Though I was raised in a Christian home, the fifth of seven children, it was very dysfunctional. I was quiet and shy and was subsequently often lost in the cracks. There were a lot of double standards and fear within our home. I was home-schooled until high school, so I grew up very isolated and sheltered. Growing up I witnessed my father tease my two older sisters about their physical appearance and around the age of 14 began to experience it as well. I was determined not to give him a reason to tease me, so I began to restrict food and in the end developed an eating disorder. Unfortunately I continued to experience shame. Attempting to take control of my life and protect myself, I began to cut God out of my life. My relationship with God was founded on my parents’ relationship with Him. And as I continued to cut Him out, my life spiraled downward. I struggled with anorexia for four years, and when I attempted to regain the control that I had unknowingly relinquished, I spiraled instead into bingeing. I struggled between restricting and bingeing until I came to Mercy.
When my parents first confronted me about my eating disorder, they suggested Mercy. I was in denial and didn’t want help, and they sent me to another program. When that didn’t work, I started looking for help. My mother remembered Mercy and suggested it to me again.
A major turning point during my time at Mercy was right after I returned from Christmas break. I felt like it was an act of obedience to finish out my time at Mercy and to do what God had asked of me. After returning I had so many revelations about God, life, and myself.
While I was at Mercy, God set me free! I know now He has redeemed and forgiven me. I have learned that my true identity is in God and not what I look like or what I accomplish in my lifetime. I am loved with an everlasting and unfailing love that my Heavenly Father holds for me. I can rest in the knowledge that He is working everything in my life for good and that He truly cares about me.
After graduating from Mercy, I am planning to finish my nursing degree. I am excited just to live life for the first time in about a decade!
There are not words to express how grateful I am for those that support Mercy. You have helped to give me back my life. Mercy has given me back hope for the abundant future God has planned for me. Thank you for providing a safe haven for me when I could not.