The following is a reflection from Women’s Mission guest Tammara on how she got to Bethesda and her experience in the recovery program.
I remember standing in my shower crying one night. I was praying to God in a way that I hadn’t in a very long time. I was tired of fighting a fight that I had lost the strength to fight any longer. I was spiritually bankrupt, emotionally confused, mentally on the verge of a breakdown, and physically deteriorating. A short time after I said that prayer, in the midst of my active addiction, I made purchases and cash withdrawals on my debit card, but there was no money to cover the purchases. I knew what I was doing would cost me — maybe something that I wasn’t sure I was ready for but in my obsession and compulsion to use, I just didn’t care.
When I checked the balance on my debit card, there wasn’t even $5 on it. I didn’t have the type of landlord/rental agency that accepted excuses — if you didn’t have your rent money, you had to go! That’s how their agreement was designed.
Initially, I thought to try to save myself again, get through the next couple of weeks, grab a little room, and do things differently than I had been doing. Honestly though, I was tired and had had enough. I hated what my life was becoming. I thought that I could change it on my own without any help, which was insane.
I didn’t love myself, and I felt that I lived in a hateful world with hateful people who just didn’t understand who I was. All I knew is that I didn’t want to die and if I didn’t get help soon, that would be my end. I wasn’t ready for that.
I didn’t even try to put up a fight to keep my place. I packed up all my things, not knowing exactly where I was going. For some reason, I didn’t worry. I took a few bags with me, asked a neighbor to hold a few things, and put a few small bags in my locker at work.
I remembered that I had talked to my mom before praying in the shower. I told her how I had been feeling and that I was thinking about leaving Harrisburg. She mentioned Bethesda Women’s Mission and asked if I had heard of it. I told her I had but I didn’t know if I wanted to commit to the year-long program. My mom said I could stay with her for two weeks until I got paid as long as I didn’t use. Well, I used.
After that, I surrendered. I walked out of my mother’s house that morning as tears streamed down my face and never looked back. I prayed to God again saying, “God, I need you. If it’s meant for me to stay here, please let this call go all the way through. If not, let your will be done for me.”
I was already heading to Harrisburg Hospital to the ER to tell them I was suicidal and needed help. I called the Mission and was transferred to Ms. Saran right away. She asked me a few questions and the last one was whether or not I was ready to commit to the program for at least a year. Without hesitation, I said yes.
On August 14, 2017, I walked through the doors of the Mission, and my life hasn’t been the same since. It wasn’t easy, but I can look back and smile at some of the hardships I overcame. I am currently enrolled at HACC studying business administration. I’m learning more and more about myself every day. I’m learning how to truly love myself and genuinely love others. I realize that God doesn’t place you where he won’t give you grace to keep you. My journey continues and I thank God for directing my steps that led me into these doors.
A poem Tammara wrote about her experience:
I have been places I’ve never went before,
Seen things I have never seen before
Feelings that I’ve suppressed so long.
With every waken morning brought a new song.
All that I have been given, everything I gave,
Nothing could ever compare to my soul being saved.
I searched many years for fulfillment, through many people, places, and things.
I will never again forfeit this fulfillment that only God can bring.
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