After years of believing they could never be completely free from eating disorders, paralyzing fear and other life-controlling issues, three amazing young women had their lives completely transformed! Last week, friends and family gathered with the staff and residents at our Nashville home to celebrate the graduation of Becca, Julianne and Hannah. Here are their incredible stories of restoration and freedom:
Before coming to Mercy, I struggled a lot with trust and the fear of rejection. I struggled with depression while in high school and developed a severe eating disorder as a result. I also struggle with self-harm to cope with the pain. All I wanted to do was fill the emptiness I felt inside. I had been to several treatment centers but was only taught how to cope with the eating disorders. I knew deep down there had to be more to life. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply. I wanted freedom and healing and to strengthen my relationship with Christ.
While at Mercy, God has shown me He loves me unconditionally. I have worth, value and hope for my future. God has filled the emptiness I felt inside with His love, grace and mercy. I have joy in life because I am living for God. I don’t have to be bound by fear or worry because Christ has given me peace and a sound mind. I am beautiful and a child of God. Mercy is truly a blessing.
After graduation, I plan to get more involved in my church by volunteering with children or teen ministry. I also plan to go on some short-term mission trips. I am most excited to live a life serving Christ.
I was sexually abused as a young girl and lived under scrutiny with high expectations to excel. I suffered even more trauma and grief with the unexpected deaths of my grandmother and mother. Growing up, I felt unimportant and was passed around in the midst of chaos and tragedy. I developed an eating disorder to cope with the pain and have some sense of control. I also developed major depression and a paralyzing anxiety. I became suicidal and was frequently hospitalized. I was very self-destructive and did not value my life at all. I heard about Mercy from friends and family and decided to apply. I didn’t want to remain hopeless about my life and future.
While at Mercy, I learned I am not defined by any disorder or diagnosis. I am a daughter of the King and Creator of the universe. I have been set free from obsessive thoughts and excessive worry and fear and now know that fear is not from God. God has given me freedom, proving that I am an overcomer. I believe coming to Mercy was the best thing I could have ever done.
After graduation, I plan to go to college and get my bachelor’s degree in mass communications. I also plan to get actively involved in campus ministry.
I was raised in a Christian home, but God was never real to me. I was raped when I was 13 and felt like God had completely forgotten me. I struggled with fear of being alone and that no one would accept me. I was in several abusive relationships and started abusing drugs and alcohol. I became very promiscuous and became pregnant at 17. I found out I was pregnant again at age 19 and I felt like I had no hope. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.
While at Mercy, God has shown me how real He really is and that He has not forgotten me. He has shown me that the abuse I suffered wasn’t my fault. He has taken away all fear and worry, and He has given me a bright new future. After seeking God's guidance, I made the difficult decision to place my baby for adoption with a loving Christian family. I know now that it doesn’t matter what others think about me, I am beautiful, and I am the daughter of the King.
After graduation, I’m looking forward to my new job and getting involved in my church. I plan to attend cosmetology school in the fall.
Congratulations Becca, Julianne and Hannah! We are so proud of you for making a choice to live your lives unto God! You are an amazing group of young women and we look forward to hearing about all that God continues to do in and through you!