Jennifer – 2014 Graduate
As a child, I was a happy go lucky little girl. I was very vibrant and extremely outgoing, but that soon changed when I was sexually and verbally abused by trusted authority figures. My life was never the same again. For the next two decades, my happiness and joy turned to sadness and hopelessness. At around 16, I began experimenting with drugs to numb the pain. In the following years, I attempted suicide multiple times, was in and out of treatment centers and jail, and ultimately was on my death bed.
I was laying in the hospital when my sister-in-law called to see if I would be interested in getting help through Mercy. Nancy Alcorn had come to speak at a seminar held at her church. Because I was already in a hospital, I told her I wasn’t interested. However, deep in my heart, I felt a pull and desire to at least check into it. Later, I realized this was the Holy Spirit working in me. After many hesitations, I decided to give it a try and apply. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but because I was tired of living the way I had been living, I was willing to do whatever it took to get some help. Deep down, I knew there was more to life than what I had experienced. I was in search for a sense of freedom. I knew my heart was yearning for someone or something to fill the emptiness I had felt all my life.
Prior to Mercy, my life was a complete mess. My marriage had fallen apart, and I became homeless and lost my children. I didn’t know where my next meal would come from or even where I would lay my head at night. When I arrived at Mercy, I was very shy and bitter; I didn’t trust anyone. I felt like the staff was out to “get me.” During my stay at Mercy, I have learned that God places authority figures in our lives to help us and not to harm us. Despite everything in my past, the staff showed me what unconditional love, support, acceptance and compassion look like. They encouraged me when I screwed up. They taught me that my addiction and the sins I had committed weren’t my identity. Instead, I learned that my identity is in Christ, and that I am his child. No one, including Satan, can ever take that away from me. They showed me that committing myself to Christ meant that I am a new creation in Him—the old has passed away and all things are made new.
I no longer see God as a Father who is absent, angry, abusive and manipulative. Instead, I see God the Father as always present, loving, merciful, compassionate and trustworthy. I can rest knowing that God my Father is proud of me and even if I mess up I know that He will correct me in a loving way. God’s word is truth, and I know He will accomplish everything He said He would do. My hope has been restored and my mourning has returned to joy. I have been REDEEMED.
After Mercy, I am going to go home and reunite with my children and family. I am excited to use the calling that God has placed on my life to be a witness and to use my testimony to help hurting and addicted people. I want to show them that there is a way out and that they don’t have to live in slavery like I did for years. God sent Jesus to set the captives free and if He can do it for me, then He will do it for them.
I would like to thank Nancy Alcorn for being bold and obedient to the Lord’s call on her life. Because of her obedience, she has been able to help thousands of hurting girls like myself. Thank you Nancy! I Love You! I would also like to thank the donors. Without your support none of this would have been possible. May God Bless each and every one of you!