When I was three and a half, my parents got divorced, so my mom, brother, and I went to go live with my great-grandparents. We moved when I was five, and I began to have issues in elementary school. I would have outbursts and feel sick every day, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t have many friends, and I felt lonely. I was bullied, exposed to pornography, and suffered from severe separation anxiety. After being sexually abused by a babysitter, I began to have more anxiety and suffered from outbursts of rage.

In the fourth grade, my brother and I were taken away from our mother due to abuse and neglect. I soon began to act out and tried to find my worth in boys. I believed a boy’s opinion of me defined me. When boys didn’t like me, I felt worthless, and I started to self-harm due to stress and anxiety. I began to feel ugly. When high school began, I made a vow to be better, and I joined church again, but boys still controlled my heart, and I began to act promiscuously.

When I walked through the doors of Mercy, I was unsure but still hopeful I could be rescued. I was able to rebuild my relationship with the Lord and with my family. I learned how to be myself. I had some of the most fun that I have ever had here at Mercy. I learned that I am loved and fully known. I know God has a plan for me, and He is my father who will never leave me.

I am excited about life after Mercy! I have already heard the Lord speaking to me and have given up what I have planned for my own life. I am allowing God to lead me where He needs me to be, and I am choosing to live according to His will.