Friday, October 2, 2009

Three More Lives Transformed!

St. Louis staff and residents gathered with the families and friends of three more incredible young women as they graduated from Mercy Ministries in St. Louis. These young ladies made the decision to stop destructive cycles in their lives and embrace freedom through Christ. Check out their amazing stories!



Elizabeth

1My life before Mercy was full of physical abuse, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. At the age of 12, I developed an eating disorder, and at the peak of my hopelessness, I turned to drugs and alcohol. A friend and Mercy graduate told me about her experience at Mercy Ministries, and I decided to apply because I knew that God wanted more for me and my family.

While at Mercy, I learned about the incredible power of our choices. Most importantly, I learned that I have a choice! I can choose to be obedient to God and live in the freedom that Jesus died to give me.

After graduation, I plan to get involved with my church’s praise and worship team, and I want to help others find freedom and hope through Jesus. I’m looking forward to all God has in store for me!



Emily

2For as long as I can remember, I was in a state of depression and anxiety. I never felt any relief from regret and inner turmoil. Growing up, I was physically, sexually and emotionally abused. My father unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack and at age 17, I attempted suicide with alcohol and this only led to more alcohol abuse. During the darkest days of my addiction, I would mix alcohol with sleeping pills, prescription drugs, marijuana or cocaine. I also questioned my sexuality and struggled with a homosexual relationship. Eventually, my life spun completely out of control, and I began to develop an eating disorder to gain a sense of power. I dropped out of college, hit rock bottom, and truly lost my will to live. Finally, after hearing Nancy Alcorn speak at my church, I realized that I needed help and Mercy was my last hope for change.

During my time at Mercy, God stripped me of my pride, contempt, fear and rebellion. I was forced to face myself and acknowledge the pain that I had caused to others as well as what had been done to me. I found that it was in this place of total helplessness that I was able to experience God’s grace to its fullest and eventually, God gave me the ability to forgive others for their mistakes. I now experience total rest in the presence of my Savior. I have hope, vision and life, and God has healed my broken heart. I am so overwhelmed by His unfailing love.

After Mercy, I will be serving and volunteering at my home church. I would eventually like to return to school and pursue a degree in Psychology or Religious Studies. I am so excited to see where God takes me in the months and years ahead.



Rebekah

3Before coming to Mercy, my family life was an emotional wreck. I remember my parents fighting, and their emotions being explosive. I was molested at the age of 3 and raped when I was 13 years old. I felt like I was wearing a neon sign that said “use me.” I developed an eating disorder and began cutting. This eventually led to drug abuse and I repeatedly overdosed. During my fifth overdose, my heart stopped for about 10 seconds. Most people would say “that scared me to death,” but for me it’s more like “that scared me to life.” I was out of control and I really didn’t want to die. My mom told me about Mercy and I followed through with the application process knowing I needed help.

At Mercy, I’ve learned that there is not a sign singling me out for abuse, but in everything, God was there with me even if I didn’t hear Him or feel Him. Every time I fell, I thought I was picking myself back up but I wasn’t...He was. My experience at Mercy wasn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have peace for the first time and I’m finally free.

After graduation, I plan to go home and spend time with my family full of the joy I have received. I’m going to seek God as to more long term plans, but for right now, I’m content and I’m looking forward to enjoying my family.




Congratulations, Elizabeth, Rebekah and Emily! We are so proud of each of you for having the courage to put your lives on hold and get to the root of your issues so that you can move forward with lasting freedom and hope for your future. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!