I was raised in the church and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was five years old. Even though I had Godly influences in my life, I started struggling with insecurity, condemning thoughts, and was emotionally unstable at a young age. As a child, I showed signs of behavioral issues and had frequent episodes of anger.

At the age of sixteen, my family and I moved out of state. I was excited for a fresh start and new opportunities. Life was great for a while. I started to find God’s calling for my life at a new church. But when problems at the church started to arise, my insecurities came back even stronger than before. Although I was serving in youth ministry, I started to self-harm and had suicidal thoughts often. I found myself on antidepressants and going to secular counseling.

Later, I started dating a guy who made me happy, and he convinced me to stop self-harming. Experiencing overwhelming burnout, I stepped down from youth ministry, and my boyfriend and I started to become more intimate which led me to unhealthy habits. Five months later, I was devastated when my boyfriend and I broke up. I started to numb myself with self-harm. I felt that nobody understood my struggles, and I isolated myself from family and church leaders. This is when my aunt called me and told me about Mercy Multiplied.

I started Mercy’s application process and flew out to stay with my aunt and cousin. Shortly after arriving, I had an outburst and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a few days. My stay at the hospital revealed to me how many people are hurting in this world and that God, not medication or therapy, had to be the center of my life and healing.

When I walked through the doors of Mercy Multiplied, I felt accepted, loved, and valuable. God started breaking the chains of the oppression that had held me in bondage for so long. I rededicated my life to Christ and brought all of my struggles and sin to God.

Declaring truth statements out loud helped erase the lies I had believed about myself and made me realize my worth and identity in Christ. Over time, I noticed that my emotions were beginning to stabilize. In counseling, I was able to address my life hurts and forgive those who hurt me. I can now look back on my life and see God loving me even in my darkest moments. I have also been able to learn about my spiritual gifts and work on developing them. Through the friendships I developed with my Mercy sisters, I realized that I am not an outcast and that I have something pretty valuable to add to the conversation.

After leaving Mercy, I am looking forward to spending time with my family. I plan on getting a job and finally getting my driver’s license. I am also hoping to get an internship at a local ministry so I can gain the skills needed to impact women’s lives and to effectively tell others about the freedom they can have in Jesus Christ.

One of my goals is to write and publish a book one day, and I am looking into attending college to pursue a Theology degree. No matter where life takes me, I know God is in control, and I pray that I will always pursue the plans He has for me. My life is still not perfect, and I have bad days, but now I know that God is with me, and I have the tools needed to live in Christ’s victory.

To the donors, thank you. It meant the world to me to hear that total strangers loved and cared about me.