My dad died when I was three years old, which left my mom with a lot to figure out on her own. Soon after his death my mom was sent to prison, which caused me to have feelings of rejection and abandonment. At the age of 12, I started cutting and burning myself as a way to deal with all the chaos in my life. When I turned 18, I developed an eating disorder that gave me yet another mask to cover the pain I felt. I ended up being admitted to many secular treatment centers and did not get the results I wanted. Finally, I found out about Mercy Ministries and the thought of finding real freedom gave me hope beyond just ‘experiencing’ another program.
While at Mercy, God has shown me who I really am in Him. More importantly, he has shown me who I am not! I am not a cutter or a girl with an eating disorder. I am a beautiful daughter of God. He has also revealed to me that life is not just about the negative things that hurt me; it is about what He can do through me because of the painful experiences in my past.
When I get home, I plan on finishing high school and getting a job. I plan to go on to college and pursue a career as an English teacher. As a teacher, I believe that I could use the talents God has given me and have a chance to pour into the lives of the next generation of youth.
Before Mercy, I was driven by a performance mentality as a way of coping with the pain in my life. As a child I was molested, which led to a perfectionism mindset and a battle with bulimia. I thought if I could be perfect and do everything right all the time that I would be loved. I was going to school full time, working two jobs and participating in a church Bible study. I grew up in fear of not knowing if or when we would eat again. The fear and the eating disorder were controlling me, and I resorted to the possibility of suicide. However, I got my hands on Nancy Alcorn’s book Starved: Mercy for Eating Disorders and decided that applying to Mercy Ministries would be a better option.
At Mercy, God showed Himself to me in a real way and I have developed a close relationship with Him. He has truly healed me from my past hurts, but I am still a work in progress. I know that walking out my healing and freedom will be a process as I continue to learn to eat properly and exercise in a balanced manner. I now know the importance of reading the Bible, staying in prayer and praising God every day because these are the things that bring me into a deeper relationship with God.
After I leave Mercy Ministries, I am going to college to get a Bachelors degree in Accounting, and then I plan take the CPA exam for licensure. However, if God decides to completely change that plan, I am open because I feel as though I might want to go into ministry instead.
My life before Mercy was a nightmare. I was heavily addicted to crystal meth. There was no sad story behind the ‘why’ outside of the fact that I just made bad choices and got involved in the wrong things. I also struggled with bulimia and self-harm as a way to try and regain control over my addiction to the drugs. Paranoia overwhelmed me as I started hearing voices in my head, and I wanted to die. The addiction stole everything from me. I had been to many treatment centers without any lasting change. I was on the Internet when I found out about Mercy Ministries, and I decided to the program as my last hope!
During my stay at Mercy Ministries, God has turned my world upside down. I learned that in Him, I am more than a conqueror. He restored my heart and put all of its pieces back together. The Lord completely redeemed my past and is still restoring back to me a double portion of what the enemy stole.
Now, I plan to go to a school of ministry where I can then reach out and help other girls that are currently struggling with things I have overcome. My desire is to show young women that freedom in Christ is possible. I want every girl to know the truth about how the Lord defines her. I would also love to get involved with inner city missions.
Congratulations Kerry, Bonnie and Kalie!! We are so proud of you! We are looking forward to seeing the great future that God has for each one of you!