Friday, September 10, 2010

Six More Remarkable Graduates Celebrate!!!

Residents, staff, family, and friends gathered together in the Monroe, Lincoln, and St. Louis homes this week to celebrate the graduation of six more amazing young women from Mercy Ministries! They have experienced the life changing power of God’s unconditional love and are excited to share their stories of freedom and transformation:

Monroe

Mary Elizabeth

Between the ages of two and fifteen, I was the victim of sexual abuse. My life was characterized by shame, secrecy, and depression. When I was nineteen, I revealed my secret and all of the darkness and pain I felt exploded to the surface. I became suicidal and alienated myself from everyone who loved me. I heard about Mercy from my parents and decided to apply.

Since being at Mercy, God has shown me that He has always been with me through the pain and suffering from the abuse. I know that God will use that which Satan intended for my destruction and turn it around for His glory. He has shown me that I am not a hopeless victim, but a daughter of God.

After graduation, I plan to go back to college to pursue a degree in nursing.


Justine

I grew up with two loving parents but I was always the peace-keeper in my family. I stuffed all of my feelings down so that I wouldn’t cause anymore tension or problems. Additionally, I thought I had to be perfect, and I worked hard to keep up the fa├žade. Unfortunately, this led to bulimia and food quickly grew into an all-consuming addiction. For the next five years, it took all of my time, money, and energy to support my eating disorder. I tried to stop my behavior countless times but always failed. I thought I was a lost cause and beyond all help. My mom heard about Mercy through a friend and I knew I needed a change in my life.

During my time at Mercy, God has given me a heart of love, peace, and joy in place of a heart of stone. Instead of hiding my weaknesses, I can celebrate them because I know He is strong where I am weak. I no longer feel the need to stuff myself with food because I am now filled to overflowing with God’s love. I get to live the abundant life that Jesus died to give me.

After graduation, I will be attending Discipleship Training school through Youth with a Mission in Lausanne, Switzerland. I also plan to go back to college to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. I am eternally grateful to Mercy Ministries for helping me to experience the love and grace of God and to grow in my identity in Christ!


St. Louis

Keela

Before entering the Mercy Ministries program, I struggled with depression, self-harm, and anger issues resulting from sexual abuse. I struggled with relationships and was very emotionally detached and awkward. My life was a disaster and I kept myself busy with work to avoid dealing with my issues. I isolated myself and slept a lot and had no joy or peace. Trying to keep the secrets of my past hidden was emotionally and physically draining. I decided to apply to Mercy when I finally reached a point where I could admit that I needed help.

While at Mercy, God has shown me the roots behind my struggles. He showed me how to forgive and set boundaries in my relationships. I learned how to meditate on God's word and apply it to my life and how to be the woman God created me to be.

After graduation I plan to get a job and attend church regularly. I would also like to get involved with a Spanish Ministry and eventually apply for employment at Joyce Meyer Ministries. I plan to build on my relationships with God, family and others while applying the tools I was equipped with while at Mercy.


Lincoln

Shelby

My life before Mercy was chaotic and out of control. I was physically and sexually abused which led to unhealthy relationships, depression, and an eating disorder. I had incredibly low self esteem and let men use me for their pleasure. I drank a lot and went to bars multiple times per week. I tried to get a handle on these issues but I knew that I needed help beyond my own ability to change. I heard about Mercy through a friend and went to the website to find out how to get the help I needed.

While at Mercy, God has shown me how He sees me. He met me exactly where I was when I walked in the doors and He has redeemed me, forgiven me and washed me clean. I have learned who I am in Christ as worthy, lovely, and treasured.

After graduation, I plan to go home, live with my mom and dad, get my GED, get a job, and start college classes in the spring. Who knows where God will lead me from there! Mercy Ministries was truly the vessel that God used to save my life. I cannot wait to live life! It is going to be an adventure!


Sarah

I was physically and emotionally abused which led to deep depression and self-harm. Although I knew Christ, I was consumed by my self-destructive behaviors and addiction. I felt dead on the inside. I went to the Mercy website and felt it was a place that offered some hope, so I decided to apply.

Since coming to Mercy, I have encountered God in the most raw, beautiful, and intimately personal way. His love has covered the ugliness of my behaviors and addiction and equipped me with the tools I need to move forward in victory.

After graduation, I will be doing an internship with a local church. I don’t know what God has in store for me after that but I have a strong passion for teen ministry, especially teenage girls.


Kelly


Before Mercy, I had a serious drug addiction. I allowed Satan to fill my mind with lies and didn’t know who I was in Christ. My life was full of destruction and I kept trying to find happiness in all the wrong places. There was a void in my heart that nothing seemed to fill and I became very depressed. I heard about Mercy from a pastor and I knew God was the answer to overcoming my addiction.

During my time at Mercy, God has completely redeemed and restored my life. I went from living in darkness to light and from bondage to complete freedom. God healed the deep hurts in my soul and now I know how to walk by the Spirit and not the flesh.

After graduation, I plan to finish my degree in Criminal Justice and hope to be involved in prison ministry. I am determined to live the life God has planned for me. I will be forever grateful to Nancy Alcorn and all of the staff and supporters of Mercy Ministries. Thank you so much!

Congratulations ladies! The change in each of you is so evident and it is so exciting to see your new found hope for the future! We know God has amazing plans for you!