Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All the Way from South Korea!!!

I just received the most amazing email from a young lady that graduated from St. Louis in May of 2008, a bit over 18 months ago. I am so excited about this that I don’t want to mess it up by adding my own words. I will tell you that this young lady now resides in South Korea and loves it. You’ve got to take the time to read this one!
Dear Nancy,

Most people celebrate birthdays by inviting friends, eating cake, and blowing out candles. This year I celebrated by running for Mercy. When I left the States three and a half months ago, I was a bit sad about celebrating in a new country with few of my close friends. That all changed when I heard that there was a nearby running race, get this, on my birthday. I immediately knew the Lord was providing a way for me to support Mercy while celebrating the freedom they helped me attain. That race was three weeks ago.

A mere two years ago today I entered the doors of Mercy St. Louis. I was alone, scared, hardened, and determined to “beat the system” yet again. The seven months before going to Mercy had been a blur of medical wings, psych wards, and eating disorder units. I’d seen more psychiatrists and psychologists than I cared to remember, and I was off and on more medication than was warranted for any individual. I became a statistic, learning to adopt labels as my own: “cutter,” “anorexic,” “depressed,” “psychotic,” “unstable,” and the list went on. My identity and dignity were quickly stripped away as every aspect of life was controlled and monitored. Time in state and private treatment facilities solidified the painful truth – without lasting help, I was going to die, and honestly, that did not seem so bad.

Fast forward a year and a half outside of graduation – I am now living and working in South Korea – half-way around the world. I love it here, live on my own, and continue to walk in the truth and freedom I learned through Mercy. In fact, just yesterday, I had the opportunity to share a bit of my testimony. I wear my Mercy ring on a necklace and often people ask questions. After sharing that the "M" stands for God’s mercy and the three stones for the trinity, most people politely smile and say, “That’s nice.”

Yesterday was different. A co-worker asked me about it and after presenting my usual spiel, she inquired further as I had said that I had graduated – what was the program about? After sharing a bit about what led me to Mercy, and the struggles that almost claimed my life, she chucked and proclaimed, “That’s funny – I look at so many of the people around here and they make me wonder…but you – I would have never guessed. You seem so normal.” I laughed as well, but that comment stuck with me – she didn’t know me, or my past, and she saw me as normal - not as a cutter, not as that anorexic girl, not as the unstable one who needs constant supervision. She saw me as normal.

And that alone is a testimony of all the Lord has done for me. It’s been a year and a half since I graduated Mercy, and I am blessed to celebrate that by sending the money I raised through my half marathon. I pray that the Lord will use it to continue saving lost, hurting, and dying souls. I am ever grateful for the second chance I was given and am excited to pass that blessing on to others.


Isn’t this so cool! Think about all of the thousands of young women who have already had this same opportunity that Renee has had, and think of all the multiplied thousands in the future that will share a similar story. OUR GOD IS GREAT!!!!!


Kathy said...

Hi everybody,
I am the co-worker mentioned in the blog. I am thrilled to be a part of this story. I am also thrilled to count Renee as my friend and someoone to whom I can turn to for help as well as to get something done. God bless "Mercy". Hope you can visit South Korea--good food, great/deep people and a place very different from America. Renee, thanks for writing your thoughts down--it is a good read. Kasia