I grew up with divorced parents who constantly fought. I had several friends move away as I was growing up, and I was bullied all the way through school. For a long time, I believed the lies I was told everyday: that I was stupid, annoying, too loud, too tall, and unoriginal. I also started to believe that I was fat, ugly, and unlovable. After several close friends and boyfriends treated me horribly in high school, I began to think that was all my life would ever be. My heart was broken, and I wanted to die. I turned to drugs, self-harm, binging, restricting my food, over-exercising, and any other way to distract myself that I could.
I heard about Mercy from a friend I met in college. Her parents work in ministry, and their family knew several girls who had been through the program, and whose lives had been completely changed. It gave me hope that if these other girls could find freedom from their life-controlling issues, then maybe I could too.
When I first got to Mercy I thought it would be like it had always been in my life, but the Mercy staff took the time to listen to me, and they genuinely cared about me and how I really felt. I was in shock at their kindness, and I began to realize that the program was doable and that MAYBE I could actually find freedom. I began to change when I realized no matter how angry I got, the staff would continue to love me. They wanted to know what was hurting inside of me that made me act that way. A lot of my walls came down, and I was able to identify the root of my emotional issues that caused my behavioral issues.
While at Mercy I learned the importance of effective communication, good time management, and respect for authority. I learned how to forgive. I began to accept the truth that God loves, cherishes, adores, and accepts me unconditionally.
After graduating from Mercy, I am going to start working at a fitness center. I want to become a certified personal trainer. Later, I want to go back to college for a degree in Exercise Science so that I can become a physical education teacher and volleyball coach, or maybe go to physical therapy school!
I don’t have the words to describe how thankful I am for Mercy and all of their supporters. This place led me to the Lord, who healed my broken heart and restored my hope. Thank you for all that you do! Mercy literally saved my life, and I will be forever grateful.