Monday, April 20, 2009

Graduate Returns to Join Mercy Ministries Monroe Staff as Nutrition and Fitness Manager

Crystal came to Mercy Ministries after battling an 8-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia. She believed that she would never be free from the eating disorder, which led to struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and prescription drug abuse. Each year, her chains of bondage grew tighter. Eventually she was hospitalized and went through several counselors, but nothing helped. Her life was a mess. After a severe wake-up call when she was hospitalized yet again for major complications from the eating disorder and laxative and diet pill abuse, Crystal was confronted with reality and knew that she would die if she did not overcome the eating disorder.

Soon after the wake-up call, a close friend told Crystal about Mercy Ministries. Crystal was already a Christian and knew that there was no other way to freedom but through Jesus Christ, so she began the application process to Mercy. Crystal was accepted into the program and arrived at our Monroe home in 2005.

During her time at Mercy, God did an amazing work in her life. She learned to apply God’s Word to her life in a real and tangible way. She was able to break free from the tough life issues that were at the root of her destructive behaviors. Due to a childhood full of loss, hurt, instability and abuse, she did not have much value or self-worth. Crystal was overwhelmed with feelings of rejection and she was unsure of how to cope with the hurtful choices that others had inflicted upon her. God revealed to Crystal that her true identity is in Him and not in the things of this world. He revealed His amazing love and forgiveness to her and enabled her to begin to see herself through His eyes. Crystal said, “God used Mercy Ministries in such an awesome way, and He brought healing, freedom, health, value and truth into my life. I am able to forgive and live life to the fullest now!"

After graduating from Mercy, Crystal moved on to obtain her college degree. Crystal felt called to Nutrition and Fitness. The Lord made it very clear that Crystal’s greatest struggle would now be her greatest area of ministry. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Louisiana Tech University. Crystal immediately began working as a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist at a local hospital and fitness center. During that time, God called her back to school again to finish a Master’s degree in nutrition. He paved the way and provided all the necessary resources. In March of 2009, Crystal graduated with a Master’s degree in Nutrition.

Soon after, she began feeling the desire to return to Mercy Ministries and work as the Nutrition and Fitness Manager, so she submitted her resume and waited. God opened the doors and it became a reality in February of 2009. Crystal said, “It has been amazing to come back to Mercy to work and serve with the gifts and talents that the Lord has given me. I love pouring out all that the Lord has taught me. It is an incredible opportunity to help these girls find the same love and freedom in Christ that I have found.”

Crystal also said, “This past year has been one of much fulfillment and blessing, words can not even describe! I am working in my dream job and acquired my Master’s degree. I also purchased a new home and married the love of my life just a few weeks ago, which is a miracle in itself. I always said that I would never take a man’s last name, but God has healed and restored me in that area as well, and He brought me a wonderful and godly man. The Lord has truly blessed my obedience to Him. I have learned what it means to live an Ephesians 3:20 life, which is blessed, beyond anything I could ask or imagine!”

We are so proud to have Crystal on staff at Mercy Ministries and we are excited to see what the Lord has in store for her future.