Emma – 2015 Graduate
I grew up in a Christian home, but outside of church a lot happened to me that no one ever knew about. From the time I was seven to nine years old, an older relative took inappropriate sexual actions toward me. This opened up an area in my mind for sexual thoughts and behaviors. My parents found out, but never really dealt with it. I suppressed all of my feelings and struggled all through middle school and high school with suicidal thoughts and depression. When I was 15, I started self-harming to relieve the pain I felt from my family and classmates who I didn’t feel accepted by. At age 16 and into the rest of my high school years, I became promiscuous. I still never felt accepted and struggled on and off with an eating disorder. I did what I could try to fill this hole in my heart.
My mom knew I needed help, so she confided in a family friend who told her about Mercy. She asked me to check out the website, so I did and printed off the application. Six months later, I walked into the doors of Mercy. I was scared to be in a new place and especially scared to face my past. I was full of shame and wasn’t used to being vulnerable because I had built thick walls around myself.
After I was at Mercy for four months, I felt like something was missing, like something hadn’t clicked yet. I told one of the night staff members, and she prayed with me. I realized in that moment that there were still things I was holding back from God, so I made the powerful decision to fully surrender those things to Him.
God has shown me who I really am in Christ and how I am a new creation. He has shown me He is trustworthy and has unconditional love for me. I also learned what true forgiveness is.
After graduation I plan to live with my grandmother and get a job. I hope to go on mission trips and pursue a nursing degree in pediatrics.
I would like to thank Nancy and the rest of the Mercy staff for saying “yes” to the hard and seemingly impossible things so you could help me say “yes” to my life and my future. The simple words “thank you” can’t fully express my gratitude.