Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mercy Ministries Celebrates in St. Louis

Residents, staff, and family members gathered at the St. Louis home yesterday to celebrate the graduation of two more amazing young women. Both have experienced the freedom and transformation that comes from knowing the unconditional love of God. Here are their powerful stories:

Sara C.
I grew up in a very controlling environment, focused on appearance, and perfectionism. There was no option but to excel and succeed. Ballet was my sole purpose, hope, and identity and I began limiting my food to achieve the perfect look for dance. Though I might have appeared okay on the outside, I began a downhill spiral into severe anorexia. The anorexia led to cutting, burning, binging, purging, smoking, and overdoses. Hopeless, I tried to kill myself three times. My life was a blur of countless hospital visits, treatment centers, inpatient facilities, sober houses, day programs, and outpatient treatment. I'd lost all hope after being told over and over again that I would never be free from my issues. After hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of secular treatment that didn’t work, I found out about Mercy Ministries

I entered the Mercy program completely broken and hoping for a chance at life. At Mercy I learned what it means to truly trust God and His plans for me. God has been showing me His unconditional love and care for every detail of my life, as well as His incredible grace, mercy, and forgiveness. He has given meaning and purpose to my life. I now have peace. This is the first time I have ever experienced freedom and happiness!

I look forward to returning home and spending time with my family to restore and strengthen those relationships. I will be getting involved in my church and volunteering until I begin working. In the future, I hope to attend Bible College.

Kelli C.
Growing up as a ballet dancer, I learned at a young age to strive for perfection and thinness. When I went to college and found myself with some independence, I fell into the dangerous trap of eating disorders and compulsive over-exercise. Spending the next few years in and out of hospitals and treatment centers for malnutrition and depression, I started to develop a hopeless outlook on life.

I heard about Mercy Ministries through a friend and went to the website for more information. Soon I knew that God was the only one who could truly heal me. During my time at Mercy, God has shown me that I am His precious daughter. He longs to hear from me and to have an intimate relationship with me and He does not expect perfection. God loves me despite all my flaws and I am completely dependent upon Him and His power.

I will be returning to school at the University of North Texas to finish up my psychology degree. After that I will be going to graduate school to get a Masters Degree in Counseling and maybe one day I will get to be a counselor for Mercy Ministries!

Congratulations Sara and Kelli! It is amazing to see your lives so truly transformed and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for you as you move forward!