Why We Run
When you Run for Mercy, you support Mercy Ministries' free-of-charge Christian residential program that provides hope and life transformation for young women facing difficult life circumstances.
Heather and her fiancé Daniel
Read 2011 graduate Heather's amazing story of transformation and why Run for Mercy is special to her:
I was raised in a solid, Christian family who poured out grace unending. I felt the need to critique myself because it seemed no one was ever hard on me. This led to an 8 year battle with over-exercising and an eating disorder stemming from my high expectations of myself. I sought comfort in controlling what my body looked like, and I felt bound by the pressure to maintain a perfect image. After being taken advantage of at a college party, I saw myself as trash, and I fell into a downward spiral that involved alcohol abuse, depression, and a promiscuous lifestyle with empty relationships. I used alcohol as a way to numb my pain, and I slowly began shutting people out of my life. I treated myself the way I saw myself: unworthy.
Then I heard about Mercy from a graduate of the program. I was willing to do anything to change my life and be happy again, so I decided to apply.
Heather and her parents at Merry Mercy
While at Mercy, I learned the truth about my worth to God and the value I have in Him. The Lord showed me that my body is beautifully and carefully designed by Him and that nothing can change my value to Him. I met Jesus at Mercy, and I see myself as beautiful through His eyes. I am no longer concerned with my reflection in the mirror; it’s my reflection in Him that I seek.
Coming to Mercy meant coming to end of the thoughts that the enemy was pouring into my head. I was swept off my feet by Jesus Christ, and He taught me how to receive love from Him, others, and myself. I am deserving of this kind of love! Now, I have experienced healing that could only come from Christ, and I am learning what it means to love others with that same love. My body is a temple-- rather than bowing down to my body, I worship the One Who dwells inside of it. Every race I compete in is a testimony of the victory I have experienced in this race of life. The Lord continues to lead me by the hand, and we always finish victorious!
God has used Mercy Ministries to help restore every area of my life - spiritually, emotionally and physically. Since graduating from Mercy, I have seen God’s faithfulness to me in abundance! One example is that the Lord has brought me a wonderful husband-to-be. God has used Daniel as a true picture of grace and forgiveness. I am blessed beyond belief to be marrying a man who first pursued Christ to get to me. I am so thankful!
Read 2010 graduate Kristen’s amazing story of transformation and why Run for Mercy is special to her:
I grew up in a Christian home, but I felt like I would only be loved by God and others if I was perfect. I became a people-pleaser and feared rejection, so I attempted to be perfect in all I did, especially in sports. In 9th grade, I moved to a bigger town where there was more competition. I compared my body to other girls and was determined to be the best runner with the best body. I developed an eating disorder and lost about 40 pounds, which left me weak and dangerously underweight. I was hospitalized for a low heart rate, but continued to exercise daily despite the fact that I was dying. I wanted to be free from my eating disorder. I knew Mercy was a Christian program, and I saw how God had freed so many other girls there. I had heard about His power but never experienced it, so I applied.
While at Mercy, I learned how much God loves me. He taught me that I don’t have to be perfect to get His attention; He is near to me if I just call to Him. I know now that there is so much more God has planned for me. Life is so much more than being thin and exercising.
Being at the Run for Mercy event was so symbolic because of my history. I thought I would never be able to run again and still keep Jesus first. Not only was I able to run the race without a need to push myself to the limit, but also was able to share my story with hundreds of people who came out for the 5K. I was transformed by God's grace, and I no longer run for my glory, but for His.
After graduation, I went to college and am now studying psychology. I want to see others be set free like me. I am so grateful to Mercy Ministries for pouring so much love into me. I know that I am free in Christ because of the truth they spoke over me. I now know and have experienced God’s power. Thank you, Mercy, for helping me see the Truth, so this captive could be set free!
About Mercy Ministries
Mercy Ministries provides a free-of-charge, voluntary Christian residential program to young women aged 13-28 who have been victims of physical and sexual abuse, including sex trafficking, as well as those who face life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and unplanned pregnancy. Click here to learn more.