Samantha – 2013 Graduate
I was raised in a Christian home with very loving and supportive parents. During middle school I was very insecure about the way I looked and started to develop an eating disorder. In 8th grade I started to experiment with drugs. I lived a double life—good girl for my parents, but also a fearless and lost party queen. I loved being high and escaping from my thoughts and problems. At age 16, I became a full-blown heroin addict and wound up going to several different secular rehabs trying to get clean on my own. I kept going back to heroin and wanted nothing to do with my family. I graduated high school early, so I started living on my own and getting my needs met when I wanted, how I wanted, and any way I pleased. I was also raped twice but I never told anyone or did anything about it. I continued to somehow hold a job for a while, even though I was still using heroin. Once I could no longer hold a job, I let a guy pimp me out for money so I could support my heroin habit. I went to jail, became a stripper, hung out with drug dealers, and prostituted myself. I was an emotional wreck and so disgusted with myself, I just wanted to end my life. I had no hope for myself and was just dead inside.
I found out about Mercy through my mom and my grandma. All I knew was it was a free-of-charge Christian program. I was very hesitant about coming. I wanted to give up so many times during the application process. I was still involved in prostitution and drugs, but I continued to work on coming only because I had support and prayer from family. I had to be willing to do whatever it took to change my ways, because I was sick and tired of living the way I was. I just wanted to be happy and enjoy life without using drugs to escape my problems.
While at Mercy, I have honestly learned a lot. The main thing that’s really helped me is knowing I have a choice, which I never really understood before. I do not have to let my emotions and feelings rule my life. It’s not always easy, but I can get through it with God’s strength. Another key thing for me was discovering that God wants to have a real relationship with me. He has revealed Himself to me and shown me how much He loves me, cares for me, and has always been there for me. I don’t ever want to turn back to the way I was before.
After graduation, I will be getting married to my loving fiancé and will take on a new role as stepmom to his adorable 7-year-old son. I am looking forward to developing relationships with others and just being able to enjoy life and live the way God wants me to. I would love to enroll in art school and see where God wants to take the talents He gave me. I want to use them to honor Him. I also want to grow in my spiritual gifts and use them to help others.
Mercy and Nancy Alcorn, at first I did not like you. But seeing the love and care you genuinely show to the girls like me, I can say you truly are good people of God. If it wasn’t for this place, I would still be lost, back on the street using drugs, or dead. I am so grateful for the way Mercy transforms lives. I can’t thank you all enough.