Residents and staff came together at the St. Louis and Lincoln homes today to celebrate the transformation of three Mercy Ministries graduates. These amazing young women have faced their issues head-on and have found freedom from their life-controlling issues! Here are their stories:
I lived in a Christian home but I grew up feeling like I could never be quite “good enough”. At a young age, I was sexually molested and was too ashamed to tell my parents. I was also teased about my body, which eventually led to a full-blown eating disorder by age seven. As a teenager, I dated an older boy who was often verbally and physically abusive and I began to use self-harm to relieve my pain. I was in and out of treatment between the ages of 6 and 26 and was looking for a job in ministry when I came across the Mercy Ministries website. I needed a place that was free of charge where I could rest and my heart could be gently, yet radically transformed.
I knew when I walked through the doors of Mercy Ministries that I was ready for change. God was faithful to teach me about His gentleness and loving discipline. He showed me how to walk confidently in forgiveness and hope, and He reminded me that He did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control. I am so excited to share that which I've been given to others who are lost, needy, and broken.
After graduation, I plan to return home and live with my sister. I want to work in ministry, as well as volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
I was born and raised in a Christian family and felt very safe and loved. At age four, I was sexually molested. I felt ashamed, guilty, and I lost my sense of security. By my teenage years, I became aware of my body changing, and I didn’t like it. Boys would tease and make fun of me, making me feel more insecure and disgusted with myself. I became sexually active, started drinking and smoking, and developed an eating disorder. By age 20, I became pregnant and chose to have an abortion. Shortly after, I was hospitalized and dropped down to ninety pounds, believing my identity was found in how thin I was. In 2007, I heard about Mercy Ministries through a family friend. I checked it out, but it wasn’t until three years later that I chose to surrender my life and trust God. On February 26, 2010, I entered the doors of Mercy Ministries feeling insecure and unworthy.
During my time at Mercy, I came to realize that God loves me unconditionally! I learned that I need Him to be my foundation and that He will guide me in freedom and truth. I learned that the Word of God is powerful and the truth has set me free. I can’t express how grateful I am to God, Nancy Alcorn, and the staff who loved me unconditionally. God bless you!
After graduating, I plan to go home to work and save money. I may go back to school for nursing, but I also have a dream of one day opening a Bed and Breakfast. I want to be in God’s will so wherever He leads me I want to be obedient.
Before coming to Mercy Ministries, I had no peace. I had been sexually abused and became very depressed. I developed an eating disorder, began over-exercising, and used relationships with men to try and deal with my feelings. My life was a wreck and I felt like I was worthless, having no desire to live. I knew I couldn’t continue living that way any longer when my mom heard about Mercy Ministries from a friend, so I decided to apply for the program.
Since coming to Mercy, God has renewed my mind and transformed my heart. I now have a personal and intimate relationship with Him that sustains me. God has shown me His heart for me and that my worth is in Him as I am a beautiful daughter of the King.
In the future, I would like to pursue a job in the medical field and become either a paramedic or a physician’s assistant.
Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of your determination and can’t wait to see you live out your freedom! Check out this video of our new graduates!