Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mercy Ministries Celebrates Eight New Graduates!

Nashville residents and staff joined together with family and friends to celebrate eight more amazing young women as they graduated from Mercy Ministries. These graduates have been given a second chance at life and are experiencing the life-changing power of God’s love. We would like to share their stories with you:


Monroe

Sarah

8Before Mercy, I grew up with a solid Christian background, but I didn’t understand what it meant to have a true relationship with Christ. Being born with cerebral palsy made me feel worthless and unusable, and I was convinced God and everyone else hated me because I hated myself. I gave up on God and on my life and began to look for ways to commit suicide because I didn’t want to hurt anymore. Mercy seemed to offer a chance at the abundant life I had heard about all my life and so desperately wanted. I made the decision to apply.

While at Mercy, I learned that God really does have a plan for my life. He loves me uniquely and created me with a specific purpose in mind. He never left me in my suffering and now I realize that “all things work together for my good.” I am called according to His purpose.

After I graduate, I plan on pursuing a degree in English and linguistics and eventually would like to be a career foreign missionary.


St. Louis

Rena

7Before Mercy, I lived in constant fear and I was barely keeping it all together. Shame, hopelessness, anger, abandonment and insecurity plagued my thoughts, and I became very depressed. After my parents divorced, I didn’t have a father figure in my life and this had a huge impact on my sense of self-worth. I decided to apply to Mercy when I was sick of living with constant anxiety. I completed the application and was accepted into the program.

At Mercy, God has given me peace for fear, hope for hopelessness, and joy for my depression! I am secure in who He has created me to be. He has promised that He will never leave me or forsake me, and I know that He has an amazing plan for my life.

After I graduate, I plan on getting involved in my local church and hope to someday help girls who are hurting, the way Mercy helped me. I want young women to know that their hope is in Jesus Christ.

McKenzie

6Before coming to Mercy, my life revolved around buying, selling and using OxyContin. I was losing control of my life – immersed in this accelerating addiction. I didn’t even know who I was anymore and had no idea how to get help. My pastor, Debbie Lindell at James River Assembly, told me about Mercy and encouraged me to apply. I’m so glad I did!

While at Mercy, God has shown Himself to me through the loving staff and incredible counselors. I finally have a real relationship with Jesus and I experience His love everyday. I have hope for my future and know the indescribable joys of living clean from drugs and honoring God in all that I do.

After Mercy, I’m moving back to Springfield to live with my family. I plan to continue walking out everything I learned at Mercy. I also look forward to pursuing a job with Monster Jam, a live motorsport event tour and television show. I’m excited for all that God is going to do!


Hope

3Before Mercy, my life felt pointless and without purpose. Suffering from severe depression and anxiety, I spent most of my time isolated from others, laying on the couch or sleeping all day long. I began using self-harm as a way to cope with this paralyzed existence because my life felt very meaningless. I desperately needed help overcoming my struggles and when my parents encouraged me to apply to Mercy, I knew that I had to dedicate time to my healing.

While I have been at Mercy, God has completely changed me! I have confidence in God’s love for me, and I know that my future is not defined by my past. I know that I am worthy of receiving His love, and I’m so thankful for that. The Mercy staff demonstrated the unconditional love of God and helped me realize His truths! I will never forget this amazing time in my life.

After graduation, I will focus on allowing God to bring healing into my relationships with my family. My future is forever changed.



Lincoln

Heather

2At 4 years of age, I was molested by a trusted church friend, and this deeply impacted my life. As a result of this abuse, I grew up believing that I should be silent and live in fear of others. Later, in my twenties, I experienced more sexual abuse which led to promiscuity and a lack of self-worth. Desperate to be called beautiful, I also battled with anorexia. I was on a destructive path with no way out, and I knew something needed to change so I decided to apply to Mercy.

At Mercy, I have learned that I am deeply loved and valued by God. I was even worth dying for! God has healed my heart and completely transformed my perspective! I am a princess because I am loved by my Father, the King. He has set me free!

After Mercy, I plan to move to Colorado Springs and work as a full time esthetician at a local spa. I know that my Father has a great purpose for my life!


Laura

5Before coming to Mercy, I partied my life away. The party scene and promiscuity took hold of my life, and I felt enslaved by this fallen world. Every day I was addicted to binging and purging and then on the weekends I switched to an all liquid diet called alcohol. I knew that only God’s strength and love could free me from the bondage I was in, so I applied to Mercy Ministries.

While I was at Mercy, God revealed many amazing truths to me. He is captivated by my beauty and He loves me just the way I am. He is the Lover of my soul. Choosing to live without Him is no longer an option because now I truly know He is my only hope! There is no other way!

After graduation, I plan to work at a Christian family camp. Life is exciting when it is in the hands of God. He is bound to take me anywhere and use my life to do anything!



Nashville

Ainsley

1Before Mercy, I was physically and sexually abused by a man in my dad’s church. At that time, I began abusing prescription drugs, self-harming and struggling with suicidal thoughts. Later in high school, I was introduced to harder drugs and alcoholism took over my life. After several failed suicide attempts, I found myself pregnant with twins and desperate for help. Mercy was God’s answer for me.

During my time at Mercy, God has completely transformed my life. He brought me out of death and has given me a new life in Him! Not only that but He has also restored my relationship with my family. I am brand new!

After Mercy, I plan to pursue a degree in Pediatric Nursing. I look forward to all that the future holds.


Kalissa

4After being sexually abused by several men in my life, I began the damaging cycle of self-harm and experienced severe depression. For a long time, I tried to figure out everything on my own, and I didn’t want to have anything to do with God. Life without God is completely dark and hopeless so I knew something had to change. My sister learned about the Mercy program and encouraged me to apply. I’m glad I followed her suggestion.

At Mercy, God has completely changed me from the inside out. I no longer have to live with shame and guilt because I know that everything that has happened will be used for my ultimate good. No matter what happens, God is worthy of my praise. I am so thankful for my time in this program.

After Mercy, I will be returning home and looking for a job. From now on, my life is no longer my own, and I am thrilled about that!


Congratulations Sarah, Rena, McKenzie, Hope, Heather, Laura, Ainsley and Kalissa!! We thank God for what He is doing in each of your lives and look forward to the future He has for you!