Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nine Graduates Celebrate Transformation at Mercy Ministries!

Residents and staff came together at our Monroe, St. Louis, and Nashville homes this month in order to celebrate the remarkable transformations of nine more Mercy Ministries’ graduates! These young ladies have found freedom from their life controlling issues. Check out their stories!!



Monroe


Caroline

2My life before Mercy was completely controlled by feelings of rejection. I was consumed with worthlessness that began in my family life and led to feelings of inadequacy among my peers. I began using drugs at the age of 15, and eventually found myself in the world of exotic dancing. After dealing with deep depression and drug addiction, I was so close to giving up on life. When I reached the end of myself, I asked God to come into my life and take control. I decided to apply to Mercy in order to learn who I am in Christ and discover my true purpose.

At Mercy, I have learned that God loves me more than any person is capable of loving. He is jealous for me and He cares about my choices. I have also learned how to truly love others. No matter what my circumstances are in life, I have joy and I am totally free from the lies I believed about myself.

After graduation, I plan to pursue a degree in Journalism with a minor in Theology. I want to be a writer and serve God through my writing. I also plan to work at my church during school. Free from everything that held me in bondage, I know my past is a distant memory compared to the destiny God has planned for me!


St. Louis

Kimberly

5My life before Mercy was completely chaotic. I was overwhelmed by my drug addiction and how quickly my life was spiraling out of control. Feelings of abandonment, rejection, and fear led to depression, which fed my addiction to compulsive over-eating. I needed to break free from the cycle of addiction, but I didn’t know how. After confiding in my aunt about my struggles, she told me about Mercy, and I knew in my heart that this was God’s plan for me.

While at Mercy, God helped me to let go of my past. I learned how to let God in so He could heal me. I no longer look to food or sleep for comfort because now I know how to live a healthy, balanced life, and how to keep God first so He can continue to work in my life on a daily basis.

After I graduate Mercy, I plan to pursue a college degree in either counseling or teaching. I believe God is calling me into full-time ministry, and I hope to use my passions to help inner city America and sex trafficking victims.


Emily

3I was physically and sexually abused as a child and teenager. After experiencing this abuse, I became very depressed and suicidal. In order for me to cope with the demands I put on myself to be perfect, I began cutting and restricting food when I was 15 years old. Once my past began to affect my husband and my kids, I shut down and tried to end my life in order to spare them further pain. Multiple hospitalizations left me with a huge medical debt, and I knew that I needed long-term help. I learned about Mercy through a Leadership Team Development Conference and decided to seek help.

Since being at Mercy, God has broken through all the self-protective walls that I had built around myself in order to numb my pain. At Mercy, I was safe and felt unconditional love for the first time. I learned the truth about who God is and who I am in Him. I can finally walk and live in confidence, free from all the life-controlling fear.

After Mercy, I plan to go back to my husband and three children. Homeschooling my boys will help me continue to teach them what I have learned. Eventually, I hope to write and to publish. My time at Mercy Ministries has been an incredible, life-changing experience, and I will never be the same.


Shirley

9My life before Mercy was a mess. Alcoholism and drug abuse controlled my life because I always wanted to live my life in a very extreme way and push the limits. My perception of reality was always one extreme or the other, and I did not believe God was loving or kind. I finally came to the realization that I was unable to solve my problems on my own. My dad told me about a place called Mercy Ministries that was free of charge and could help me get the help I needed, so I made the decision to apply.

I came to Mercy struggling with depression and a drug and alcohol addiction. God has taken away the guilt and shame in my life and has restored my relationship with my family. He has given me a brand new perspective on life, and I have learned how to renew my mind through His Word.

After I graduate, I plan to go to Liberty University and pursue a Nursing degree. I am extremely grateful for a second chance!


Nashville

Hannah

4My life before Mercy seemed hopeless. After suffering physical and sexual abuse, I walked through life in shame and just wanted to end it all. Cutting seemed like the only thing in my life that I had any control over. My life was a wreck and I didn’t believe I had any reason to live. My mom learned about Mercy Ministries while watching Joyce Meyer’s TV show, and at that point, I knew I had to get help. I had already decided that if this didn’t work, I was going to commit suicide.

At Mercy, God has totally transformed my life. He has shown me His unconditional love and now I realize that He is all that I really need. My life is brand new! I’m so thankful that He saved me!

After graduation, I plan to pursue a career as a child therapist, and I also want to write books some day. I’m looking forward to all God has in store for me!


Shaina

7Before Mercy, I was abused physically and sexually by a family member, beginning in my early childhood and continuing until I was 12 years old. I began restricting food because I thought that if I was thinner, then maybe my abuser wouldn’t be attracted to me. In and out of treatment centers and psych wards, I became depressed and attempted suicide on several occasions. Eventually, I became addicted to self-harm and prescription medication. The shame I carried in my mind and my body was more than I could bear. I realized that if I didn’t get help with my eating disorder I would die, so I chose to apply to Mercy Ministries in order to survive.

During my time at Mercy, God has freed me completely from my addictions! God has taught me that He is good and His love for me is pure and not perverted. He didn’t want me to have to experience abuse because He loves me so much.

After Mercy, I’m going to find a job so I can save money for college and pursue an internship. I’m excited to see where God leads me!


Caitlin

1For as long as I can remember, my daily life has been controlled by my emotions. During my childhood, I was physically and sexually abused by family and friends, and later this abuse developed into bad habits with my so-called guy friends who often took advantage of me. I would do anything to please them including experimenting with drugs and alcohol and restricting food in order to stay thin. My life was out of control. I knew God was real, but I couldn’t figure out how to have a relationship with Him. After learning about Mercy from my grandparents, I followed through with the application process so I could spend some time out learning how to have true intimacy with God.

At Mercy, God has showed me that I can be whole and healthy. He has restored my self esteem and my self image, and I have learned to depend on Him entirely. His love is the only love that can ever sustain me. Now, I’m eating a balanced diet and I’m not worrying about my future because God will be with me to help me though my struggles.

After graduation, I am going home to work at a local coffee shop, and I’m going to college! Eventually, I want to pursue a degree in Medicine or Psychology.


Shari

8Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with an eating disorder and self-harm. These issues were controlling my life, and at the peak of my hopelessness, I realized that I really wanted something better for myself. I knew that there had to be more to life than what I was experiencing, so I applied to Mercy in order to find some hope for my life.

God has brought me back to a place of knowing Him while at Mercy Ministries, and I will be forever grateful. He is healing me, and I’m thankful that He is walking beside me, helping me find my way.

After Mercy, I will still have struggles and some of my goals will take time to reach, but I’m thankful that I have let go of the hurts that were holding me back, and now I can seek God in it all and trust Him to meet all my needs.


Michelle

6My life before Mercy was empty and dark. Rejection and sexual abuse left me feeling very alone and I lacked real feeling. I only felt alive when I was cutting, binging or purging. After learning about Mercy from my mother, I wanted to get complete freedom from these issues and I’m so thankful I was accepted into the program.

Wow! Since being at Mercy, God has given me a new identity and a new life. I’ve learned that I am truly accepted and loved by the One who created me! He has healed my pain and turned it into something beautiful for His glory.

After graduation, I will be completing high school and after I graduate, I will always share God’s transforming power as a way to encourage others.


Ladies, we are so proud of you! We are excited to see where the Lord will take you in this next season of your life!