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Ashleigh – 2017 Graduate

Ashleigh - 2017 Mercy GraduateI grew up in a very traumatizing environment. I was physically abused and neglected. Further into my childhood, my dad came into my life and received custody of me. A couple years later, I was sexually abused by a man three times my age. Then I began self-harming after disclosing what was happening to me and eventually contemplated taking my own life. We went to court for the abuse and my abuser went to prison. In the next years, I struggled with an eating disorder and was sexually active. I knew I needed a change, which led to coming to Mercy.

I learned about Mercy through my parents. I decided to apply because I was broken, but I wore a mask to cover up everything I was feeling. I wanted people to see me as happy and fine.

Attending the “Designed For Life” conference was a turning point for me at Mercy. I recommitted my life to Christ. After Christmas break, I came back very determined and ready to dive into counseling.

God showed His love for me while I was at Mercy. I learned so much about His true character instead of the lies I believed because of the things that happened to me in my past. God has given me joy back, and I love myself again.

After Mercy, I plan on getting a job and finishing high school. I want to go to college for Equine Therapy and eventually become a missionary overseas.

To all the Mercy donors, thank you so much! Mercy has been a place where I experienced God and really turned my life around.