I grew up in the average American family, but when I was about five or six years old, my brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He became violent towards our family, including me. I was always afraid and my sense of security was lost. My parents were consumed with my brother’s behavioral issues, and I began to overeat to comfort myself, which caused me to become overweight at a young age. I also crumbled under the pressure to be beautiful and started to depend on food and drugs at a young age. When I got to high school, I was extremely depressed and using drugs heavily. Obsession with a boy led to a 70 pound rapid weight loss and I started getting a lot of attention. I became extremely sexually active with boys my age and older men. I first sold my body for drugs when I was 17 years old, which became an easy way to get whatever I wanted—money, drugs or attention. I was so lost. I moved away at 18, trying to run from my problems, but they obviously followed me wherever I went. I ended up working at a fast food restaurant during the day and a strip club at night. I thought I was good at keeping the outside together, but I was drowning on the inside. My double life came to a screeching halt when my parents found out about everything. One of my mom’s coworkers had a daughter who had gone through the Mercy program, and they suggested I apply.
The biggest turning point for me at Mercy was the night I accepted Christ and was saved. From that moment on, my life completely changed. While at Mercy, God has transformed me in every way possible. I have developed the most intimate and beautiful relationship with Him. I have discovered who I am and how to love myself the way God loves me. I have learned how to love and be loved. I was also able to get my high school diploma while at Mercy, which is something I thought I could never do! God has also restored my relationship with my entire family. I have found true peace with myself and my life.
After my Mercy graduation, I am going back home to live with my family. I will be working at a home for kids in foster care. I plan on going to college next year and working on getting a degree in social work. I also hope to attend Bible school. Eventually, I would love to start a street ministry to preach the good news to everyone!
There is no way I would have been able to get the help I needed for free for a full six months without everyone who gives to Mercy. I had been in and out of treatment since I was 15, and no other place was able to change my life the way this program has. Mercy donors made it possible for me to receive the help I needed and to develop the kind of relationship with the Lord that is absolutely necessary to living a successful life!