From Criminal Record to Law Student, Mercy Multiplied Graduate Encourages Nashville Residents
Mercy Multiplied graduate, Caitlin Hawk’s story is one of redemption, transformation, and healing. In 2008, at the age of 19, she walked through the doors of Mercy full of shame, self-hate, and depression. She was also dealing with drug and alcohol issues, had a criminal record, and was pregnant with twins.
Caitlin recently stopped by the Nashville home and shared her story with the staff and residents. You could see the level of gratitude all over her face as she shared her story with the residents 10 years after graduating from the Nashville home. “I’m sorry for getting emotional,” she said. “I usually don’t cry, but it all started here. My room was just down that hallway.”
She encouraged the residents to be patient with themselves on their journey, to focus on God, and deal with the root of their issues while at Mercy. “When the enemy offers you temptation, he has a plan to destroy you,” shared Caitlin. “When you don’t allow Jesus to help you deal with the pain, you end up in the same place – even worse.”
Even though she was a new creation in Christ Caitlin’s life was not perfect after she left Mercy. She shared some important advice she was given while at Mercy, which was to stay in the Word and find a strong Christian support group. “When you leave Mercy, you know you’re a new creation, but life isn’t that easy. We still have to endure and persevere, and we can’t do that alone,” she said.
A few years ago, Caitlin felt like the Lord was leading her to defend the rights of the needy and calling her to become a lawyer. She never had much confidence as a student and was a little uncomfortable with where she felt the Lord was leading. She said, “This calling is bigger than myself, and I know that.” She decided to take an aptitude test. The results showed she should not become an attorney, but she knew that God called her to this profession. She remembered telling herself, “No matter what I feel like, I will take this step scared.” She took the LSAT without preparing and failed. Knowing God had called her to become a lawyer, she prepared for the test, took it a second time, and was offered multiple scholarships.
Currently enrolled in law school, Caitlin is the picture of true transformation. She went from having a criminal record to becoming a voice for the helpless. God has redeemed her life. What the devil meant for harm, God meant for good. She closed her time with the residents saying, “Through all of this, His word is unchanging, it’s all we have to cling to during the rough times. All things around you can crumble but His word can’t.” She added, “We have the Greater One in us to help us overcome. You never have to go back to the same amount of darkness. In His power, we overcome.”