Wednesday, March 10, 2010

St. Louis Graduates Celebrate their Freedom!

St. Louis staff and residents came together with family and friends to celebrate seven amazing young women as they graduated from the Mercy Ministries program. Here are their stories of freedom:


Bryanna

4Before Mercy, I believed that I had a death-sentence because of my addiction to self-harm and my borderline personality disorder. I allowed anger and manipulation to control my life, and I believed everything and everyone should revolve around my needs. I hated my family and I didn’t know how to be a friend. I was desperate for healing and when my parents told me about Mercy Ministries, I made the decision to apply.

While at Mercy, God has set me free from addiction! I am no longer depressed because I know I am a child of God. Hope and healing are my new testimony and I’m so thankful for this experience!

After graduation, I plan to pursue a degree in Art with a minor in Psychology. It is my hope that I will someday use art therapy to help people learn about the heart of God.


Amy

2Before coming to Mercy, I struggled with a 6-year eating disorder, alcoholism, obsessive compulsive disorder, and self-harm. Childhood emotional abuse left me hating myself and filled with insecurity. I believed nobody loved me. Addiction seemed to be the only way to gain control over my life when, in reality, everything was completely out of control. I knew I needed change, and I wanted to do it with God’s help, so I applied to Mercy.

Since I have been at Mercy, God has shown me His unconditional love and acceptance. I am His precious daughter, and no issue or disease will ever define who I am. There is so much freedom in submitting to His will! My life is truly changed forever.

After Mercy, I plan to go back to college and pursue a career in Nursing. My future is filled with God’s promises!


DeJon

5My life before Mercy was a mess. Choosing to do things my way created a lot of struggle and hardship and eventually, I ended up homeless. Every single day, I woke up feeling miserable, as if my life had no purpose.

During my time at Mercy, God has given me joy that is amazing and powerful! I don’t have to be ashamed of my past because I am a NEW creation in Christ. Following the crowd always left my life in shambles, but I now realize that when I follow Jesus, my life will always be full of peace.

After Mercy, I plan to work as a medical receptionist at a local doctor’s office and eventually pursue a college degree in Criminal Justice.


Abigail

1My life before Mercy was filled with uncontrollable anger. I was afraid to fail as a mother which made me feel alone, tired and hopeless. Frantic to escape all my shame and guilt, I exhausted all available resources. At the end of myself, I knew I needed God to open a door for me. I know He made the way for me to go to Mercy.

At Mercy, God has made His awesome presence known in my life! He has broken the cycle of shame and failure and freed me from bondage to my issues. I have learned that my identity is in Christ alone, that my purpose is to further His Kingdom, and that in Him I have full authority over the enemy. I’m also so thankful for the bold and anointed women on staff at Mercy who have made a profound impact on my life!

After graduation, I will teach what I have learned at Mercy to both of my beautiful daughters. I plan to pursue a college degree in the fall and look forward to becoming actively involved in a local church.


Katie

6I grew up in a loving, stable, Christian home and my life was devoted to excelling at sports. The approval and acceptance I received for my athletic accomplishments fueled my desire to experience perfection in all areas of my life. After developing insecurities about my body, the pressure to be a perfect daughter, role model, and athlete manifested into anorexia and eventually depression. I applied to Mercy because I knew in my heart that only God could make me whole again.

While at Mercy, God totally transformed my understanding of who He is and who I am in Him. He showed me that the lies I had believed produced a performance driven, legalistic people-pleasing mentality. I am so thankful that God looks at my heart! He patiently and lovingly revealed that He delights in me just the way I am! Applying to Mercy was the best decision I have ever made.

After Mercy, I plan to return home to my awesome parents and be an adoring aunt to my future niece or nephew! I also plan to attend college in the fall.


Ana

3Before Mercy, I grew up in a loving home, but my safety net completely shattered when my parents divorced. I began self-harming to cope with my pain and self-hatred and eventually developed an eating disorder and a severe drug and alcohol addiction. After experiencing the heartbreak of losing a child to abortion and damaging close relationships through my chaotic lifestyle, I became severely depressed. Mercy Ministries was my last hope.

At Mercy, I have learned how to love and accept myself the way God does. This has been essential to my healing. For the first time since I was young, I feel whole and full of peace. I am totally convinced that God saved my life through this ministry.

After I graduate, I will go back to school to finish my Psychology degree. I am looking forward to using my career to help people who have experienced the same pain I’ve been through find hope and healing in Christ.


Kelsey

7Before I came to Mercy, I was very rebellious. Experimenting with drugs at a young age, I became addicted to all kinds of substances. Eventually, I gave my body away to men in order to support my habit. Completely broken, I tried secular programs for healing, but these programs left me in disbelief that I could ever be free from my addictions. After my mother read the book, “Trapped: Mercy for Addictions” by Nancy Alcorn, she recommended that I apply to Mercy. I was excited to have a real relationship with Christ!

During my time at Mercy, God has shown me that His love is unconditional even when I mess up. I have been healed from grief, depression, promiscuity, co-dependency, addiction and low self-esteem. I also received the encouragement that I needed to have the confidence to walk out my freedom!

After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in the medical field. I’m excited to see how my life will be used to encourage others.


Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of your bravery and maturity and can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for you on your new journey with Him.