I was born and raised in a family that taught me the love of Jesus through word and action. I was raised in the church, so I knew the bible stories, but the love of God and the power I had in the Spirit were vague to me. I began to believe that I was not worth anything apart from what I could do for God. I became very legalistic and developed perfectionistic tendencies. I didn’t really know who I was. I based who I was on unrealistic expectations of myself. I wanted to know that I had worth and value. I began to isolate and in that lonely place, I decided to turn to an eating disorder to fill my desire for control and identity. I became even more ashamed of my life and became very depressed. I hated myself and I hated my life. I couldn’t see any hope. I didn’t want to keep living like I was, but I felt stuck and hopeless.

Though I couldn’t see any hope for my life, God did! In my prayers and cries of desperation, God answered me, like He always does. At Mercy, I learned God’s everlasting love for me and the power of the grace He has given to me. God showed me His love and is growing me into the likeness of Himself through His effective grace at work in me! Because of Mercy, I now know that I already have all I need to live an abundant life in the Lord. I am learning to trust God’s work inside me and rest knowing that He works apart from what I can do.

Through Mercy, God has revealed to me new depths of His goodness, mercy, grace, love, peace, and joy. God has shown me here how much He cares for me personally, and I know that I am beginning to grow into who God has created me to be! I know that my life is very precious in His eyes and He does have a plan and a purpose for my life. I am not striving for perfection, but looking to the Perfect One who will make me like Himself through His sanctifying work in me.

After Mercy, I plan to go back to school for Art Teacher Education. I believe God has called me to share His love, joy, and compassion with the lost and hurting. I have a passion for art and creativity that I believe God is going to use to expand His kingdom, as I pursue the plan He has given me.