I grew up struggling with feelings of abandonment and shame. My father had never been involved in my life and for years my family told me he was dead to try to protect me from feeling abandoned. When I found out my father was still alive but wanted nothing to do with me, my idea of trust was broken, and I lived my life not knowing how to trust anyone. At a young age, I was sexually abused by a friend who was just a few years older than me. As I got older, I felt shame and confusion about this situation these feelings followed me into my adult life. I began self-harming when I was 17 for a release of pain, and never felt I could reach out for help. I used performance as a way to feel loved, but I quickly became worn out from trying to be perfect and lost all my confidence. For two years, I planned my suicide but never followed through for fear of ending up in a psychiatric hospital. I thought God was cruel for keeping me alive.
After a suicide attempt, I went to my counselor and explained my situation. I ended our conversation by saying, “At this point, if there is a place you trust that would help me, I’ll go.” That is when she told me about Mercy Multiplied.
When I first came to Mercy, I hid behind walls of perfection that I had built, not knowing another way to live. The staff helped me to see I was already loved, and I did not have to put on a performance. While at Mercy, I learned a lot about God’s character and my identity in Christ. When I added that knowledge to my faith, I was able to step into a genuine relationship with God. He was no longer just a part of my life, but he became the source of my life. God resurrected my dreams and confirmed a call on my life to lead His people in worship.
I now have a summer job at the church camp I grew up going to, being a lifeguard and leading low ropes. I believe that God will open the right doors, and I trust God for the future.
I want to say thank you to Mercy donors for helping girls like me fight for the life Christ died to give us. God saved and transformed my life through Mercy, and I cannot express how thankful I am.