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Matilda – 2013 Graduate

MatildaMy childhood was marked by addiction, abuse, and neglect. I was sexually abused for six years by a few different people, including a family member. By age 11, I started struggling with anorexia and taking laxatives. I believed the accusations and lies others spoke over me about my identity. I was also bullied throughout school. When I was 13, I started self-harming by cutting and hitting myself with hammers. At age 16, I started having panic attacks that led to seizures. I was also partying, drinking, and using drugs. Two years later, I was raped and I began to battle thoughts of suicide. Throughout my childhood, my parents’ marriage was unstable, and they eventually divorced while I was at Mercy.

I knew about Mercy from a young age, because I helped my god-mother run a Mercy booth at an event when I was 8. One day after a counseling session, a Mercy application was given to me. My sister encouraged me to just apply. She was scared for my life because I didn’t want to live anymore.

At Mercy, I learned about love that is pure, undeserved, and full of grace. God is love. I learned that “once an addict, always an addict” is not true. I learned that feelings can be deceiving. I learned how to trust God, because God is truth and I can trust the truth. John 8:32 says you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. It did. I now have no desire for anything from my past but instead, I want all that God has. I don’t have to cope any longer; I can share myself and my life with God.

After graduation from Mercy, I plan to enroll in community college. I want to teach the good news of the Gospel. I’m excited to follow God’s leading and do what He wants me to do.

Thank you, Mercy, for taking me in free of charge, loving me, and teaching me the goodness of God so I can choose an abundant life through Christ.