Friday, January 30, 2009

Close to Home- Part 2

I hope you greatly enjoyed hearing my niece Kathryne’s testimony on yesterday’s blog. And I hope that my niece Janet’s story will be a huge encouragement to those who are facing some of the issues that she shares about. Janet is actually quite a writer and she is beginning to have some things published in different Christian magazines. Because of her writing gift, I asked her to write her own story. Here it is…

Nancy has said that when she founded Mercy she never imagined her own family would be among the multitudes who would have need of the ministry. Yet, here I am today: Nancy Alcorn's 26 yr. old niece, a former “Mercy girl”, and absolutely bubbling-over with abundance of life! I'm truly happy to share my story with you. Though I was raised in a Christian home, I was fully invested in the lies and compulsions of anorexia by the age of 12. Anorexia easily morphed into bulimia, and I lived in a world consumed with self. Though I had given my life to Christ at an early age, my heart was far from Him. I desperately needed and wanted freedom from the bondage that was controlling my life. Being of course familiar with Mercy Ministries, it seemed the necessary next step. At Mercy my heart was opened like never before to the life-transforming love of God, and I grew to know Him in deeply meaningful ways. Even still, I’m sorry to say, I graduated the program and walked right back into a lifestyle of destructive eating and blatant sin. In my high school and college years, the grip of darkness upon my life grew much deeper. I did have brief good-spells during which I would seek God with all my heart and plead for His deliverance, but overall my memories are of hopelessness, guilt, and shame.

Though I was obviously not one of the wonderful Mercy success stories, Nancy and the Mercy staff continued trying to help me. Though I stayed involved in church and surrounded myself with strong Christians, the extents of my eating disorder, depression, and destructive dating relationships finally became such that I couldn't finish college. My precious parents and everyone who cared about me could do nothing more to help. I lived in a constant battle. I was defeated and hopeless.

Then, as impossible as it sounds, my life was completely transformed in the
course of four months. One September Sunday morning in church, my dad introduced me to a gorgeous, curly-haired guy named Nick. At the time, I assumed Nick would be just one more guy whose affection would provide temporary escape from the emotional pain of my daily life. Praise be to God, I could not have been more wrong! By December of that year Nick and Iwere deeply in love, and the freedom for which I longed had quickly become reality. Compulsions that were woven into the very fiber of my being loosed their grip with miraculous speed. The only conceivable way to explain those four months is that my merciful Heavenly Father finally looked down upon my brokenness and said, “I will not let you and Satan ruin your life any longer! It's time to get on with the plans that I have for you!”

And—that's exactly what I am doing today! I serve the Lord with
gladness because He rescued me! Nick and I have been married for 2 ½ incredible years, and Jesus Christ is truly the Lord of our marriage. God has

healed and blessed my relationship with my family. Nick and I serve in leadership positions at our church. I regularly have opportunities to counsel and disciple hurting young women in our community. I also recently campaigned for a seat on my local School Board, and God gave me remarkable victory in the election! So, now I have become involved in our political community; aiming to advance God's kingdom in the trenches here on Earth. I love my life! It is full of purpose. I walk in consistent victory over the sins that once paralyzed me!

I am deeply grateful to my Aunt Nancy for founding the ministry that has
and will continue to have eternal impact upon my life and the lives of hurting and hopeless young women all around the world!

I hope you enjoyed getting an inside look into some of the issues that my own family has had to face. The one thing that I am continually amazed at is the faithfulness of God. Janet is such a huge blessing to my life and I’m glad she chose to write her own story to share with you.

Have a great weekend.

Love to all,


Tricia Oler said...

I love this story! It is such a beautiful picture of redemption. As a single woman in her late twenties, I have read many books on dating and relationships. Almost all of them seem to overemphasize a certain level of "perfection" that must be attained before a girl and a guy enter into a relationship. I think this story beautifully illustrates the way the Lord can use men and women in eachothers lives as instruments of healing.