When I first arrived at A Girl Called Hope, I was frightened, ashamed and broken. My eating disorder had robbed me of all but an ounce of hope that one day I might be free. I was welcomed with smiles and encouraging words, into the beautiful home. Straight away I felt as if I belonged.
Going through the programme was a stretching and strengthening process. I had my good and bad days, but slowly, with the staff's dedicated help, and through the grace and mercy of our amazing God, I could start taking back my life.
When I graduated, I walked out of the doors confident, renewed, and free. I applied to and was accepted into Bible College, and am loving learning more about our awesome Creator! A Girl Called Hope has changed my life.
I struggled with self hatred, rejection, depression and was desperate for love. I used to self harm and damaged most relationships I made. A Girl Called Hope showed me that I was clinging to my childhood, that I refused to allow myself to grow up. They gave me the tools to see myself and life differently, to overcome the mindsets that were damaging my life.
Now I am happy, stable and have friendships that are healthy. I no longer hate myself, or hurt others because I myself am hurting. I can care for others without my stuff getting in the way.
What really sets you free, is letting God show you the truth, accepting it, and letting yourself change. It's hard and it hurts but it is so worth it.
Self harm, alcohol addictions, eating disorders, sexual abuse, mental illness, rape and suicide attempts.
I had a lot to be unhappy about and defined who I was by the constant stream of lies my mind was telling me: that I would never amount to anything, that I was not good enough and that there was no reason for me to carry on living.
I lived every day in a continual battle just to survive, and the tiny glimmer of hope I had was getting dimmer and dimmer as each day passed, that was until the day I heard about A Girl Called Hope.
I had tried different counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors and medications but nothing had worked. I was entering A Girl Called Hope to start my journey to recovery.
I'm not going to tell you it was easy or comfortable because it wasn't. It was one of the hardest and most painful things I had ever done in my life. It was confronting, challenging and a totally different atmosphere from what I was used to. I am so happy to say now that going to A Girl Called Hope was the best decision I ever made.
Every day was a chance to learn, and every challenge was a chance to grow, and having God at the centre of everything we did and learnt was the key factor in making A Girl Called Hope a truly life-changing programme.
I was able to learn about myself and about who I really am, not according to my own view of myself, but according to God's word and the way He sees me - as beautiful, precious, loved and valued.
Our oldest daughter had Anorexia Nervosa in her teenage years and was accepted into A Girl Called Hope. We saw her graduate a very different young lady than the one who entered the programme, having tackled her life issues with the help of the staff.
She has now gone on to live a full, active and happy life as a youth worker, working with troubled youth in the community. We are extremely grateful for all A Girl Called Hope did for our daughter.