Candice – 2011 Graduate
Growing up, it appeared from the outside that I was a happy child. Inside, however, I was broken, confused and hurting. I started struggling with my weight and relationship with food at a very young age. My addiction to self-harm and pornography began when I was in the 6th grade. I was also sexually, physically and mentally abused.
I heard about Mercy the summer of 2010 when I met a woman whose daughter was about to graduate. The graduate later shared her story with me and encouraged me to apply. I was accepted into the program a few months later.
A major turning point for me came after a hard visit home to see my family. I was going through a really tough time with everything and had decided I wasn’t ready to graduate when I had originally thought, if at all. During a graduation later that month, a staff member read a verse, and it was a reminder to me that God began a great work in me and He would be faithful to complete it. It was like God was saying to me, “I’ve got you, don’t worry.”
While at Mercy, I learned that I am God’s beloved. I am pure, stainless, and He still loves me no matter what I’ve done in the past or do in the future. I am not my mistakes—I am His princess, His daughter, and His bride.
When I was at Mercy, I remember thinking I wanted to go back to school but wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to make it if I did. Because of Mercy, I have reclaimed my future. I now know what I want to do and who I want to be. I have gone back to school, and I have big dreams that I know with God’s help I can and will fulfill!
I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the donors of Mercy. Without you, girls like me could never get a second chance in life. Because of you, I have been able to see the redeeming power of the blood of Christ in my life, and without you, none of this would ever be possible. Everyone deserves to know how loved they are by the God who fixes every broken thing and makes us whole.