Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mercy Ministries Celebrates Six More Graduations!!!


Last week residents and staff joined together with family and friends to celebrate the amazing transformations of six more beautiful young women as they graduated from Mercy Ministries. These graduates are leaving Mercy after experiencing the life-changing power of God’s unconditional love. We would like to share their stories with you:

St. Louis

Tina

My life before Mercy was filled with years of self-hatred and I struggled with thoughts of suicide every day. Caught in a cycle of depression, hopelessness and isolation that included an eating disorder and self-harm. I burned my body with anything I could get my hands on. I had no love for myself and was trying to make everyone around me happy when I felt completely rotten on the inside.

After hearing Nancy Alcorn on TBN, I applied to Mercy and since being here, God has 100% healed me! I have my life back, have hope for my future and I am excited about living! I have learned who I am in Christ and I am constantly renewing my mind with His Truth. No longer am I defined by the labels that others put on me – I am who God says I am!

After graduation, I plan to return to college to pursue a degree in either fashion design or the medical field. I am so thankful to have a reason to live again!


Nashville

Shelby

When I went into High School everything started to go down hill. I got involved in drugs, alcohol, parties and guys. I looked for love in all the wrong ways and showed off to get attention and acceptance from guys. At the age of fourteen, I became sexually active and by age fifteen, I found myself single and pregnant. I was very young and very scared.

While at Mercy, God has shown me His unconditional love . He has also given me a peace about placing my baby boy for adoption. I have learned that I don’t have to be a “druggy” or an alcoholic, but instead I can be a new creation in Him.

After graduation, I plan on going to cosmetology school and pursuing a career as a hair stylist. I have loved my time at Mercy and I am excited to share with others what Mercy has done in my life!


Heather

Starting at age seven and continuing through high school, I was sexually abused at the hands of multiple people, bullied by kids at school and suffered from feelings of abandonment. I began to restrict my food and over-exercise, while comparing myself to others. My eating disorder got worse and the doctors told me I wouldn’t make it. I wanted to die.

Since being at Mercy, God has brought me from death to life. He has healed my scars from self-harm and I now have hope and know that God loves me no matter what. He has shown me that He is my Father and will never hurt me, leave me or forsake me. I no longer compare myself to others and have found my identity in Christ. I am fearfully and wonderfully made and for the first time I can look in the mirror and say and believe that I am beautiful.

After Mercy, I plan on going to college to get my undergrad in psychology and then my master’s in social work. I have a passion to help others who have been abused. Thank you Mercy!


Jennifer

I always remember struggling with depression, even from a young age. I never really saw myself worth anything and began to self-harm at age fourteen. I developed an eating disorder at the age of sixteen that continued on for years. When I went on to college, my eating disorder and self-harm got worse. I lived every day wishing I would die. After a suicide attempt, I started a cycle of going from treatment center to treatment center, each time seeing no lasting change. My identity was tied to my eating disorder and I was scared to give it up because I didn’t know who I would be without it. I was a “Christian,” but God just seemed so far away.

While at Mercy, God has rescued me from death and has given me another chance at life. I’ve learned that God truly loves me, more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve learned who I am in Christ and I’ve learned how to combat the lies of Satan with the truth of God’s Word. I know God’s work is marvelous and I’ve learned that my worth isn’t based on what the scale says, but on what God says about me. My identity is no longer in my eating disorder, but instead, it is in Christ. I’ve learned that I’m not a hopeless case because God has promised great plans for my life.

After graduation, I plan on going back to college and finishing my degree in social work and Biblical studies. I plan on going home and living with my parents, and one day hope to work with young women who are hurting and have no hope.


Mariah

Before Mercy I was not living according to God’s plan for my life. I was sexually abused at a young age, which led to drinking, smoking and an attempted suicide.

During my time at Mercy, I have developed a closer relationship with God and I now know who I am in Christ!

After Mercy, I plan on finishing high school and then going to the Honor Academy in Texas. I also want to share my testimony with my youth group about how God has totally healed me.




Selena

From ages one to three, I was physically abused and exposed to sexual actions. I was put in a shelter and then placed in a foster home for four years. When I was seven years old, I was adopted. In sixth grade, I began to steal things and by seventh grade, boys started to touch me inappropriately. I began to hurt myself looking for a way to deal with the pain.

Since coming to Mercy, God has given me hope in life. He showed me that He loved me for who I was. He showed me that I had a bigger purpose and plan in life and that I am NOT a mistake. He created me for a reason.

After graduation, I want to help girls who have been involved in sex trafficking. When I am old enough and married, I want to adopt a child who has gone through the same things as me and help them to deal with it.



Congratulations Tina, Shelby, Heather, Jennifer, Mariah and Selena! We are so proud of you for making a choice to live your lives unto God! You are an amazing group of young women and we look forward to hearing all that God continues to do in you!