Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Graduation Day – Celebrating Six More Lives Transformed!!


Nashville residents and staff joined together with family and friends to celebrate six more amazing young women as they graduated from Mercy last week. These young women have been changed by the love of Christ and are looking forward to the future. We would like to share their stories with you:

Abby

My life before Mercy was desolate and broken. I was struggling with depression, which led to a multitude of many other self-destructive behaviors. I hated myself. My parents ended up running out of money to send me anywhere for help, and I knew I would die if I gave up on seeking freedom. I found out about Mercy through my school counselor and decided to apply.

My time at Mercy was life changing. I came seeking freedom, and freedom is exactly what I received. God has set me free from my past, my pain, and my struggles.

Once I graduate, I plan on going home to pursue a career as a Christian song writer as well as a motivational speaker. I am not sure what that journey will look like, but I know that the Lord has plans to prosper me as I follow Him.

Sarah

My life before Mercy was empty and I hated myself. I was extremely angry, depressed, and I did not have a clue who I was. As a way to fill this huge void in my life, I began cutting myself and struggling with bulimia. I wanted to disappear altogether and I contemplated suicide. I was in self-destruct mode. As my parents helplessly watched me in self-destruct mode, they recommend Mercy Ministries and hoped that I would apply. Grasping for hope, I decided to apply, which is when I realized that the Lord had different plans for my life.

While I was at Mercy, God completely set me free from self-harm and bulimia. I no longer walk in depression and He has truly restored my joy. I genuinely laugh and smile, which I am so excited about! I have been able to develop a real relationship with the Lord.

After I graduate I plan on going back home to finish my home schooling. After that I am not sure what I am going to do, but I trust that the Lord will guide me in all my ways.

Jennifer

Before Mercy I was religious, but never had a real relationship with God. I was raised in a strict Christian home, and I often felt very controlled by my father. As a way to have control of something, I began obsessing about eating and my body, which only caused me to never feel good enough. I lived under constant comparison to everyone around me. I took on too much false responsibility and became very controlling myself. My friend told me about Mercy Ministries, and I immediately knew it had to be God’s plan because no other treatment center I had been through helped me find freedom.

During my time at Mercy, I believe that God saved my life! I was literally on death’s doorstep when I arrived, but since then I have been brought back to life. I have found a real relationship with the Lord, and I am hungry to know Him more. I have hope for my future, and I know that God has big plans for my life. I have experienced His unconditional love for me even when I mess up. Now, I believe that I am worthy of His blessings.

After graduation, I will be going home to complete two high school classes and then graduate in June. Afterwards, I do not have any definite plans, but I am full of hopes and dreams. I trust that God will lead me wherever He wants me to go!

Diana

Before Mercy, I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I was struggling with bulimia and anorexia on a daily basis. I also beat myself and made it a point to be self destructive in any manner that I could. These behaviors were my way of dealing with the pain of past sexual abuse and being bullied in school. I never had any friends, and I hated who I was. I thought that God did not care about me and therefore, I became hopeless about ever living an abundant life. I stopped caring about what happened to me, and I began stealing to support my addictive habits. I realized that thievery was my ‘rock bottom’ and I decided I needed help, so I applied to Mercy Ministries.

While I was at Mercy, God has rescued me from myself and restored my life. Now, I have a real relationship with Him, and it amazes me that He loves me so completely. He has healed my past hurts and I am so grateful to have my life back.

After graduation, I want to go home and finish my last year of college at East Tennessee State University studying Family and Consumer Sciences. I am going to be living at home with my parents and finding a job somewhere between my school and home. I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for me.

Lisha

Because of a horrible childhood full of neglect and abuse, my life before Mercy was very broken, and I was extremely rebellious. I hated God and disrespected all authority. I was angry and hated who I was. I did not care what happened to me or what others did to hurt me. Confusion overwhelmed my thoughts, and I did not know what it would be like to feel safe. As a last hope, I applied to Mercy.

During my stay at Mercy, I felt safe for the first time in my life. The Lord has set me free, and He has shown me the love of a perfect father. My identity has been renewed in Christ, and I no longer define myself by my issues. I also learned how to build healthy relationships and to identify lies about myself. Now, I am truly alive!

After Mercy, I plan on going home to work and pursue college. I am not sure where I want to go, but I do know that I want to get a degree in Music and Psychology. I have great expectations for life as I move into a new chapter!

Rachel

Before coming to Mercy, I hated God for allowing my family to split up and for allowing me to get raped. I saw life as a sick game where God was on one side and Satan was on the other side, and I had to out smart the two of them. I found my identity in my achievements and what people thought of me. I found that drugs, alcohol and sex numbed the pain and calmed my fears. I was so desperate for help and I did not want to hide anymore, so I applied to Mercy.

During my time at Mercy, God showed me my true identity in Him. He showed me that He is not an angry god waiting to smite me, but rather He is my friend, redeemer and a personal God. He is personal to each one of us, and I now know Him in a real way.

After graduation, I plan on going home to attend Queens University to pursue a degree in Human Services and Counseling. One day, I hope to help girls like myself find freedom in Christ!

Congratulations ladies! You are so beautiful and we are excited to see the plans that God has for you!