Monday, February 9, 2009

From Death to Life

We get the privilege day after day of seeing young women’s lives changed through Mercy Ministries. But the change doesn’t stop there – families and relationships are often restored as well. We receive letters and emails on a regular basis from parents who are in awe of the change in their daughter’s life and who are so grateful. One parent wanted to share with you about how blown away she was by the transformation in her daughter’s life and about her journey through it all. I hope this mother’s story encourages you, especially if someone you know is struggling with a life-controlling issue…

“In life, how do you ever thank someone for saving your child’s life? Whatever you do or buy or say would never be enough. The only way to begin to repay is to share the blessing and pass it on to someone else. Nancy Alcorn, through Mercy, Mel, and the staff at the St. Louis home brought Amy back from a nightmare existence to being alive and well. Amy would have died, probably within a year, had it not been for Mercy.

Amy walked through the doors of Mercy in September 2007 after carrying the pain, shame, and loneliness of bulimia on her back for eight long years. In the world’s eyes, one would think Amy had it all together – college, sorority, and a full social life - but behind the successful shell on the outside was a terrified, hopeless little girl wondering how she got to this place. Amy’s path, like many, took her through hundreds, even thousands of hours of counseling, five weeks at a residential eating disorder treatment center, and many one-time visits to support groups, none of which she would return to. But each of these helped me because I felt like we were doing SOMETHING. Gradually I reached the end of trying to DO something and realized I couldn’t fix it. Amy graduated from Indiana University, which only God was able to see her through, and came to live with us in St. Louis.

A friend of mine at a Moms-in-Touch group mentioned that her spiritual daughter was going to a place called Mercy Ministries and it might be something for Amy. I mentioned it to her but she blew it off, especially since it involved God. Even though she was raised in a Christian home she had not found her way to a loving God. The one thing our friends and family had continued to do through all of this was pray. In June 2007, Amy finally realized she had hit bottom and asked me what the name of “that place” was and she began the admissions process. You see, God had been there all along waiting for the right moment. As Amy says in her testimony, she was done with God, but He wasn’t done with her.

The jacket Amy wore before Mercy would have been labeled “invisible.” She was manipulative, secretive, deceitful, rebellious about church (she even worked on Sundays so she wouldn’t have to go), and she spent her free time at bars on the weekends. Her thoughts all centered on how she could get her next food fix and then how she could purge. The new jacket she wears is labeled “hope,” which is what Mercy gave her through Jesus Christ.

Today, she has returned to her first career choice and is attending The Broadcast School in St. Louis. She loves going to church on Friday nights with a group of young women, and on Sundays with us. She also attends a singles Bible Study Fellowship every Monday and spends more time reading the Bible than I do. She was recently baptized at our church and gave her testimony. Amy just applied for a chance to go to Guatemala on a mission’s trip. She is truly transformed and God is at work in her. It’s amazing!”

Just today I received a note from Amy herself along with a donation to Mercy. I thought you might like to hear from Amy as well…

Dear Mercy Ministries Staff and Nancy, I want to thank you for everything you do for Mercy! I graduated from the St. Louis home in March of 2008.
I am so grateful for Mercy and what God is doing through it! I believe I would not be here if it was not for Mercy, and I will always be so thankful to Nancy for her obedience and trust in God.

Nancy, you have no idea how much I look up to your faith. I am only beginning to see God’s plan unfold in my life and I have no doubt Mercy will continue to play a huge part in my life. GOD IS AWESOME!! Thanks again.

Much love,


BrittanyHope said...

Amy truly has been changed! I met her while I was in the St Louis home and she has been such an encouragement to me. There are no traces of her old life, only that which does speak hope and life! She is a walking testimony!