When I was three, I was taken from my biological family and put into foster care. I moved in and out of twelve different foster homes, never feeling safe or loved. Finally, my dreams of having a family came true, and I was adopted when I was 6. I grew up in church with a very loving, caring family, but dealt with feelings of abandonment.
In junior high, I was bullied by multiple girls and called horrible names. Nearly every day I was told I was trash and constantly got physically harassed in the hallways. Eventually, my parents decided to move me and enroll me in a Christian school.
When I started going to my new school, I decided I wanted to get close to God again. My freshman year was full of good friends and laughter. However, I met a guy a year older who was very charming and we quickly began dating, but I soon spent all my time with him and started losing other relationships. At this time, I was also diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and anger issues.
Soon after, I was raped by a co-worker. I was traumatized and in so much pain. I continued to be harassed by my rapist for a while until I finally quit my job. I was full of darkness and shame; when I looked in the mirror all I saw was filth. My depression was sky high, and my anger only grew. I was all alone and felt like I couldn’t tell anyone. When I finally told my boyfriend, he told me it was my fault and called me a cheater. He decided to stay with me but held it over my head. We eventually broke up. I felt so worthless, and every breath felt like I was suffocating. I attempted to take my life, but God had other plans.
I began many destructive habits. I started binging eating, drinking, partying, and getting high. All the while holding it together in front of my family. I found out my Dad was an alcoholic and was hiding how much he drank. He decided to go to rehab. During this time, my mom was so stressed out, I never felt like I could tell her what happened to me. I continued to stay alone in the dark, wondering where God was. One day at school, I told the counselor everything. She called my mom and that day I told her I had been raped. I spoke with my parents, and I knew something had to change. My aunt told me about Mercy, and I soon applied and was on my way.
When I walked into the doors of Mercy, I started to pour my heart out to God and asked questions, trying to understand. I asked Him to fill the hole I had in my heart. Instantly I felt something pouring into my heart and was surrounded by complete warmth and love. That night, I rededicated my life to Christ. That was the beginning of our love story. I have completely fallen in love with God’s mercy, grace, and unfailing love. He has healed my brokenness and has made me whole again. He has shown me that my true identity is in Him. He gave me purpose and has taught me to love and see myself the way He sees and loves me. Through choosing to forgive, I realized deep unforgiveness that I had to deal with. I received true healing in that area and was eventually able to feel love for those who had hurt me, and I learned to start praying for them daily.
God has given me so much joy while I have been at Mercy and has constantly shown me who I really am. Even on the dark days, I still held on to my joy deep down. Because of God, I am completely off of my depression and anxiety pills. The last month of Mercy wasn’t easy. I dealt with a lot of spiritual warfare, and it seemed like everything was going wrong. I had to really dive into the truth of God. I felt extreme love and encouragement from staff, cheering and praying me on. I was determined to rejoice in the hard times and trust God completely. I can honestly say that Mercy saved my life and has shown me all that God has done for me.
After Mercy I’m excited to go home to my family. I’m ready to walk this journey with them and build our relationship. I plan on getting my GED and enrolling in community college. I also have the desire to go on a trip to serve wherever God leads me. I cannot wait to see where God takes me and share with others all He has done. I am an overcomer, and I am ready to dance and shout the name of God!