This piece by Mercy Survivor Alicia was originally published on her blog “Beyond Silence: My Mercy Story” and can be viewed here.
While Mercy Multiplied stated they were not a medical facility, they still need to be held responsible and accountable to other areas. Mental health isn’t necessarily medical. They promised this spiritual transformation and healing. We all looked at it and said we want that… We all made a choice to go there but none of us got what thought we would receive. We got a lot of false promises and tales of how we would be healed at the end of Mercy Multiplied.
Some girls were there for months and got sent home, some of us chose to leave as we encountered red flags in our time there, and others found a way to survive Mercy Multiplied until graduation just to say we got through it. When we look back, I ask myself was it worth the mental anguish I got from there? Healing was what they promised but they couldn’t deliver.
We ask ourselves who is to blame since we didn’t get the healing they promised? Some of us think we failed if we didn’t make it through the program and some us still feel like we failed even after the program was over when we found ourselves back in our old behaviors. No program can heal anyone there’s the false advertisments that Mercy Multiplied puts out there to attract girls into their program. Healing was like a golden ticket that everyone wanted. They wanted to find that golden ticket so they could be on the other side of things. Mercy Multiplied waved the word “healing” in front of us like a golden ticket. The way they presented it to us it was like it was impossible to find. It reminds me of this movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”…
Charlie Bucket: [to Grandpa Joe, after opening the Wonka bar they think has the last Golden Ticket in it] “You know… I’ll bet those Golden Tickets make the chocolate taste terrible“
We were presented with a challenge to find a golden ticket, a pathway to healing that by man’s standards was impossible. Many people are angry at themselves for either not making it through Mercy Multiplied. Many girls wanted that ring from graduation that screamed “transformation”. It’s just a ring, it’s not where freedom lies. Charlie Bucket spells it out that “the golden tickets made the chocolate taste terrible”.
Mercy Multiplied fed us this line of promised healing like Wonka promised those that found a golden ticket this amazing enterprise to see. We must remember that man made principles will fall.
Is healing possible?
I believe that in order to heal a person must hear from God on their own accord. We cannot even make change in our lives unless we simply come to a place where we are able to say we cannot do it on our own.
My journey with Mercy Multiplied was negative, but positive because I saw beyond the golden ticket and that’s what pissed them off. I saw they were a man-made structure that I was not about to put above God in any way. Mercy Multiplied wanted me to claim they gave me healing, but it was false. I wasn’t going to deny God’s work in my life or give them any credit for my victory. That’s where a lot of people don’t realize that Mercy Multiplied sought out people who were vulnerable that they knew would credit them for their healing or the change in their life.
I don’t believe my time at Mercy Multiplied was a mistake. I believe that I went there to make connections with people, to know I wasn’t alone in my journey. Yes there are things I hate about what happened there. I cannot change the bad things that happen. By sharing my story and my pursuit to hold them accountable for their actions speaks to my situation. It says I’m not alone, I’m not a victim, and I’m not about to let some mass corporation destroy my life.
My time there made my relationship with God a challenge. What I thought was failure to submit to authority was not a failure at all. My failure to submit to authority showed my faithfulness to God. People may argue the concept of submitting to authority. While there are laws in our country we have to follow, there’s a subtle difference between following laws and being a good citizen than submitting to a place like Mercy Multiplied to be the authority over our lives. I’m a child of God and my life is not rooted in Mercy Multiplied, my life is rooted in God. I’m thankful for the ability to recognize this. Having this knowledge, I can confidently say that Mercy Multiplied was one chapter of my life that happened for a purpose. My overall story is a testimony of how I let my faith in God stomp all over the enemy’s plan to take my life.
I did have struggle in my life after Mercy Multiplied. I’m sure any girl who went through the hell I went through there would have too. By finding the boldness to stand up for myself and say “No more!” and choosing to go home was choosing life. It was the best decision I could have made. Courage takes time, but every time we chose to speak up and tell our story we find that we were not alone. We are able to stand up for ourselves. We also have the empowerment and hope that we can overcome.
True healing is should never be set within the limits of a man-made agenda. No one can pick a date or time you get healed. Sometimes we just have to wait on God. It requires lots of patience and faith. It’s okay to reach out to others for help. Please don’t read too much into this but healing comes with complete surrender saying not my will but yours be done Lord. It’s not about a ministry or one single person’s prophetic message. The change that healing brings is like hearing your heart beat for the first time. It’s knowing that the simple beat of your heart the pitter patter is the ultimate sign of life that gives purpose to my existence.
I know many people reading this might not believe in God. I want you to know I’m not going to judge you. We all have our own definition and view of what gives us strength or guidance in life. The fact is we know something is guiding us and whether you claim it to be God or not you can’t deny something gave you strength to get this far in life.
We are all at a different place in our lives. When I first got out of Mercy Multiplied, I struggled in my faith. I questioned if I made the right decision to leave. Why would God have let me go through all of that? It’s been almost four years since I put my foot in the door in that ministry. Yeah it felt like a mistake at first but I would not have made some of the friendships I have if I didn’t go there. If anything good came from it I’d say the friendships and connections. I don’t know why I went through the crap I went through. The damage control costs me a lot as well.
I must say I’m so thankful that I can blog today having the insight I have about life. Having the knowledge I have about that place makes me see how much determination I have had in life and I’m not a failure because I didn’t finish. My rebellion had a hidden purpose. It’s possible that my battle to fight their authority had a purpose who knows. I must say I’m going to continue using my voice to help others because anyone who went through the crap there must realize in order to win back our lives we must stand together and unite and fight for those who had no voice and those who are yet to speak out because someone might hear our stories it might give them the courage to speak out too.
I know there’s more girls out there who been on this road with Mercy Multiplied but haven’t found courage to even share. It took me a very long time to even be bold and say “No more!” No girl wants to face her peers and say, “I gave up on Mercy Multiplied”. I did it I had to come out of the hiding place and say, “I gave up on Mercy Multiplied”. They didn’t even want to give me a chance, some of us thought they invested in us but most of us were left with chocolate that tasted terrible and disappointment that the golden ticket to healing didn’t happen there. If we chose to keep on speaking and not let anyone silence us then we will see victory!