Monday, May 23, 2011

Need Some Encouragement Today…Check This Out!!!

I recently spoke at Crossroads Church in Lafayette, Louisiana where I had the privilege of seeing and connecting with several Mercy graduates who live in the area (see blog from Wednesday, April 13th). 2009 Mercy graduate, Emily, is a part of the Master’s Commission through Crossroads Church and sent me a copy of her testimony to share with others. I hope Emily’s testimony is an encouragement to you…

It says in Micah 4:7 (Message paraphrase) that He will transform the battered into a company of the elite and He will make a strong nation out of the long lost.

I came to Mercy two years ago struggling with an eating disorder and an addiction to alcohol. I was convinced that I was a bad person because so many bad things had happened to me. I attempted to gain some sense of control through an eating disorder because in every area of my life, I had lost control. I became physically addicted to alcohol at a young age and at one point I was rushed to the ER because I stopped breathing from alcohol poisoning. I literally had nothing. Everything that once had significance was taken from me either because of someone else’s mistakes or by my own decision making process.

In my season with Mercy, I had to learn how to open my heart up to God and people. It wasn’t easy because I had been hurt so many times. I had to do a lot of things afraid. And if I were being totally honest, I still do a lot of things afraid. However, the pain in my life was the catalyst that encouraged a heart change toward the possibility of transformation. Once I understood that God could be trusted, I slowly unclenched my fists and became vulnerable to the healing process. I found that as I completely surrendered myself to the Lord, I experienced freedom in my mind and emotions.

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost two years since I‘ve graduated from Mercy. I wish I could say that life after Mercy is perfect. But the reality is that with life comes calamity, disappointment, and pain. In spite of all this, He promises to never forsake you in the midst of affliction. Yes, there is the name of addiction, abandonment, abuse, and heartache. But His name is above every other name and every knee has to submit itself and declare Him as Lord.

The life I live today is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness. As of June 2011, I will have graduated from 9-months of Master’s Commission which is a discipleship / ministry training school. In my time with Master’s Commission, I have been involved in children’s and youth ministry through providing on-going spiritual leadership, discipleship, practical service, and availability to students as well as their families. I learned the fundamentals of ministry through hands on training and classroom instruction. Recently, I traveled to the nation of Romania, my nationality and original country of birth, for ministry purposes. While in Romania, I had the opportunity to spend time at a girl’s home for young victims of human trafficking. I also provided humanitarian aid through food distribution and ministry to Gypsy villages. In addition to being a student at Crossroad’s Master’s Commission, located in Lafayette, Louisiana, I am also taking online classes to earn a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Counseling. I am expected to complete my degree in the summer of 2012. My graduation from Master’s Commission would not be possible without the grace of God and the people He placed into my life to help me walk out my freedom. Any successes that may ensue as a result of my involvement with Master’s Commission is because of their involvement in my life.

Mercy doesn’t heal people. God heals people. Mercy acts as an extension of God’s love and compassion through providing a safe environment that fosters lifelong transformation. I want to encourage anyone who may be considering Mercy Ministries as an option to just do it. On the other side of your obedience are answered prayers, life, fulfillment, wholeness, hope, and restoration. God is so relational and He isn’t a child abuser. He is personally acquainted with you through observation and participation. I believe God will make every step toward you but one. And that final step belongs to you. When the pain in your life outweighs whatever may be holding you back - fear, pride, shame - I believe you’ll be thirsty enough to make that step. And when you do, He’ll be right there; ready to walk you through the healing process.

Emily and I had a chance to catch up at Crossroads Church in Lafayette!
Thanks so much Emily for taking the time to share your amazing testimony!! You are definitely letting your light shine and we are so proud of you!!!


Lily Jane said...

I love that she is so REAL with her testimony. It has always bothered me when people say that Mercy Ministries is what healed them and that they never have issues after they graduate. No, we know that the enemy will always taunt us, but through God's help, we will never be alone. :)

Jeff Ables said...

Emily is a wonderful young woman and we're so proud of her! When she came to Master's Commission here at Crossroads Church, I had no idea she was a graduate of Mercy Ministries - A ministry we've supported for over 25 years. We're so thankful for Mercy and the way God is using this ministry to bring healing to young women like Emily. Only eternity will tell how many people's lives will be changed by Emily's ministry because of the investment Mercy made in her life. Thanks for all you do!