Friday, May 14, 2010

Mercy Celebrates the Graduation of Six Beautiful Young Women!


This week at Mercy Ministries, family, friends and staff came together with the residents in St. Louis, MO and Nashville, TN to celebrate the graduation of six beautiful young women. Here are their testimonies of freedom:

St. Louis

Danielle

Ever since I was a little girl, I struggled with depression, insecurity, hopelessness and fear. I doubted my ability to succeed in everything, and had the tendency to run from my problems instead of learning how to face them. I also had sexual abuse in my life that led to a lot of perversion. When I was a teenager I began struggling with self-harm and while I had no hope in my life, I still desired a deeper knowledge of God and healing from my past hurts.

During my time at Mercy, God has done a lot of amazing things in my life. He has given me confidence and security. He has helped me to endure the hard times. God has purified me inside and out and I am beautiful in His sight. I am no longer a victim but a victor.

After Mercy, I want to take some college art classes. I am going to live with a friend from my church and will serve in the children’s ministry of our church while I return to work in the cleaning industry.


Grace

Before Mercy, I was struggling with daily depression and suicidal thoughts. I had been sexually, physically, emotionally, and verbally abused. I was on a variety of medications, but they weren’t working, so I turned to alcohol to numb the pain.

During my time at Mercy, I have learned that I’m perfectly normal. God’s love has given me the confidence to be both a child of God and a strong woman. Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world! I had medical debt before I came to Mercy, but through His grace, the debt was forgiven by the hospital! I have also been able to come off some of the medications I had been on for years.

After graduation, I plan to move back home in with my loving family for a little while, get a part time job and save money. I also am going back to school for either Radiology or to become a Veterinary Technician, and plan to be more active in my church.


Nashville

Christin

Before Mercy my biggest dream was to die. I came to the end of myself, standing face to face with a failed attempt to end my life and decided to come to Mercy only to give God a second chance. In reality, He has been the one to give me another chance. I grew up in a rough environment surrounded by physical and emotional abuse. After high school, I left home, always bouncing from place to place, struggling with self-injury, an eating disorder, depression, drugs and alcohol, and suicidal thoughts.

Since coming to Mercy I’ve learned that I am worthy to be loved and I know God loves me unconditionally. I have also learned to dream, and to dream with the confidence that I can do all things through Christ. God has completely changed my dreams from death to life!

After Mercy I am moving to St. Louis, where I plan to attend college for Fashion and Interior Design and Child Psychology. I hope to eventually open my own business and become a foster parent!


Lauren

I experienced a lot of rejection and verbal abuse while growing up. This created a drive within me to be perfect, so I started binging, restricting and compulsively exercising just trying to obtain the “perfect” body. I always felt like I was falling short and I self-harmed as a way to cope with the pain I was holding inside. Eventually I tried to commit suicide and it was after the attempt that I realized I needed to get help.

Since I have been at Mercy, I now have an incredible walk with God and my relationships have been completely restored. I know what true love is and it’s by God’s unending, unfailing love that I’m healed.

After Mercy I plan to finish high school and go to college, where I plan to get a master’s degree in psychology. I hope to one day work with victims of sex-trafficking.


Meagan

I grew up in a Christian home but didn’t understand the importance of a personal relationship with God. At a young age, I struggled with fear, anxiety and a sense of being out of control. In an attempt to control things, I began restricting my food. This led to a 12 year battle with anorexia. I went to extremes to find security in both in my eating disorder and relationships, which only led to a further loss of self, sexual assault, shame, and fear.

During my time at Mercy, God has shown me I am worthy and accepted because I am His. Although I may face struggle and temptation, it doesn’t mean I’m not free. It is what I choose to do in that time of struggle and temptation that determines my freedom. He has also shown me that I am “beautiful beyond compare” and only I can fit into the mold He created just for me!

After graduating, I will transition to the real world while staying at my parents. In the fall, I plan to finish my last year of school, get involved at the Village Church and keep my heart open to what God has in store for me next.


Alexa-Jo

Before coming to Mercy, I was a people-pleaser. I had fallen away from Christ and was seeking love and acceptance from the wrong sources. I became very promiscuous, joined the party scene and ran away from home. I was empty and had no hope, which caused me to fall into a deep depression. I questioned if life was even worth living.

Since coming to Mercy, God has wrapped me in His loving arms and has never let me go! He has shown me that I am beautiful, wonderful and His alone! I only seek to please Him!

After Mercy, I plan to attend the Honors Academy in Texas and then do a one year internship and IHOP University.


Congratulations, Danielle, Grace, Christin, Lauren, Meagan and Alexa-Jo! We are so proud of the courage and determination you have shown on this journey! We are cheering you on as you take hold of the abundant life God has for you!