Friday, August 26, 2011

Five More Amazing Transformations!

Many of the young women who have their lives transformed by the love of Christ at Mercy Ministries couldn’t get help if they had to pay for it. When you support Mercy Ministries, you help us provide the help they desperately need completely free of charge. Your donations help save lives. Recent graduate, Samantha, said, “I am so thankful to all the donors for making this place available for me! I will become a donor as well, because I know firsthand that this place...it works. Not because of what it is, but because of WHO it is based on.” Samantha and four other amazing young women were set free from life-controlling issues and celebrated graduation from the program with staff, family and friends yesterday. Here are their incredible stories:

Nashville

Samantha


I grew up in a dysfunctional environment. My mother was a single parent, and I was a hyperactive, attention-seeking child. My mother worked several jobs just to try to make ends meet, which left me alone a lot. In my teenage years, I was sexually abused by a family member. I was ashamed and began to self-harm to cope with my pain. I felt disgusting and dirty and very much alone. My self-worth came from my outward appearance, and I never felt beautiful. This led me to a seven- year battle with anorexia and bulimia. I didn’t trust anyone, not even God, and life was meaningless to me. I overdosed on prescription medications and was taken to a hospital where I was told that there was a chance I wouldn’t survive. Upon hearing that, I knew deep down inside, I did not want to die; I just wanted to feel peace. The doctors told me it was a miracle that I survived, but I knew it was God. I heard about Mercy from a friend and looked online to see what it was all about. I knew it was the place for me, and decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God has totally transformed my heart. Wow! I fought the whole way, but God and the staff never gave up on me. God proved his unending love, grace and mercy. He has shown me how special, important and beautiful I am to Him. I have found hope! I am finally where I need to be in my walk with God, and it will only continue to grow stronger. I am beyond thankful to Nancy and the staff for all the grace they have given me. And I am so thankful to all the donors for making this place available for me! I will become a donor as well, because I know firsthand that this place...it works. Not because of what it is, but because of WHO it is based on.


After graduation, I plan to get rooted and established in a healthy church. I would like to work with youth groups, join a worship team and go on mission trips around the world. I am also going to pursue my passion for writing.



Abbey


Before coming to Mercy, I was slowly dying from an eating disorder. I had a great childhood growing up, but when I became a teenager I started isolating myself and began a three-year struggle with anorexia. I didn't want anyone to be around me, I just wanted to keep losing weight. I over-exercised to lose weight even faster. I was miserable in my life, and the eating disorder was my way of coping with the pain. I heard about Mercy from a family friend and decided to apply because I wanted to be free from the eating disorder. I also wanted a deeper relationship with the Lord.


When I arrived at Mercy, I was very shy and very underweight, but God has done so much for me here. He has shown me that I am not defined by my past, I am an overcomer. I am His daughter, and He has given me back my joy, hope, love, compassion and kindness. God is so great, and my relationship with Him is so much deeper now. He has changed my life and given me a new perspective. I am so thankful for Nancy and the donors for all the support they have given me.


After graduation, I will return to high school for my senior year, and then I have plans to go to college. I’m looking forward to growing closer to my friends and family. I am also looking forward to playing soccer and running track in a healthy way, and I want to glorify God through everything I do.




Crystal


I was adopted when I was four weeks old, but my adoptive parents had a lot of problems and no real relationship. Eventually, they divorced, which just affirmed to me that I had no stability in my home. I needed some positive role models in my life. In high school, I started drinking, and then in college it grew much worse. I started using marijuana as another way of coping with my heartache. I was trying to distract myself from the miserable mess my life was in. I started seeing a counselor, and she told me about Mercy. I truly desired change, so I decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God opened my eyes and gave me so much insight. I have found so much healing and peace. My self-worth and identity in Christ has been restored, and I am learning who I am in Him. I've also learned that God's Word is real! It is “alive and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, dividing the bone and marrow, judging the attitude, actions, and heart of man” (Heb 4:12). I now know what it means to live life abundantly and what it is to be loved. I have learned so much, and nothing will go to waste. I appreciate everyone who made this possible!


After graduation, I am going home to reconnect with my family. I also plan to return to college and get my degree in social work. I am also interested in criminal justice. Eventually, I would like to go to graduate school.


St. Louis

Kelsay


For most of my life I have battled a severe struggle with anorexia and bulimia. I thought that my worth and value came from how much I weighed, what size I was and the grades I made. I felt like I would be trapped in this lifestyle forever. I was also diagnosed with major depression and even attempted to take my own life. After several stays in the hospital, I knew I needed help, but I couldn’t afford treatment at other facilities. I heard about Mercy at a BarlowGirl concert and decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God has totally transformed my life. He has taken me by the hand and led me into freedom. God has completely delivered me from the deadly cycle of eating disorders and has shown me that I have worth and value in Him. I have also been able to get off all of the depression medication and learned to deal with my emotions. I want everyone to know that they do not have to settle for just coping with their issues for the rest of their lives. There is full deliverance and freedom available for anyone who is willing to choose life.


After graduation, I look forward to living a free and healthy life. I plan to finish school and use the gifts and talents that God has given me for music and writing. I am so excited to live out the future that God has for me.




Michelle


I grew up feeling unloved, unwanted and that I was of no value to my family. I was physically, verbally and emotionally abused and was raped by a close family member. As an adult, I turned to alcohol to relieve my pain after finding out my husband cheated on me. This began a six-year struggle with alcohol addiction. I wanted to stop living and overdosed on prescription pills in a suicide attempt. I went to three different treatment centers, but nothing worked. I heard about Mercy from a friend and decided to apply.


While at Mercy, God poured out His abundant, unconditional love. Miraculously, I was relieved of the urge to drink alcohol the moment I walked through the doors of Mercy. I believe God did this so I could focus on the pain behind why I was drinking and expose those roots so he could heal me. By His grace, I have been restored and redeemed. He has shown me that He has great plans for me. I know I am His beautiful child, and I know my identity is in Christ Jesus. I have learned to receive love and to forgive others. God has also restored my marriage and my relationships with my family.


After graduation, I will be working part-time and volunteering at a safe house that assists women and children. I also plan to get involved in my church through bible studies and fellowship. I am really looking forward to taking a second honeymoon with my husband too. I’m going to live a life worth living!


Congratulations ladies! We are so proud of your commitment to face your issues and fight for freedom!! Your excitement and hope for the future is inspirational. We look forward to hearing how God will use you to help others!