Kaitlyn – 2017 Graduate
As a child, I longed for my dad’s love, acceptance, and attention. However, I didn’t get it in the way I wanted. The more I sought his love, the more I felt I wasn’t worthy or good enough. Once I was in high school, I experienced significant losses, including my parents’ divorce. I didn’t understand why all I knew and loved was taken from me. I began to drink heavily and go to parties. When I was seventeen, I was sexually abused at a party. I buried the pain deep inside and never told anyone. The pain I felt weighed on me so much that I tried to take my own life. I couldn’t take the pain any longer and things in my life became much worse. I was introduced to drugs and quickly became addicted.
At age 20, I dated and, soon after, married a man who changed my life in ways I never had imagined. He was a drug dealer and that quickly became my lifestyle. He controlled me in ways I never thought possible. A few months after we got married, he committed double murder and was arrested. My life went on a downward spiral very fast. I lived in fear and hiding. This caused my addiction to get much worse. I would do anything I could to get drugs. There wasn’t a day I didn’t want to die. I was trapped in the life of selling and doing drugs and couldn’t see a way out. At 22 years old, I had a miscarriage and couldn’t understand why I keep losing everyone I loved. I thought the baby would give me a purpose for living, but after that loss, I had lost all desire to live. That’s when I knew I had to do something or I would die.
I heard about Mercy years ago, after my ex-husband was arrested. My preacher told my family and I about it, but I wasn’t ready, and I didn’t want it for myself. Two years went by and my drug addiction and depression got much worse. I knew if things didn’t change I was going to die. When I got to Mercy I was a broken, fearful, and hopeless girl.
A turning point for me at Mercy was when we residents and staff attended the “Designed For Life” conference. I realized all that was inside me – the masks I was wearing, walls that were up, all the pain and unforgiveness. I was no longer hiding from myself. I began tearing down walls and experiencing God’s grace in many ways. It was then that I realized if God showed me that kind of grace, I could do the same. Major breakthroughs started, and I became set free!
I realized that God had me cradled in His hands this whole time, I just needed to seek His face. I learned that if I let my past rule me, it wins. My past no longer defines me. I’m a new creation in Christ. My chains are broken, and I’m done hiding. I live for my Savior!
After Mercy, I will start fresh in a new area and go back to school for a degree in the medical field. My desire is to work in missions to use my story to show God’s grace and unfailing love. I know God saved me for a greater purpose, and I can’t wait to follow where He leads me.
I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for all who make Mercy possible. Mercy exceeded all my expectations. My life was completely transformed in ways that I thought were lost and hopeless. Mercy saved my life, and I now have a relationship that’s an unfailing love with my Father in Heaven.