Thursday, October 28, 2010

Three More Graduates Celebrate Life!

The young women who come to Mercy Ministries have often been told over and over again that they will never be free from their issues. With no hope for freedom, many of them try to end their lives as a result. The three amazing girls who graduated from our St. Louis and Sacramento area homes this week all made attempts at suicide. But while at Mercy, they discovered that God had a plan for their lives and that only He could bring the healing and restoration they so desperately needed. Here are their powerful stories of transformation from death into life:

St. Louis

Sherri

Over the past 18 years, I tried to find happiness through drugs, alcohol, food, cutting, and the approval of others. I saw myself as a failure and believed the enemy’s lies that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t “in the way.” I tried to commit suicide but was unsuccessful. For a year and a half I was in and out of treatment programs and was unable to complete a single one of them. This confirmed my idea that I was a hopeless case and nobody could help me. I heard Nancy speak at the Designed for Life 2009 “So Loved” Conference at James River Assembly in Ozark, MO and I felt hope for the first time. I thought that maybe, just maybe Mercy could do the same thing for me that he had done in the lives of the girls Nancy spoke about.

While at Mercy, I learned how to have a relationship with God. I learned that I don’t have to know every answer to every question—I just have to trust Him. He is faithful and as long as I continue to seek Him, He will direct my paths. I know that when I do go through trying times, God will use it to stretch me and prepare me for the amazing future He has planned!

After graduation, I am excited to get plugged back into my church. I look forward to being the mom, sister, daughter, and friend that God created me to be. I also plan on looking for a job in the nursing field. I’m not sure all God has for me but I look forward to living the life God created me to have!


Claire

My mom basically had a breakdown when I was nine and it shook my world. I felt abandoned and began looking in the wrong places for love. This eventually led me into an abusive relationship. I was severely depressed and suicidal and was cutting every day to deal with my pain. I would sleep as many as 17 or 18 hours a day, and even when I was awake I couldn’t function like a normal person. I had a friend who used to work in the Nashville Mercy home and she told me about Mercy Ministries. I knew I needed help so I decided to apply.

Since coming to Mercy, God has healed my heart. He has shown me that He loves me deeply, and that He will use my story to reach others. For the first time in many years I am genuinely happy.

After graduation, I plan to get a job and then return to school in January to complete my degree in social work.


Lincoln

Lora

Before coming to Mercy, I was completely hopeless and suicidal. I was sexually abused by a family member as a child and the rest of my family ignored it. I developed severe OCD as well as an eating disorder and would cry myself to sleep every night. At 13 I began cutting and pursuing unhealthy relationships with guys. I hated God so much that I called myself an atheist and began wearing all black. At 15 I was sent to a doctor for meds and counseling and later that year was my first suicide attempt. After spending time in 4 different treatment centers and three hospitals, I was sentenced to a state facility. I didn’t want to go so I told the judge about Mercy. I had been working on the application for many months, but I lied and said that I’d already been accepted. Miraculously, the judge let me go, but under close watch and wanting proof that I did leave for Mercy. By the grace of God, after a short time, I got the call to go to the California home! I really wanted to go to Mercy because I knew that I needed healing and that could only come from God.

While at Mercy, God has shown up in every hurt. He has softened my heart and is restoring what was lost. I can’t imagine a day without Him now!

After graduation, I plan to go to college and get an art degree. I would love to teach art classes. In the future, I would like to also get a psychology degree and work somewhere like Mercy.

Congratulations Sherri, Claire, and Lora! We are very proud of you and your accomplishments! You’ve shown heart and determination in the journey to regain your life and we are very excited to see you live out your freedom!