My name is Tina. I am 53 years old and originally from Natchez, Mississippi. I am the oldest girl with four brothers and have three beautiful children and a beautiful granddaughter.
My downhill spiral into addiction began when I moved from Mississippi to California. I was 13 years old when I took my first drink of alcohol and 14 when I smoked marijuana. The move was a culture shock and peer pressure was overwhelming. I was extremely insecure and a people pleaser. I believed I was unlovable. That belief sent me looking for love in all the wrong places and with all the wrong people.
As I got older, the drugs got heavier and I fell deeper and deeper into darkness and despair.
My drug addiction took over. I remember always being an emotional wreck. I was broken into pieces.
I lost custody of my children and abandoned them.
I put crack cocaine above everything and everyone I love. I had no hope and saw no way out.
After several attempts of failing to stay sober, I decided the only way out and the only way to stop hurting my children and family were to disappear somewhere and die. That somewhere was Las Vegas. I spent 10 years on the streets of Vegas numbing myself and doing whatever it took to get my drugs including prostituting. Horrific things happened to me. On a daily basis, I wondered why I was still alive.
I wanted and needed to die.
One night in 2009, I got into a car with a stranger and went to a disserted gravel road. The man began to beat me and rape me at knifepoint. You see, this was not the first time this kind of thing had happened to me.
As the man began to lick my blood off my chest I knew I was going to die. But something happened within me, I began screaming out for God to help me! I began screaming out for Him to save me I did not want to die anymore.
All of a sudden the man threw up his hands and said, “I can’t do this”. He then pushed me out of the car onto the gravel road. As I laid face down, I felt something powerful within me. The best way I can describe it was a Light and I knew then that Light was God and He was saving me.
I went and cleaned myself up and went back to the street because I needed a hit. But this time it was different, I began talking to God and telling Him if He was really real to show me and get me off these streets. A car pulled up and I got in knowing he was an undercover policeman because he had taken me to jail before. I knew that he was my way out and that God had sent him. I solicited him and he took me to jail.
I was in jail 64 days. I kept telling everyone there that I needed God and I needed a program. I had two more days left before I was to get out and I began to get scared that God had changed His mind that I was not worth saving. On my 62nd day in jail I was talking to a girl and telling her that I needed God.
She gave me a phone number and said: “call this number this is where God is.”
It was the number to the Walter Hoving Home. I called and they had a bed for me which is rare because it is a 10 bed facility and a year program.
In October of 2009, I walked through the doors of hope of the Walter Hoving Home and was introduced to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My sweet Jesus took my heart into His loving hands and began to transform my life through the Holy Spirit. He loves me! There is no other Love greater! Jesus and I have begun a relationship that no one or nothing can tear apart.
God used the curriculum of the Home to show me my true identity in Christ. I am being renewed every day. I am so grateful that all my past circumstances were permitted by the Lord to help me see my need for Him. He has set me on a firm foundation.
God has given me a purpose and a calling. Three years ago He called me into His service here at the Walter Hoving Home as a staff member. I get to share hope and speak life into the ladies that walk through the same doors I walked through.
My family, my children and my granddaughter have been restored back to me. They are giving me a chance and that chance I know comes from Jesus and the blood He shed on the cross for my sins. The Lord has taught me so many things and continues to teach me.
My son Joshua died in a car accident and in his addiction on July 28, 2013. Jesus has and is sustaining me through my grief. Because of Jesus, I am not an emotional wreck, I did not turn back to drugs and did not give up hope. But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. Psalm 3:3
As I enter into 8 years of sobriety my Lord continues on a daily basis to bring me from glory to glory.
Look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4
God will create a new thing in this land:
A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!” – Jeremiah 31:22