My whole world was pulled out from under me when I was placed into foster care. The family treated me well, but I kept wondering what was wrong with me. Why did my mom not want me? What was supposed to be a two-week emergency placement turned into four years. Those four years consisted of monthly visits with my biological mom while at the same time living with my foster family. Life felt so inconsistent.

In school, I never really felt like I belonged. I felt excluded, out of place, and struggled with being bullied. I strived so much to feel accepted that I forgot who I was. I was a good student but was acknowledged more for my achievements than my character.  This is where my perfectionism and addiction to acceptance began.  At the end of seventh grade, my mom told me that I would be home-schooled. Everything fell apart after that. All the problems that I was trying to hide came out. I failed in school after eight years of straight A’s. I began self-harming, was addicted to pornography, continued to struggle with an eating disorder, had severe anxiety, and was defiant to authority.

At age 14, I visited a neuropsychologist and was diagnosed with six different disorders. After that, things started getting worse. I was running away from home and was sent to juvenile court multiple times. I also had multiple suicide attempts. At age 16, I began attending many different residential treatment centers. In October 2021, my mom mentioned Mercy to me, but I was adamantly against it. In December 2021, I went to my last residential center before coming to Mercy. I had tried everything, yet nothing seemed to work. I felt hopeless. Somewhere in me, there was a little bit of hope left. I decided I would apply to Mercy.

Mercy is not a treatment center, but a transformation center. They use the love and power of God to transform all the lives of the young women who walk through the doors – including mine. The day after I got to Mercy, there was a graduation. I was in awe of the testimonies of the graduates. I wondered if it could work for me too.

I found that it was hard to continue being fake. All my feelings that I had tried to bottle up for the past 15 years were coming out. I was full of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, shame, and hurt. I could never understand, and still don’t fully understand, the unconditional love of the Mercy staff. They were always available to listen, give God-given advice, and pray with me whenever I needed it.

As I began to connect more with others, I began to see God’s character more clearly. I realized that He is a kind, gentle, loving, and patient father.

A big part of my transformation at Mercy came from truth statements. There were a lot of lies I had believed due to my life experiences. I began creating truth statements. I soon caught myself whispering them, then boldly declaring them, then helping OTHER residents speak truth over themselves.

Mercy saved my life. Mercy lifted me from a deep, dark hole into God’s marvelous light.

After Mercy, I plan to start my new life beginning with moving into my first ever apartment. I will be attending church and starting my first job. Eventually I want to get my drivers’ license, and one day I wish to go to college. I am very excited to see what God has planned for me. I know I will never be the same because I am a new creation in Christ; the old has passed away and the new is here. I am so glad that God is writing MY story.

To the donors, thank you so much for supporting Mercy Multiplied. Mercy saved my life. Mercy brings true freedom to all the girls who walk through the door, including me. I will never be the same because of Mercy and because of your support. Thank you!