Friday, January 14, 2011

2003 Mercy Grad Just Received Masters In Social Work!

I’ll never forget when Heather walked through the doors of Mercy in 2002, the journey of her coming into a place of freedom in Christ, and then her Mercy graduation in 2003 and her sharing her dream for the future. Today she is living that dream! I just received word from Heather that she just graduated with her Masters in Social Work, and she also just bought her first home. Back in 2002, she was literally fighting for her life, and today she is giving life to others. She was once told by the experts that she would be a casualty in the eating disorder war, but she has proved them all wrong!!! Today she is deliberately working in a secular place where she can reach out to others and let her light shine. Heather knows that her very life is a message of freedom and a lighthouse to others who are still fighting to survive. Check out these awesome pictures and her story – very cool!!

Dear Nancy,

Merry Christmas!!! This truly is my favorite holiday. Not because of the snow, presents or Christmas trees but for the birth my Savior, Jesus Christ! If you would have told me a couple of years ago that I would be alive today and living life to the fullest, I would have politely smiled as I cringed inside. Back then I did not believe I would live this long, nor did I desire to. The pain of being sexually abused and having so many losses at such a young age was eating away at me, literally. The pain took the form of a severe eating disorder and self mutilation. I was in so much emotional pain that I did not believe that even Heaven would bring me relief -- I just wanted to cease to exist all together. I had been labeled with Major Depressive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anorexia, Self-harmer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and also as having an Anxiety Disorder. But those disorders were not who I was or who I am. I am a PRINCESS. Not in a snobby kind of way, but humbly I say what an honor it is to be a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!! That is who I am and to whom I belong!

After graduating from Mercy, I was still healing. But it is so true that who the Son sets free is free indeed! I returned to college and finished my bachelor degree in social work. Then I finished my masters in social work 10 months later. During this time I had amazing opportunities where God really used me in different internships I had. Before I even graduated, I had several job offers on the table and I took one where I work in homes with families to intervene and provide services to at-risk families that have been involved with Child Protective Services. I absolutely love it and as a child who was abused, my heart lies in being a voice for those who have no voice yet. I think that was one of the greatest gifts God gave me at Mercy, my voice back.

Just a week ago I became a home owner. I bought my first house for me and my dog Gizmo. It is such an exciting time in my life. So many new beginnings. Still waiting for God to bring me a husband as I desire to be a wife and a mommy but as I stated before, if you would have told me where I would be today and that I would be happy, there is no way I would have ever believed that!

Nancy, I know that you have been so faithful in your walk with God and being His hands in this ministry. I am in awe of all God has done. I am so thankful to have my life and to be living it in abundance just as my Heavenly Daddy promised. I pray that God blesses you more than you can ever think or imagine. Thank you Nancy for being an instrument in saving my life. I love you!

Love, Heather Johnson

So proud of you, Heather! You are truly one of my heroes and one of our Mercy champions!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Ashleigh said...

CONGRATS HEATHER!!! That is so awesome! GOD is SOOOO GOOD!!