Before coming to Mercy, my intent was to survive. It hadn’t occurred to me that life was purposed to be lived. I was tormented by obscure memories of sexual abuse that I couldn’t quite make sense of which caused me to keep the world at arm’s length. I medicated these memories through dangerous sexual encounters, drug and alcohol abuse, isolation, self-harm, and pornography. In an attempt to regain my “female independence”, I began escorting and found myself in romantic relationships that were often abusive. The outcome was a life in constant fear, anxiety, depression and sexual addiction.
I first heard about Mercy through my church, Seeds of Greatness Bible Church. A Mercy graduate, ShellyAnne, shared her testimony during a mental health awareness service at our church. Several months later I had been consistently attending anonymous groups for sexual addiction with no improvement. I spoke with my pastor, who offered new information of hope and healing in Christ. With ShellyAnne’s help and the support of my pastor and first lady: Jerome and Lisa Lewis, I applied to Mercy Multiplied. When I arrived at Mercy, I was focused, however short-sighted it may have been. I thought that I would come to Mercy, learn a couple of coping mechanisms to help me get the whole “sex thing” under control, and I’d be on my way. However, God had something much more in store then my survival. His plan for me was complete healing, renewal, and transformation.
A pivotal point at Mercy was three weeks into my Mercy experience. I had a revelation that while I saw God as an excellent provider, I didn’t trust him to protect me because of the sexual abuse I had suffered in my childhood. That night I went to sleep and experienced many nightmares. In my sleep I began speaking the word of God over myself! When I woke up, I broke agreement with the lie I believed that I alone could protect myself. This began a spiral of forgiveness of the sexual abuse of my childhood as well as the specific people who abused me. I asked God into my heart to heal the hurt of my past and He so graciously answered my heart’s desire.
While at Mercy, I have fostered an intimacy with God beyond words. I have come to see myself as the bride of Christ and a child of the living God! I have forgiven the hurts, and abuse of my past. Even more, God has helped me to forgive myself of all the mistakes I’ve made as well as the hurt that I have caused others. I have come to see God as the perfect father, friend, husband, provider, protector, comforter, strengthener, and councilor. While at Mercy, I have been under the wisdom and protection of the most wonderful women of God – the Mercy staff. The staff at Mercy have come along side of me in my journey with Christ. They have selflessly served me. They have modeled for me what true womanhood is and what it means to be a daughter of the most high God. I have been freed from guilt, shame, and secrecy through the unconditional love of Christ.
After Mercy I plan on continuing this intimate and obedient walk with Christ in pursuit of the fulfillment of His plan for my life. I plan on becoming even more rooted and established in the love of God through serving at my church and staying in the company and accountability of other passionate believers of Christ.
If you are reading this and thinking about applying, I want you to know that God sees you. He has so much that He wants to tell you. All of the questions that you want the answers to… He’s waiting for you to ask them. Even if trust is hard for you, it was hard for me too but trust me, God can be trusted.
Thank you so much Mercy donors and supporters. Your kindness has allowed me to experience the love of God in a personal way. Your generosity has communicated to me the sovereignty of God. That He has been in my future, making my crooked paths straight. That He gives me the desires of my heart. That He is the provider of all of my needs. I have been able to more clearly see God’s heart to pour out His love so lavishly upon His children. Thank you!