I grew up in a God-filled home, but there were difficult family dynamics with my siblings. Because of this, I took it upon myself to be the “good child” for my parents, which later became a standard for me to live up to. Around age 7, I developed multiple eating disorders. At age 9, I began self-harming. Both of these things continued into my teenage years.
I was homeschooled my whole life, so I didn’t have many social skills and was very shy. I went to a fine arts school one day out of the week with other homeschoolers and was heavily bullied. I was in multiple sexually abusive relationships in my early teenage years. The night before my sixteenth birthday I attempted suicide, but God saved me that night. That’s when I knew He was real. Later an ear infection caused me to lose 75% of my hearing. At this point in my life, I started doing drugs to numb myself.
My counselor gave me a Mercy magazine, and I started the application process. Talking with Mercy staff while I was applying was the first time I had ever felt unconditional love. God spoke to me and told me if I chose to come here, I was choosing life.
When I walked through the doors of Mercy, I was greeted with so much love from the staff and residents. I knew this was where God wanted me. I learned how to be loved for being me and not who I wanted others to think I was. I was healed in my relationship with food and fitness. I also learned no matter what I looked like, people love me and more importantly God loves me. I was shown how to forgive and how to heal from the inside out.
When I leave Mercy, I will be going back home to live with my parents. I will be attending college, and plan to study art therapy to help others move with God and art. I also plan on getting married to the man God has chosen for me.
To the donors, thank you so much for everything you’ve done. God places people like you for the right time and place, and I’m so grateful.