Friday, June 17, 2011

Three More Amazing Graduates Beat the Odds and Walk in Freedom!

“Less than a year ago, psychiatrists told me I was gravely disabled and at risk of dying from anorexia. Today I walk in freedom, knowing God is so much bigger,” said Sarah. Last week at the California home, Sarah and two other amazing young women, Ashley and Kristen, celebrated their graduation from Mercy Ministries. These young women were struggling through every day of their lives bound by life-threatening eating disorders. While at Mercy, they learned to walk in the freedom Christ died for them to have, and they are excited for the amazing plans God has for their lives! Here are their incredible stories of restoration and healing:


Sarah

When I was younger, I was sexually abused and as a result, I struggled with perfectionism, fear of abandonment, anger and resentment. I developed an eating disorder and struggled with self-harm, depression and suicidal thoughts. If I wasn’t in the hospital or a treatment center, I was in appointments all week with doctors, psychiatrists, therapists and dieticians. I heard about Mercy at a Girls of Grace Conference a year earlier, and when my family reminded me about them, I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God gave me a peace that I haven’t had since I was a little girl. My identity is no longer in an eating disorder, it is in Christ. I don’t have to live with my struggles for the rest of my life because God has liberated me and made me whole! Less than a year ago, psychiatrists told me I was gravely disabled and at risk of dying from anorexia. Today, I walk in freedom knowing God is so much bigger.

After graduation from Mercy, I plan to finish my degree in psychology, lead a group of high school girls at my church and take as many short-term missions trips as I can to a children’s home in Mexico.


Ashley

As a child, I felt abandoned, rejected, worthless and disgusting. My dad died when I was very young, and my mother and sister were too busy for me. I was made fun of at school, and by the age of six, my addictive patterns took root. I struggled with an eating disorder and lived every day of my life trying to stuff down the unbearable emotional and psychological pain. I also struggled with depression, and when I wasn’t eating and throwing up, I was sleeping. I tried 10 years of secular treatment and lots of medications. One of the treatment centers I called referred me to Mercy, and I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I found freedom from my issues. Though I live in a fallen world, He lives in me, and He has overcome the world! I am a treasured warrior Princess of the Most High God, and He has given me a spirit of power, love and self-control.

After graduation, I plan to go to college and pursue art. I want to use the gifts that God has given me to start an art ministry. I also plan to work and save money to go on a mission trip. Most importantly, I plan to live every day serving the Lord. I am so grateful for the life He has given me.


Kristen

My mother and grandmother both struggled with eating disorders and depression. All three of my older sisters battled eating disorders as well, and I learned the same behaviors. I felt a lot of pressure to appear perfect, and I dealt with the cruelty of my peers teasing me about my body. I never felt worthy to have a boyfriend, so when I got one, I put way too much pressure on myself to be thin. I exercised excessively and struggled with bulimia. When my boyfriend broke up with me, the depression and bulimia escalated. I knew I needed help, and when a friend told me about Mercy, I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, I was blown away by how God showed Himself to me through worship, speakers and His Word. His truths are powerful. I actually believe what God says about me now and believe His promises for my life. I trust Him with everything, and that’s an amazing feeling.

After graduation, I plan to work as a dental hygienist and do volunteer work at my church. I would like to eventually do mission work in Kenya. I am so extremely grateful to have come to Mercy and learn the tools I needed to overcome the enemy. God is so good!



Congratulations Sarah, Ashley and Kristen! We celebrate with you, and we are so proud of you!!! God has huge blessings in store for you, and we know He will use you in amazing ways.