Heather – 2017 Graduate
As a child, I was sexually abused. Because of this abuse, I grew up feeling shameful, fearful, and anxious. I was put on medication for these struggles, and it caused me to gain weight. Due to this weight gain, I was bullied at school. The bullying reinforced the lie I had already believed that my body was the source of my pain. In my early teens, I developed a severe eating disorder. I quickly became very sick and went in and out of treatment. Then I started partying and drinking heavily. I became pregnant and had an abortion. Within an 18 month period, a close family member went to prison, and my father passed away. I was overwhelmed and became addicted to heroin and prescription drugs to numb the pain. I became involved in the world of prostitution to support my habit. I began to realize that I needed to escape the dangerous lifestyle I was trapped in. I sought help from several rehabs, eating disorder centers, and psychiatric hospitals. They worked for a while but weren’t a long-term solution for me. During my last relapse, I was sexually abused. After this abuse, I didn’t want to live anymore and thought about taking my own life.
I learned about Mercy Multiplied online while planning my aftercare at the psychiatric hospital. When I arrived at Mercy, I was broken and lost. I had very little hope, but I wanted to change. I had tried everything within my own power to do so, but I could never find freedom from my oppression. I had heard of others being saved by Jesus Christ, and I was curious if He could do the same for me.
During my stay at Mercy, I was blessed to spend the holidays with all of my sisters in Christ. This was very special to me, and I will forever cherish the memories I have from our Christmas party. I could not believe the generosity and kindness that was lavished upon me by complete strangers. I had never felt and received the love of Jesus so intensely before. That night, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God saw me and was with me.
At Mercy Multiplied, I met Jesus. I learned the truth of the Word of God, and I realized that I had been living a lie. Once I experienced the love of Christ, everything changed. I felt at peace in His presence. I found security and safety in His promises. I became willing to receive grace and mercy for my transgressions, and I was able to forgive those who had hurt me. I took authority, in the name of my Savior, over fear and shame, and these strongholds lost their power over me. God mended my broken heart and restored my joy.
When I leave Mercy, I will be moving back home. I will be involved in a great church and will have an accountability partner. I hope to repair some relationships within my family. I will be getting a job and saving money. I plan to apply to the St. Louis Dream Center for their internship program. I want to get involved in ministry and later return to school to become a worship leader. I am confident that God has great plans to use my life and my story for His glory.
To all the Mercy supporters, thank you for sowing into my restoration and transformation. I am leaving Mercy a completely changed person. For the first time in my life, I look to the future with hope. I can’t wait to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others, so that they can experience the freedom I have. My life is changed, and I thank you for your obedience to God that made this possible.