When I got married, I thought I knew what love was, but I had no clue. Love was just a word. Growing up in a small town, people married young and had children right away. Kids were not raised to have dreams and visions for themselves. College degrees were rarely discussed, and marriage was just the next logical step in life.
At twenty-six years old, I had two children and a husband who was violent and abusive. Instead of becoming a wife who was loved and respected by her husband, I became a human punching bag who endured torment, fear, and insecurity. After one particularly bad beating, I was left feeling like Joseph who had been beaten and thrown into a pit and left for dead. I thought I was trapped in that pit with no way out. On that day, as I looked into my son’s precious face, I realized that my children’s lives and futures hung in the balance…I had to break free from that pit.
We left and moved in with my parents. While living there, I came to realize that God never left me; He was there all the time. I realized that I needed to change so that I didn’t find myself back in the same kind of situation I had come out of. I started going to church and a hunger for the truth began to stir inside my spirit. I wanted the truth about God and I wanted the truth about myself. I would cry out day after day, asking God to show me His truth.
One Sunday, I got filled with Holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues. A release came into my spirit, and I began to feel a hope like never before. My sister, Sherrie, was already coming to church here at Gateway, so I called her to tell her that I had been filled with Holy Ghost. She told me I could pray in tongues anytime I wanted to, so I did. I had no idea what I was doing. I ended up praying myself right out of that religious church where I was and into the place God had for us. I knew that there was more healing and more breakthrough that I had to have, and I couldn’t get it where I was. One day, I heard God tell me to go to Gateway Believers Fellowship, and that was that! Since I’ve been here, I have realized that God loves me, and if He loves me, I can love myself.
I know that God didn’t put me in that pit I found myself in. I got there by making choices and following other people’s views of what life should be. But I do know that it was God who gave me the strength to get out of that pit. It was Him who kept me safe during the transition times, and it has been Him who has lead me into a place of peace that I never even knew existed. I know what it is to be tormented, and I also know what it is to walk in His love, health, and peace. I know that, as I continue to pray in tongues, fast, meditate the Word and make myself available to Him, that I will become more transparent with myself and others. God hasn’t just helped me break through; He IS my breakthrough!!!
~ by guest contributor, Tammy Sanders