Friday, August 14, 2009

Five More Girls Celebrate Transformed Lives!

Five residents at the Nashville and St. Louis homes were honored at their graduations from Mercy Ministries! This was an exciting celebration of transformed lives and girls who are walking in the freedom they have received in Christ. Here are their powerful stories:



St. Louis


CeCe

CeCegradBefore I came to Mercy, my life was in shambles. I allowed my identity to be completely wrapped up in materialistic things such as my basketball career, friends, clothing and my appearance. I didn’t think anyone would love me for who I was, and I didn’t really know the real me, so I acted phony. After getting a full-ride scholarship to play basketball at Auburn University, I started heavily abusing drugs and alcohol and participating in the party scene. I got involved in a homosexual relationship and hated who I had become. Eventually, my coaches took me to a rehab center and I lost my scholarship. I felt like I had nothing left. When I left rehab, my parents told me about Mercy Ministries.

Since I have been at Mercy, God has completely redefined me and healed my heart. He has also shown me my identity in Christ and I no longer worry about what people think all the time because I now know that only God can truly satisfy me.

Once I graduate, I plan to attend Lee University in Cleveland, TN on a full-ride basketball scholarship! It is my dreams to one day fully fund a Mercy Ministries’ home.



Jenna

Before Mercy, I believed that I didn’t have a voice. I struggled with the belief that I just wasn’t good enough and that I didn’t measure up. An eating disorder and addiction to excessive exercise was controlling my life. Due to the choices that I was making in my life, I suffered with depression, mood swings, panic attacks and insomnia. I hated who I was and I didn’t think that I deserved to enjoy life. I wasn’t living; I was just existing. After deciding that I didn’t want to take part in a secular eating disorder program because I didn’t want to spend my life “in recovery,” I heard about Mercy Ministries. I wanted complete wholeness and freedom, so I decided to apply to the program.

During my time at Mercy, God has revealed His unconditional love for me as an individual. He has taught me that I am royalty and that my life can be full of abundance and joy. My confidence and security is now found completely in Him and as I seek Him above all else, He will work out all the details in my life. Now, I have no need to worry!

After graduation, I plan to move back home with my family and begin college in January so that I can pursue a degree in Human and Social Development.


Nashville


Samantha

My life before Mercy was filled with depression, self-harm, an eating disorder, thoughts of suicide and a very unhealthy relationship with a controlling and manipulative older man. I felt worthless and abandoned by the people in my life. I was quickly spiraling downward, and I knew that if I didn’t get help, I most likely wouldn’t make it to my 18th birthday. I saw an ad for Mercy Ministries in Brio Magazine and decided to apply.

Since being at Mercy, God has completely restored my joy. He has shown me who I am in Christ and now I don’t feel the need to find my value in relationships with guys or by controlling my weight. My life has been restored and I have the tools to walk out my freedom.

After I leave Mercy, I plan to finish my high school education and work in childcare at my church. I then want to pursue a degree at a Bible College or Christian University and to someday work in ministry. I want to help hurting teenage girls!

Julie

When I was younger, I was abused. I began self-harming at the age of 13 in order to gain some control over my desperate situation. I also began dealing with self-image and became anorexic. By age 14, my use of inhalants spiraled into frequent hospitalizations and eventually a heart attack. I felt abandoned, alone, and completely hopeless, but I knew that if I didn’t get help, I would die. I was accepted into the Mercy Ministries program knowing that I had been given a second chance for life.

While at Mercy, God has completely taken away my self-hatred and shame. I know now who I am in Christ and how much He values me. I learned that my past does not define my future unless I let it, and that God is my perfect Papa. Today, I choose life.

After I graduate, I plan to finish my senior year of high school back in Vancouver, Canada. I then want to get a business degree so that I can open a center for youth in Vancouver that will show them the love of Christ.

Danielle

Before Mercy, I grew up in a loving home. The desire to be special and maintain control over my life is what led me to deal with a 12 year struggle with anorexia. I thought that men, looks, success and a career were my greatest desires, but once I achieved those things, I still felt completely empty and alone. I spent a lot of time in and out of many secular hospitals and programs, which never seemed to have any lasting effect and I really wanted lasting freedom. Soon after that, I learned about Mercy Ministries and decided to apply.

At Mercy, God has revolutionized my life. I discovered that His love is the only thing in this world that is constant and unchanging. He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. Now, I can praise and thank God in all circumstances, good and bad, seen and unseen. Not once was the word “recover” mentioned, because at Mercy, I discovered for the first time that with Jesus there is no “living in recovery,” there is only freedom.

After graduation, I plan to return to my job as a legal assistant back in Long Island, New York and pursue fulfilling the passion of reaching those lost in the sex industry and porn addiction.




Congratulations ladies!! We are so proud of each one of you and are so excited to hear about all God continues to do in and through you!