Before coming to Mercy, I was fearful, I had low self-esteem, and had self-hatred. My family loved each other, but we didn’t always know how to express it. I saw a lot of legalism from Christians, and I began to see God as condemning. I didn’t understand the concept of grace or a personal relationship with Jesus.
I tried to meet my internal needs through relationships. I began a cycle of perfectionism, falling short, and feeling unworthy of love and connection. I struggled with depression, anxiety, and codependency on my friends. In high school, I became obsessed with my appearance, and I started dieting and extremely over exercising. I began self-harming, and I found a release in that, so I continued it for years. When my boyfriend and I broke up, I took it hard. After another devastating break-up, I became reckless in my choices. I got into an abusive relationship and drank heavily to avoid my problems. I had a serious suicide attempt which led to my time in a psychiatric ward. The pain in my life led me to attempt suicide again.
With no other options and little hope, I looked into Mercy. My sister-in-law is a graduate of the program and told me about her experience. When I felt like I was going to harm myself again, I decided to apply. When I arrived at Mercy, I remember the only thing I was focused on was when I could get out instead of how I could find healing.
During my time at Mercy, I decided to start again being completely honest with God, others, and myself. I learned that faith isn’t ‘work,” it’s a choice to relinquish control. This realization opened the door to an adventure of revelation and God-given insight into who I am and who God created me to be. God healed me of a hormonal imbalance, He restored memories, and He revealed the roots of my issues. I’ve learned and believe now that I am worthy. He taught me how to be vulnerable and face rejection with confidence in my identity. I know what intimacy with God is now. He helps me to have self-compassion by speaking to me in love and gentleness. What changed everything for me was when I truly understood grace. Jesus saved me from striving, from having to prove myself, and from self-sufficiency.
After Mercy, I plan on finishing school, getting a degree from a Bible college, and incorporating my degrees into working at a ministry.
To the donors, thank you so much for your efforts to make my stay at Mercy comfortable and fun. I can’t thank you enough for making it possible for me to go through this program. Because of your contributions, I was able to meet God and have my life changed for the better.