Tabitha – 2014 Graduate
My birthmother was a 15-year-old prostitute, and my birthfather was in his 40’s. I was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused throughout my childhood. I experienced extremely traumatic situations because of my birthparents’ choices. On my sixth birthday, my mother was sentenced to prison, and my siblings and I were finally removed from our home a year and a half later. After just a short time in foster care, I was adopted, but the roots, of shame, bitterness, worthlessness, guilt, anger and fear went very deep. The older I got, the more I understood the severity of the trauma from my childhood. I struggled with suicidal thoughts and self-harm, and when I was 15, I attempted to take my life and was committed to a residential facility for three days. Later on, I went to secular outpatient treatment for over a year and a half. I ended up graduating that program and coming off my antidepressant medication. For a short time, I experienced peace and realized that Jesus really did love me. When I got into my first serious dating relationship, things really took an unhealthy turn. I destroyed my family relationships and lost who I was. I felt a huge void because I had replaced God with my boyfriend. After we broke up, I tried to fill the void by having inappropriate sexting relationships with men I hardly knew, and also began to develop a porn addiction. I was so empty inside, and I knew that there had to be more than what I was living for.
One day I just broke down and confessed everything to my family. I told them I needed help. My mom printed an application to Mercy for me, and I began the application process. Thankfully, I was able to enter the program quickly. When I arrived, I was a mess with a smile. On the outside, I was a 19-year-old woman who seemed to be the happiest person. On the inside, however, was this scared little 7-year-old who forced herself to put on a happy face and stumble through life.
At Mercy, I have fallen in love with Jesus. I have had revelation after revelation, and I have been able to discover the gifts I had shoved away for so long. I learned how to confront in a healthy way here. I also learned how to trust others. In this program I have been encouraged, loved, a bit spoiled, and just appreciated for the first time in my life. I learned to give my brokenness to Jesus, because I found that when I did, He replaced it with JOY and PEACE.
After Mercy, I plan to go home to live with my family for the summer. I will be working to save money for school. I’m looking forward to outreach opportunities through my church and being able to serve on the worship team. I want to serve anywhere I can to spread Jesus’ love. I hope to someday be involved in youth and worship ministry and share my story around the world. I would also love to get into the voice-over acting business too!
When I came to Mercy, I was a broken-hearted, scarred, confused and hopeless person. Through the program at Mercy, God restored my joy, peace and hope. None of this would have been made possible if it weren’t for the selfless donations of so many. I’m so grateful to all the supporters for being a part of my transformation here at Mercy!