This week’s Mercy Blog is written by 2010 Residential Program graduate, Sharayah. Read all about how God redeemed her story and reveled himself to her while she was pregnant with her son, Josiah, during her time at Mercy.

I was a resident at the Mercy Nashville home from January 12 to July 12, 2010—six months to the day when I welcomed my son, Josiah, into the world. My situation was a little unusual, in that I was married when I got pregnant… and our baby was not unplanned—however, my (then) husband had been making poor choices which had resulted in the loss of his job and our housing, leaving us essentially homeless. I had been in touch with Mercy previously, for PTSD and other issues, but when I became pregnant, I started to back out of attending the Residential Program. However, the Intake team gently encouraged me to still accept the offer for a safe and stable environment to carry my baby in, with access to good healthcare, counseling, and parenting classes…and I am so grateful I said yes!

Mercy was the most peaceful, safe and nurturing place I had ever been, especially coming out of an unstable situation. They provided not only for my (and baby’s) physical needs, but also the spiritual and emotional ones—with time and space for me to heal while preparing to become a parent. I learned about my identity in Christ, positive life rhythms, and how to set and maintain healthier boundaries. The staff lovingly guided me through the process of discovering and grieving major betrayal back home, always encouraging me that God still had a plan for me and my baby, even if things no longer looked the way I’d hoped. I came to Mercy knowing that I wanted to be a mom, but Basic Decision Making and Parenting Classes helped give me confidence to become a parent—even though it quickly became clear I’d likely end up doing it on my own. We looked at obstacles I could (and did) face as a single mom, prayerfully looking for real-life solutions, and the community even gave me a lovely baby shower, equipping me with all the practical necessities to begin the journey.

Josiah’s arrival was perfect, despite coming into a less than ideal situation. When his biological father made the choice to walk out, God showed Himself to be a perfect Father. I often worked multiple jobs to provide for us, but we never lacked anything we needed, and then there were countless blessings on top of that—such as a sweet friend I’d met at Mercy sending us diapers every month or getting a job in a church daycare that allowed Josiah to be with me during his first few years, and subsequent jobs that worked around his schedule.

I also was able to go back to school for Graphic Design and Photography. I was a single mom for nearly 10 years, then God surprised us with Jake: a perfect husband for me and a wonderful father for Josiah. We have to credit Josiah with this unexpected blessing and its timing, since—unbeknownst to me— he had been praying for a Dad by his tenth birthday, which ended up being the exact day we got married. Jake legally adopted him a year later.

Mercy helped instill in me to never settle for less than God’s best… in Jake I know we have found that, and the wait was so worth it! Someday, we hope to adopt a baby through Mercy, bringing our story full circle. This year, we celebrated three years together as a family, and Josiah is turning 13! He is becoming such a brilliant and talented young man; He loves the Lord with all his heart and is passionate about music, reading, and coding. When he was first placed into my arms as a baby, it was the most life-changing and incredible day! I had no idea the challenges or triumphs that lay ahead for us, but I believe that Mercy gave me the spiritual and practical skills I needed to succeed at being a mom, and I am forever grateful for my time there.

If you or a young woman you know is facing an unplanned pregnancy, visit our Pregnancy Services page here to learn more about how the pregnant women in our Residential Program are supported and loved during their pregnancy.

Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.  

Want more resources? Check out our MercyTalk podcast episode, ”How Mercy is Supporting Young Women Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy with Founder and President Nancy Alcorn”. For daily inspiration, follow us @MercyMultiplied on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter