Family and friends joined the residents and staff of the Nashville home to celebrate the graduation of three more amazing young women yesterday. These graduates have truly found freedom from their life-controlling issues! Here are their incredible stories:
Growing up, my family went through multiple divorces. We moved a lot and I had no real sense of family. I began to self-harm at the age of 13. I didn’t have anyone I felt I could talk to so I used the physical pain to deal with my emotional pain. Soon, I was cutting every day. At the age of 14, I was sexually abused by a much older man in my community. I became very angry, manipulative, rebellious, and promiscuous. I was drowning in my sin, and I no longer wanted to live the life I was living. It was then that my mom came across the Mercy Ministries website and told me about it.
Since coming to Mercy, I have learned the importance of family and my family is stronger now than ever before. I learned how to talk to someone when I am hurting and I no longer have any desire to self-harm. I have become very close to God and have a personal relationship with him. He has restored my purity and shown me the importance of setting clear boundaries. I have been set free!
After graduation, I plan to go home, finish my last year of high school, and then go to college to study Journalism. I also have a desire to do missions work in Haiti.
I was sexually abused between the ages of 5 and 10. My family moved and I believed the abuse would end, but then in the 7th grade, I was raped. I began cutting that day. Through the years, I struggled with depression and bulimia and used self-harm and alcohol to deal with the pain I was feeling. I went to graduate school and got a job as a social worker, but my life was really out of control. Over time, things got worse and I became very suicidal. I saw death as my only option. It was at that time that I heard about Mercy from a counselor and decided to apply.
While at Mercy, God has taught me a lot about who He is and my identity in Him. He has shown me that He has always been with me and that there is nothing I can do that will make Him stop loving me. He has shown me that I am His daughter, He does have a plan for me, and He will be with me through it all. I am fully accepted and loved by God!
After graduating, I plan to move home with my parents and pursue a new job in social work.
I was sexually abused at the age of 5 by someone who was supposed to love me. I was very hurt and angry inside. I felt abandoned and at age 11, I started using pills to numb my pain. I became promiscuous and lost my virginity at age 12. I was very suicidal and after one of my attempts with over 200 pills, I ended up in the emergency room. I knew that God was the answer to my pain; I just didn’t know how to get help. I heard about Mercy Ministries from a friend who saw it on a Joyce Meyer program and I believed that Mercy could help me.
During my time at Mercy, God has shown me that the abuse wasn’t my fault. I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I have a specific purpose and that no matter what, God loves me. I have been able to reconcile with some of my family and while at Mercy, I told my mother for the very first time that I loved her.
After I graduate, I plan to finish high school and go to college. I would also like to get involved with YWAM (Youth With A Mission), and one day fulfill my calling to be a missionary!
Congratulations Amanda, Kelly, and Katelynn! We are very proud of you and the commitment that you have shown. Your positive choices, growing faith and ongoing transformation are so evident and we look forward to seeing your futures unfold.