My name is Tina and this is my testimony. This story is about my scars, my pain, and my tears from my struggles.
During the course of my life I was strung out on drugs on for 20 years. I drank alcohol, and smoked cigarettes, marijuana, and crack cocaine. I was in the presence of my friends trying to live a lifestyle that was extremely detrimental.
I didn’t know how detrimental it was until I got in really bad shape.
I thought I had control over the drugs and could quit whenever I wanted– at least that is what I told myself.
I didn’t realize that I never had control at all once I took that first hit off the joint, the first snort up my nose and the first hit off the pipe. I lost control the first moment I used and I thought I was having so much fun doing drugs.
Eventually I found myself doing things I knew I wouldn’t have done in my right mind. I did things just to get a hit, a drink, cigarette, a joint, or some crack cocaine. I didn’t care about anything else but how I was going to get that next hit. It didn’t matter what I did to get it. I sold my television, my VCR, my groceries, my clothes, and even my shoes. I gave anything the dope man would accept.
I remember when I took my babies out of their beds and laid them on the floor and sold their beds to the dope man– that was sick, for real. Today I cry when I even think about that. My kids are grown now but I see how what I put them through was so sick. I did it all because I wanted to do drugs. I put my children last while I put myself and the dope first.
I have cried many of nights over the things I did for drugs. Even still, those things did not stop me from doing the drugs. Day after day, I was right back doing it again and again. It took complete control of me and I kept right on doing it. I tried many of times to stop; my kids often made me want to stop, but the drugs had a tight grip on me and I kept right on doing the drugs.
I knew I had to stop because I wanted to stop lying to my kids. I had been lying to them, telling them stories like, “Someone broke in the house and stole the television and stole the groceries” all while knowing that I sold it all to the dope man. I took food from my kids mouths to feed the dope man’s kids. I couldn’t keep a job, so couldn’t pay my bills. After years of that lifestyle, I realized that all of those habits were devastating my life. Substance use was in total control of everything because it was always the most immediate need.
I came close to death many times, but I thank God I had a mother who prayed for me and never gave up on me no matter what. She was a bold mother. I remember a time when she came to my house while I was getting high with my friends– she got down on her knees and started to pray for me. My friends said, “Girl, are you still going to get high while your mom is in there praying?” Me and my smart mouth replied, “Yes I am and I’m not going to let her blow my high!” I now believe that her prayer could have stopped me from overdosing. I didn’t see that then and the drugs wouldn’t let me care. I was doing a lot of things wrong and I had many wrong attitudes.
I desperately needed to change my life and withdraw from the hold that had taken complete control of my mind, body, and soul. It seemed that the harder I tried, the more my life continued to crumble, piece by piece. I felt like a failure, as if there was no hope for me to repair all the damage that had been done. After I started to use, my life all added up to disaster.
In my heart, I felt as if I didn’t deserve better and my kids deserved more than I could give them. Something happened one day after I had been awake for five days in a row with no sleep and no eating (nothing but getting high). On that day, my baby woke up and I think he knew I had been getting high or that something was wrong with me. I know he knew because he started crying and it was the saddest cry ever and it was the way he looked at me with the saddest look I have ever seen.
When I looked at him, I KNEW my life had to change that day or I wouldn’t make it to see the next day. Even I felt like I was going to die that day because my heart felt really tight. I went into that same room where my mother had prayed for me and I got down on my knees and prayed for myself. I said, “Lord I know I have made you so many promises, but I really need you to come save me right now. I don’t want to die; I want to live. If you save me this one last time, I promise I won’t turn back.”
My prayer must have reached heaven that day because by the time I got up from my knees, there was a knock at the door. I thought it was the devil because every time I tried to quit, the devil come knocking. When I got to the door it was my oldest son saying “Mama, come with me.” I said, “Where are we going?” He said, “Mama, come with me,” and I said, “Boy, I look a mess– where are we going?”
One more time, he said “Mama, come go with me.” That was all he would say, so he took me by my hand and I went with him and got in his car. He didn’t say anything at all, but he turned on his cd player and it was a song by Boyz 2 Men telling me “mama how much I love you.” When he played that song, I’m telling y’all my life has not been the same since. When the Lord sent my son to me that day, it made a difference in my life.
July 23, 2000 was the moment when I prayed and asked God to save me. I decided I was disgusted with my life, myself, and my actions. I was physically and mentally tired of being enslaved by Satan and the drugs that he used in an attempt to destroy my life. I knew I had to change. I knew that the devil was on his way out and freedom was on its way in. You see, God takes our messed up failure-filled past experiences and gives us hope and a brighter future.
I didn’t try to get myself together first, I came to Jesus as I was weary, wounded, and sad. Turns out that He was waiting for me all along, so when I made that move toward Him, He started dealing with me where I was. He is responsible for me being totally delivered from drugs today. And I am convinced God will do the same for you.
LET GO AND LET GOD. I been delivered after 17 years and 7 months. I’m about to outweigh my bad past and I’m praying that this testimony will help somebody. Lord, thank you for always being close by. Please give us strength and power in our hearts to remember You are always near and that You love us deeply and we can always call out to YOU.