Annalise – 2014 Graduate
I grew up in a Christian home, but anger claimed my house. I remember sitting in my room crying and praying to God, asking Him to hold me while my family yelled and fought. I was the middle child and the quiet, shy one that hardly ever got into trouble. I felt as if I had to always be perfect and that I was nothing compared to my talented siblings. Although I was strong in my faith, I chose to listen to the lies I had in my head. I developed anorexia, which soon became a mix of anorexia and bulimia. These disorders made my self-hatred evolve into an even bigger monster causing me to self-harm.
I heard about Mercy through a leader at my church. I officially made the choice to come after my mentor told me that she really felt I needed to get more help than I could get at home. She told me I needed to get away and just do this for me. When I got to Mercy, I was really shy and didn’t even know who I was. I felt constant fear of food and my weight. These fears consumed my thoughts. I knew that Mercy would be the place where I would truly meet God and find healing, but I was also terrified of what I would be like once that happened. I didn’t want to lose my identity.
During my last few weeks at Mercy, I really noticed a big change in how I viewed myself. I have difficult days, of course, but overall I’m beginning to see Christ in me. I started to replace the lies I once believed with the truth that the Lord has spoken over me. I began to believe that I am His masterpiece, and I am made for His glory.
Being at Mercy really taught me who I am. I’ve learned that I am worth taking care of with food and basic daily needs. I am worth being loved. I am worth Christ dying for me. I’ve learned how to completely take care of myself physically with food and with working out in safe ways. I’ve learned that my confidence is in the reflection of Christ in me, rather than the reflection I see in the mirror.
After Mercy, I plan on finishing school and playing lots of piano. I plan to rejoin my worship band at church and the marching band at school. I hope to one day go to an international college to study worship and theology and maybe even pursue a doctorate in theology.
To all the Mercy donors, thank you for making my time here at Mercy possible. Your support saved my life and has brought me into the light of Christ. It means so much to know that there are people just like you cheering me on even when I couldn’t cheer for myself.