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May 9, 2019

“I grew up believing God was real and that I could have a personal relationship with Him. But as I got older, my relationship with God started to shift and change, especially in my teenage years. I started questioning my self-worth, how others saw me, and how God saw me. I had an eating disorder by age 13—anorexia, then bulimia. Then when I was 16, I was depressed and suicidal, and by the time I graduated high school I was lost. I was still going to church, but my relationship with God was distant. I was watching Joyce Meyer’s program one day and Nancy Alcorn was sharing about her ministry Mercy Multiplied—where she took in girls and young women free of charge to help them deal with their life-controlling issues and show them God’s love. It took six years to realize that Mercy was where I needed to go. God had been telling me I needed to go get help, but I didn’t want to stop my life to do it. Then, I started having health issues due to the eating disorder and it scared me. I told my family I was going to the residential treatment facility. They didn’t know I was also cutting myself and how bad my depression was. I arrived at Mercy in May 2014 and graduated that November. During those six months, a Gateway pastor came multiple times to talk to us about how God brings freedom, His love for us, and how there was nothing too hard for God. I told my counselor I thought I needed to go to Gateway. We prayed about it, she contacted Gateway, and I was set up with an accountability partner—a member of Gateway who walked alongside me for the first six months I was out of the program. I transitioned from having an accountability partner, and right now, I’m doing great. I’m staying in the Word of God and walking out my freedom journey with God’s strength.” Carmen attends the Grand Prairie Campus.