This piece by Mercy Survivor Britt was originally published on her personal blog. Britt writes with powerful honesty about her ongoing struggles and her time at Mercy Ministries.
I have to stop cleaning my room when I’m in shit moods.
So I may have stumbled across a small book that I made when I was in the ‘cult like’ residential rehab place back in ’06-07. This book was called my “Godly Beliefs Booklet” and I was made to treat it like a newborn baby throughout my time in the program. Constantly carrying it with me, reading it daily, reciting it in mirrors and forever adding and memorising its contents whenever I had a spare moment.
It seemed as though it was just their way of palming an ‘issued’ girl off and out of their faces.
Someone comes to staff in tears – “Go to your room and read your Godly beliefs”.
Have nothing to talk about in counseling – “Go sit in the garden and read your Godly beliefs”.
Didn’t do your work duties properly – “Find a Godly belief that tells you the right way to work”.
Having negative thoughts? Past issues arising? Medication not working? Actually finally realise you’re not meant to be here and want to leave to find proper medical help?
“Go seek the Lord who will give you a Godly belief for your obvious UNgodly belief that is plaguing your mind right now, write it down and then recite it over and over again until your ears bleed, eyes water and you can’t think straight…then see how you feel”.
So reading over these now I somehow feel slightly sickened at the thoughts of what I remember and how I was made to feel.
Let me write out some of the “Old faithfuls”…
“God knew me before he formed me, he chose me to be his unique creation before he created the world. I am a blessing to God and precious in his sight”
“My identity is not based on what others think of me but on who I am in Christ”
“The only person I need to please is God. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. My best is good enough”
“The man God has chosen for me will see me as God sees me and treat me according to the principles of God’s word. I choose to believe that God will place men in my life who I can trust”
“My past does not determine my future. I am a new creation determined by God’s design”
So yes, as I said previously, I was made to read these to myself constantly, by myself, to staff, to the other girls, in front of mirrors, in counselling, in groups…anywhere really they felt the presence of God was. And sometimes it honestly felt like there was an unspoken “Godly Belief” war going on between myself and the other girls. It was almost like you had to have the ‘worst’ or ‘sickest’ sounding “Godly belief” and then months later you were miraculously healed and turned into the prodigy “Mercy Girl” put on the brochure high on the church book stand proclaiming your testimony.