destructive mode. One day, I put on a Joyce Meyer teaching where she was interviewing Nancy Alcorn about Mercy Multiplied. As I was watching, I was instantly overwhelmed, and I knew right away that I was being comforted by the presence of God and that He was answering my prayers.

When I arrived at Mercy, I was welcomed with genuine love and support. Staff and residents showered me with unconditional acceptance, love, and grace. I got to know God and develop a personal and intimate relationship with Him. I spent nearly every day renewing my mind by replacing lies I told myself and the lies people spoke over me with God’s truth. In addition to renewing my mind, I worked a lot on forgiveness. Once I began the steps of forgiveness, God relieved me of the shame and guilt I had been carrying. I now know that because of Jesus, I am forgiven and made right with God.

The self-hate, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, shame, and guilt have NO POWER OVER ME anymore! I have been redeemed and made new. After Mercy, I plan on sharing what God’s done in my life to others. I will be starting a new job as a preschool teacher, and getting involved with my church and community!