Friday, September 30, 2011

From Fear to Freedom - Four New Amazing Lincoln Graduates!

“I was completely consumed with fear and wouldn’t leave my home for months at a time… [God] showed me that I have nothing to fear and that He has a great plan and purpose for my life,” said recent graduate, Aimee. After losing all hope that they would ever overcome their issues, Aimee and three other recent graduates now walk in freedom, their lives completely transformed by the love of Christ at Mercy Ministries. Staff, residents, family and friends recently gathered at the California home to celebrate their graduation. Here are their powerful stories of restoration and healing:

Aimee

My life before Mercy was one full of hopelessness and despair. I had no idea who I really was, and my eating disorder totally defined me. I was completely consumed with fear and wouldn’t leave my home for months at a time. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and struggled with severe episodes of depression. My eating disorder ruled every decision I made. I would steal money and food, and I lied constantly. I became someone I didn’t even recognize. I knew I needed help and that God had the answers. I heard about Mercy from a previous employer, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God has completely opened my eyes to His truth. He has shown me that my identity is in Him, and that I am of great worth and value. He showed me that I have nothing to fear and that He has a great plan and purpose for my life. I now have an intense hunger to learn His Word and to help others find freedom.

After graduation, I plan to go to a school for Biblical studies through Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I want to gain a greater knowledge of God’s Word, and then I plan to do missions work with YWAM.


Julie

I was sexually abused at a young age which led to self-hatred and a skewed body image. I had lots of misconceptions about God. I also had a very perfectionist and legalistic mindset and was constantly seeking approval and attention. I began dieting at the age of 12, which eventually became a lifestyle of binging and purging. I also used laxatives and extreme exercise to lose weight. I was obsessed with the pursuit of being thin, perfect and loved. Bulimia was a coping mechanism and addiction that I could not seem to escape. I knew I needed help from someone that had experience with eating disorders and a solid Christian standard. A friend gave me Nancy Alcorn’s book “Starved” and I did some research on the Mercy website. I felt if I didn’t get help, there was no way I would be alive much longer, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God completely changed my view of who He is and who I am in Him. I have learned that it is His Holy Spirit inside of me that gives me the power to pursue a life of victory and self control. I learned that God is not disappointed and angry, but loving and compassionate. He showed me that He has a plan for me, and I need to depend on Him. This is an amazing ministry that God used to transform all areas of my life. I will never be the same, and I am so thankful for all that Mercy did to facilitate the healing process.

After graduation, I will complete my Spanish degree in hopes of doing long term missions work in a Spanish-speaking country. I would also like to be a wife and a mother one day. I am so grateful that God has graciously supplied above and beyond all of my needs.


Heather

Before coming to Mercy, I was so lost and confused. I tried so many things to numb the pain I felt so deep in my soul. I struggled with alcohol addiction, self-harm and depression. I was in such a dark place of shame, despair and secrets that I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. I had no hope and couldn’t imagine my life getting any better. I was constantly filled with fear and wanted my life to end. I heard about Mercy from a friend. I wanted to gain freedom from the issues that were controlling my life.

While at Mercy, God transformed me. I am truly a new creation in Him, and I feel like a different person. I now know my life has purpose and meaning. God has been so faithful through my journey here and I know He will continue to be faithful in my future.

After graduation, I am moving to Colorado to work for a sports ministry. I will travel with them all over the world and spread the gospel of Christ to younger generations. I feel so blessed that God brought me to Mercy and completely transformed my life.


Caitlin

For the past 12 years I struggled with bulimia. I was completely trapped by Satan’s lies and believed I would never be good enough and would always be rejected. I could not function because of the eating disorder and felt totally hopeless to overcome it. My life was out of control, and I completely isolated myself from others. I was searching on the internet and found Mercy’s website. I thought that Mercy might be a chance for me to have healing and freedom, so I decided to apply.

While at Mercy, God completely healed and transformed my life. He helped me to no longer identify myself with the lies from the enemy. God has given me a new identity in His son, Jesus Christ. He has given me strength and power to overcome anything that may come against me.

After graduation, I plan to finish my degree in psychology and become a Christian counselor to help other hurting girls like me.


Congratulations Aimee, Julie, Heather and Caitlin! Your transformations have been incredible to watch, and we are so proud of you! You are going to help so many others know that freedom is possible through the unconditional love of Christ. We look forward to all that God has in store for you!