Growing up, I had a happy childhood with great parents and great older sisters. I was raised in the church and was heavily involved from birth to college. Throughout my life, I experienced intense loneliness and feeling like I did not belong anywhere. I was not like my sisters and I did not really fit in with people at school. Additionally, I was exposed to pornography and sex at a very young age, which led to struggles in my high school years.

My transition to college was difficult because I went from a small town where I knew everyone, to a major university where I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know how to cope with the problems of loneliness, anger, and unforgiveness I had held at bay. I quickly became very depressed and came home the next semester. I got into an unhealthy relationship with someone who manipulated me and abused me verbally and emotionally. When we broke up, I took a turn for the worse.

I turned to alcohol, marijuana, promiscuity online, and my old coping fantasy habits. I eventually dropped out of college and went to a residential facility for two months that did nothing to help. I left there pretending I was better, but just got back into the cycle of lying and stealing. I applied to Mercy, but I backed out because I thought I could do it on my own. Shortly after, I got arrested twice for possession of marijuana and lost a really great job. At this point, it was either applying to Mercy or living in this never-ending cycle.

The day before my birthday, I entered the doors of Mercy. Even though the days before were filled with anxiety and deep depression, the day I walked into Mercy I had this peace over me.

At Mercy, I quickly started to see a change in my outlook on life. I saw how my anger and unforgiveness were holding me back from living. I learned how to forgive at Mercy. Things I had held on to for years, I finally was able to let go of! God really worked on softening my heart towards others and myself. I began to grow in patience and not get mad about things that would have sent me over the edge before. I am really grateful for the Christ-centered counseling module here. Instead of suicidal ideation and self-harm, I found ways to express myself through journaling and listening to good, encouraging music. The things I learned at Mercy helped me look at myself and move forward in my walk of faith and growth.

After Mercy, I plan to move in with my older sister and attend University. I will be taking a creative writing class and eventually will go to school full-time and major in Communications and minor in writing. I want to eventually be able to write fiction books that are filled with hope and influence other young girls in a positive way.

To the donors, thank you for providing a place for me to stay for free so I can focus on getting better and not having to worry about the financial burden. It is such a blessing to be able to go to a place and know they are focused on you getting better and not money.