I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. Both my parents were drug addicts, and my dad spent most of my life in prison. Because of this lifestyle, I grew up seeing and experiencing violence, neglect, rejection from society, sexual abuse and rape.
By the age of 16, I had gotten pregnant, married, and was on a path to start a family of my own. The day I found out I was pregnant, I swore that I would never take my children through all the pain and suffering that my parents took me through.
Within the first few years of my marriage, my husband and I were walking disasters, hurting each other and our two beautiful daughters along the way. I got to a point where I felt angry, hopeless and helpless. I ran to the only thing I knew to ease the pain: I abandoned my family and ran to drugs and alcohol.
Through this chapter in our life, my husband found the Lord and started praying for me. I was lost, ashamed and broken. Yet God in His mercy saved me, forgave me, and restored my marriage. I had been living in the bondage of my past hurts and actions for so long, but now I was forgiven.
Healed and Set Free taught me how to see what was in my own heart that was defiling and corrupting me and how to give it to God in repentance. But the tool that truly did it for me was forgiving—just as I had been forgiven.
I was able to forgive the people who hurt me as a child and took my innocence from me; I was able to forgive my parents for taking me through and allowing all those things to happen to me; I was able to forgive my husband for how he hurt me, and myself for all the horrible things I had done.
Now I am a woman who is healed and set free. It is amazing to see how God can use such horrible things for good. My husband is now the Latino Ministry Pastor in Boise, Idaho, and I work alongside him serving the women in our church body.
The Lord has used our lives to minister to the many hurting and broken people and marriages that we encounter. I thank You, Jesus, for using Tammy to bring this study to my life.