Growing up, I attended church as a kid and was raised in loving home, but when I was around 7 years old I was sexually abused by a family member. By age 12, I had unhealthy addictions because of the abuse that I been through. As I got older, I was severely overweight, and I ate to numb my pain. I soon developed an eating disorder where I binged and restricted food, which later turned into an unhealthy cycle that controlled my life. By the time I was 16, suicidal thoughts were a very real and daily reality. These struggles, mixed with an unstable home environment, brought me to attempt suicide on a couple of occasions.
I found out about Mercy while I was in college through a program called “Mercy in Motion.” When I first heard about Mercy, I told myself I would never go to a residential program, but three months later I applied.
When I arrived at the St. Louis home, I was very insecure about my body, and I wore many masks to cover up who I really was. I was so good at acting the part of a Christian, but never fully grasped the concept of a relationship with Jesus.
Through my time at Mercy, God has delivered me from many unhealthy addictions, the need to restrict and purge my food, and depression. The turning point for me, was when I decided to start taking off all of my masks and to listen to what God said about me. I was able to learn about myself, God, and life as it should be viewed. I also learned that my identity is in Christ and nothing else. I don’t have to hold on to the addictions and eating disorder to give me a sense of identity or belonging because I can get all of that and so much more from Jesus Christ.
After I graduate, I plan to nanny, get back into worship at my church, and possibly get involved in coaching softball. I am also excited to continue following the plan we learned from Dave Ramsey and save up while getting healthy and running!
To the Mercy donors, thank you! I was so blessed every day to wake up in a warm, loving environment like Mercy. Whenever I step back and realize how big of a blessing it truly is to be here, I am in awe.