I grew up in church with a great family, and I had a good childhood. I was a happy kid, but I started to get bullied when I was in middle school. At that point, I started questioning my worth, and I had a hard time trusting people. Life was not great, but I managed until I was fifteen and home alone during a break-in. I was unharmed physically, but mentally, I was broken. This fed the lie that no one could be trusted, and I was constantly terrified to be alone.
Not long after that, I became suicidal, and I ended up in the psychiatric hospital a few times. My counselor suggested Mercy for me when I was sixteen, and I started the application process, but I didn’t finish. I was getting ready to go to college and I was hopeful that things would be different. Unfortunately, college was not the fresh start I had imagined for myself, and I had a hard time making friends. After a few months, the suicidal thoughts took over again, and I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Once I was discharged, I moved back home with my parents, and they suggested Mercy to me again. This time, I followed through with the application process. The main reason I initially chose Mercy was because it was free-of-charge, but once I started looking deeper, my reasons changed for wanting to come. It was completely different from any place I had been before. Mercy has many freedoms that other places do not have. I saw testimonies of women whose lives were transformed. I started having hope that I could change.
At Mercy, one of the first things I worked through was forgiveness. I was able to forgive people in my past, and I found a lot of healing because of that. I learned to trust others and have healthy relationships and boundaries. I learned to trust in God’s protection, and He has become a safe place for me. Also, God healed my relationship with food and my body image. I stopped seeing food as something that could comfort me and I learned how to love my body. I can look at myself and see that I am beautiful instead of pointing out everything I consider to be a flaw. I developed a good foundation in my relationship with Jesus and I am excited to see how that will continue to grow. I learned about renewing my mind, which has been one of the most important keys to me. Now, I agree with Jesus about who He says I am.
After Mercy, I will be moving back home. I will be working and taking classes at the community college near me. I don’t know a lot of the details of what I will be doing yet, but I am going to lean into Christ, and He will reveal His plan for me in His perfect timing.