Charity causes: “My name is Tammy and I grew up in a small town in southwest Michigan.  I had a mother, father, a younger brother and an older sister.  We attended the local Baptist church where I was both saved and baptized by the age of 12. My family for the most part, appeared to be very “normal” and my parents, probably like a lot of parents, fought some. 

I was around 12 when my parents sat all of us down and said there was going to be a divorce.  We were told that my father would be leaving and that we would have a new father.  After that discussion, we really didn’t attend church to much after that.  Around this same time, my mother ran around with a lot of men and I started drinking and smoking weed here and there and then eventually every weekend.  

When I was 16 years old, I met a guy and we moved in together at the tender age of 17.  We drank and smoked every day.  I got pregnant when I was 22, so we decided to get married.  I stopped drinking and smoking when I was pregnant.  I worked hard at controlling the marriage relationship until my brother died (I was 23 at the time) and my husband then took control.  From this point forward, I was mentally abused and controlled by my husband.  In order to cope with a new baby, the death of my brother and this controlling and abusive behavior, I began smoking weed once again.

When I was 40, my husband came home one night and talked me into trying crack cocaine AND I…FELL..IN…LOVE…WITH…IT.  Smoking crack became our normal Friday night routine for a year and then I decided to leave him.

Once I left him and our daughter was away at college in New York for the next 5 years, I smoked crack all day, every day.  It was during this time frame that I met a man and lived with him for 8 years.  Eight years of smoking crack 24/7 and then we broke up.  Unfortunately, the break up was only with the man, not the crack.  I began traveling to the City where we would once go together and purchase the crack by myself for the next year, eventually I started risking more and more and started going there and staying for days, weeks or months AND I wouldn’t answer my phone.

My family was incredibly worried about me but I was in a hateful world.  A world where I was taken advantage of and lived in and out of drug houses, selling pills.  In all of this chaos, I had a violent stalker constantly chasing me.  He took me hostage and raped me continuously for 12 hours.  Somehow, I got away.  

I then sold my house and spent every dime of the money on drugs.  I received $23,000.00 in back disability pay and spent every dollar of that on drugs.  The inheritance I received of $8,000.00 was also spent on drugs.  It was not unusual for me to stay up for 3 to 10 days at a time and I ruined my car during this time.  I was feeding myself by scamming fast food restaurants or digging into the garbage cans for something to eat.  I cleaned up in public restrooms and wouldn’t change clothes for a week at a time.  I resorted to holding up signs, begging for money and in my desperation stole $2000.00 from my own mother to purchase more crack.  

When I received 3 felony charges within 3 months I knew it was time to stop, in fact, I wanted to stop.  I was so determined to stop that I went to rehab 5 times and was in 3 transitional homes. But crack is cunning and sneaky.

But God is more merciful and more full of grace than crack.  It was my daughter who found Grace Centers of Hope, who help charity causes. When I arrived here at Grace, I was able to connect back with that God I knew as a child and discovered it wasn’t Him who turned away, but me.  I love it here, there is peace, there is a love of God unlike any other and I believe He saved my life by bringing me here.  I matter to God.  

Nothing else worked before Grace.

Today, I am free of my addiction to crack because of everything Grace has offered me.  Every need was met through the grace of God.  I have experienced true healing and joy WITHOUT drugs.”

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