Father's Abandonment Leads to New Father's Love

“I just didn't know the father's love, or ‘a’ father's love.  Uh and just wanting it so desperately.”

Tammy was four years old when her father walked out on the family.

“He went to tour in Germany and never came back. Throughout my life I'd never knew why he left, you know?  It's like I always wanted to be a daddy's little girl,” said Tammy.

When her mother re-married when Tammy was thirteen, she thought he was all she had hoped for.

“He seemed great and, I mean, I was like head-over-hills.  I’m running up, hugging him, jumping in his lap, sit on – wanting to watch TV in his lap.  I had a dad.  I had a dad figure.”

When her mother wasn’t around, her stepfather began touching her inappropriately. One afternoon he came into her room wearing only his underwear.

“The panic in my body at that time, I just knew I was going to be raped,” said Tammy.

But Tammy’s mom came home and he ran out. This time Tammy told her mother and she kicked the man out. Tammy was safe, but hurt and confused.

“I started blaming myself honestly. You know because of how much I wanted to feel loved,” said Tammy.

Then in high school, Tammy found a boyfriend and started having sex.

“You know, I finally had somebody to show me attention and I didn't want to lose them.”

Tammy got married after high school and had a son, Brandon. When she got pregnant again, Tammy lost the baby and used alcohol to cope.

“Because it would put me to sleep.  The only thing that took away the pain was not to feel the pain,” said Tammy.

The pain always came back. Then she discovered something stronger from a friend.

“So she laid out a line of meth and I took that first line of meth and I was happy, I was laughing, I had energy, I was ready to conquer the world, and it had me hooked,” said Tammy.

When Tammy’s husband had became abusive she left with their son. She spent the next five years working to support him, and her addictions. Soon the money ran out.

“I lost custody of my son, I lost my car, I lost my place to live. Was living on, you know, people's couches that would let me stay at their houses, or hotel rooms. I was done living. I was a horrible mother, you know, to the only child that God blessed me with, and I couldn't even be his mom,” said Tammy.

Before long, she contracted Hepatitis C from a dirty needle. Tammy lost all hope.

“My full intention that night was just to smoke and do as many drugs as I could to just not wake up again. I didn't want to wake up again. That Brandon would be better off without me in his life,” said Tammy.

When Tammy’s plan didn’t work, she called her mother to come pick her up.

“When I called my mom, the biggest part of me is cause I didn't want my son to see me die, and I had to get out of town,” said Tammy.

Tammy’s mother drove through the night to pick her up in Augusta, GA. On the thirteen hour drive back to Texarkana, TX. Her mom started listening to Christian music.

“I'd go to sleep and I would wake back up and the same song would be on ‘God will make a way where there seems to be no way.’  And I'd be like (grunt) you know?  I mean, I could actually feel the just – turn it off!  You know, I don't want to hear that,” said Tammy.

But her mom kept listening, and so did Tammy. When they were half way home, Tammy asked if they could go to church that evening. The message was from the Bible verse Isaiah 1:18.

“No matter how deep the stain of your sin, God can wash you white as snow.  I'm sitting there in the pew going, ‘Dude, you have no idea.  You don't know me.  You don't know where I've been.  You don't know what I've done.’  There's no way,” said Tammy.

Afterwards, Tammy and her mother went to the pastor and told him about her life. He encouraged her and introduced her to members of the church who over the next two weeks showed her love and acceptance. It was then that Tammy gave her life to Christ.

“I just had my arms open and I'm like, ‘Here I am, a broken person, beaten down, dying from Hepatitis C, I'm dirty, I've sinned, I'm just, you know, there's nothing good in me. Why would want me?’  You know?  Who-who would want this? And I could hear God say, ‘I do.’  That He wanted me. You know?  I surrendered everything to him on the cross because he wanted me,” said Tammy.

Shortly after, Tammy attended a women’s retreat where they prayed for healing from Hepatitis C. A couple of weeks later she received a call from her doctor.

“‘Well, Tammy we cannot set you up for Interferon treatments because there's no Hepatitis in your blood.’ And I'm like…just shocked.  I hang up the phone and I only take about three steps.  That third step I'm on my face, I'm slain in the Spirit and I’m like, ‘You got me!’ And there was buckets of faith being delivered on me.  Just pouring over me.  Faith, faith, faith.  Faith to move a mountain,” said Tammy.

That was in 2004. Today, Tammy is married, and has reconciled the relationship with her son Brandon. She frequently shares her story of how a forgiving, loving father, gave her new hope for life.

“I love what the Lord has done for me in my life and how he has restored my life.  My relationship with my son, I mean is gold. And for him to look at me and say, ‘I know there's a God because of what he did to you’ you know, that's what I want the world to see, that anybody can be changed, but there's only one person who can change it.”

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