Thursday, March 31, 2011

Four More Graduates Ready To Pay It Forward

“I had a feeling God was the answer, and I needed a place where I could get to know the Father, Healer and Restorer of my soul. Mercy Ministries has been that place,” said graduate Kristin. Four more amazing young women have had their lives transformed and hope restored through the unconditional love of Christ. Residents, staff, family and friends gathered together at the St. Louis and Sacramento homes to celebrate their graduations, and we want to share their incredible stories of freedom with you:

St. Louis

Bethany

Before coming to Mercy, I did not see the point in living anymore. I felt abandoned and rejected. I believed I was not good enough and that no one would ever love me or find me beautiful. I struggled every day with an eating disorder and self-harm, but it was never enough to get rid of the pain of my past. I wanted to give up, but then I heard about Mercy from my pastor, and I decided to apply.

During my time at Mercy, God showed me that He knows me inside and out, and He loves me. He proved Himself trustworthy and gave me hope for the future . He taught me to surrender control to Him, because His way is better than mine. He healed me and filled me with joy, and I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I want to thank the staff for their hard work and for all the love that they have shown me.

After graduation, I will be going back to college to complete my bachelor’s degree in human services and minors in psychology and sociology. I also look forward to going back to work at my church’s preschool.

Sacramento

Heather

My life before Mercy was very unstable. My dad was in jail and I grew up in an environment that was physically and verbally abusive. I felt rejected, and at times I wanted to die. My heart was broken, so to try and feel loved, I became promiscuous. I also struggled with an eating disorder, depression and anxiety. I heard about Mercy at church and then when I called the National Eating Disorders Association, they suggested Mercy, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has shown me how to have balance and how to set and respect boundaries. I have also learned to renew my mind with God’s Word. He has calmed my anxious heart and helped me to trust Him, because I know He cares for me. He has been stable in the storms of my life.

After graduation, I am going to get an associate’s degree and then transfer to a four-year university to get a degree in art therapy. I would like to one day work at Minirth-Meier Christian Treatment Center, helping others see God’s mercy. My prayer is that other young women might find hope by hearing my testimony. I would also like to get married and have a family someday.

Kelly

I was raised in a legalistic and abusive atmosphere and felt very abandoned. From a young age, I was sexually abused and had a deep fear and loathing for authority as a result. I thought the things I suffered were my fault, and I developed ways of coping through an eating disorder, self-harm and sexual promiscuity. I was filled with self-hatred, suicidal thoughts and depression. I heard about Mercy from my aunt, and I knew God was calling me there. I wanted freedom from my issues, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God revealed His unconditional love for me and taught me to walk in freedom and forgiveness. He showed me that I am His daughter, He is my protector and He will never abandon me. I am healed, whole and forgiven. I am beautiful. I have a hope and a future.

After graduation, I will be going to nursing school to become a registered midwife. I also want to pursue music and write worship songs. I plan to take all of my skills to the mission field and fight against sex trafficking.


Kristin

My life before Mercy was in complete darkness. I endured all kinds of abuse which led to a 13-year battle with an eating disorder. I lived a life full of self-hatred and lies. I felt isolated, trapped and totally cut off from those that loved me the most. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply. I had a feeling God was the answer, and I needed a place where I could get to know the Father, Healer and Restorer of my soul. Mercy has been that place.

While at Mercy, God has transformed me in ways I never thought were possible. He has shown me that I am beautiful, loved and accepted just as He created me. God will never leave me nor forsake me and my faith is built on that. I have a hope for my future that I’ve never had before. I trust in God and His sovereign plan for my life.

At the end of May 2011, I will start a one-year internship at the Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA. I can’t wait to serve God during this next chapter of my life and see what further plans He has for me. With God, I am able to dream again.


Congratulations Bethany, Heather, Kelly and Kristin! 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.