Kaitlyn – 2014 Graduate
I grew up in a Christian home with a loving family, but I never got to know God personally. I began self-harming in seventh grade and met my first boyfriend when I was 13. From then on, I developed inappropriate romantic relationships and friendships, simply because I craved attention. I was constantly fearful of rejection and felt I was never going to be good enough for anyone. I felt worthless, alone and unbearably misunderstood. I continued cutting and also began purging to cope. I covered unwanted emotion with sarcastic remarks, inappropriate jokes and a bad attitude. When my parents finally found out about everything I had been hiding, I contemplated suicide. What stopped me was the thought of an afterlife. I shook down to my core at the idea of hell being real. Still determined to do something big enough for people to notice, I shaved my entire head. This, accompanied by several other poor choices, definitely proved that I needed help.
I heard about Mercy for the first time at a Joyce Meyer conference. I didn’t think of Mercy as an option at the time, but a couple of years later, a family member suggested I apply. I came to Mercy much more broken than I realized. I thought my story wasn’t big enough, I wasn’t bad enough, and I hadn’t been through enough.
A big turning point for me at Mercy was learning that God is not only real, but He also sees me. He loves and treasures me. I made it my mission after that to learn more about God and pursue a true relationship with Him. I haven’t stopped changing since. God teaches me something new every single day, and the more I learn about Him, the more I grow.
During my time at Mercy, I learned how to be loved. I learned that I have the right to be respected and cherished. I learned how to dream dreams that seem impossible, because it turns out that God specializes in fulfilling impossible dreams. God showed me what true friendship looks like through the girls He surrounded me with at Mercy. These amazing women of God constantly remind me that I don’t have to settle for less. He has filled me with confidence and joy. I don’t know how I could NOT tell people about what He’s done for me.
After Mercy, I plan to finish school and strengthen relationships with my family. I want to get plugged into church and eventually get involved in leading worship and working with teens. I hope to one day marry a God-fearing man and start a family.
Mercy wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for the loving people that so generously give. I haven’t gotten to meet any Mercy donors, but still they chose to love me. They have made such an impact in my life, and I am seriously grateful.