Growing up I was raised in church but only knew law and performance. I experienced a lot of childhood trauma such as my grandmothers suicide and later my fathers suicide, child molestation from neighbors, friends, and friends family members. A brutal rape by a boyfriends brother at gunpoint and later became married to an abusive alcoholic that labeled me as crazy, lunatic, psychotic...all of which I began to believe about myself. I was in and out of the mental hospital diagnosed suicidal, homicidal, and psychotic. I had been an addict since preteen to cope with the unresolved trauma and ended up on the beach in Daytona where I was introduced to crack. This became my drug of choice. I believed all the lies that the enemy told me. Lies that said my identity was addict, prostitute, homeless, crazy, failure as a mother and a daughter, shame, abandoned, alone, abused, mentally ill. Then one day I was in a thrift store and a woman approached me and invited me to her church and was adamant that I come. She even offered to have someone pick me up from the hotel I was staying at. When they showed up, I turned them down because I wanted to stay and smoke crack more than go to church. After they left something in me changed and I decided to walk to the church which was pretty far away and even had to ask for a ride to make it all the way. Once there I was seated next to someone who I first thought was the lady that invited me but it was the message and the worship that kept me seated. I was then called on by the bishop and prophesied over. That day I was given food, shelter and set up with a job. Once I had money I quickly fell back to the crack but the bishop and others in the church didn't give up on me and continued to love me and speak the word over me. After awhile I began to have faith in the word more than the lies I had believed. I had had several little relapses and would quickly get back up, but after applying for law school and not getting in, I was crushed. An old friend had come back into the picture that said they wanted help but quickly dragged me down into drinking and smoking crack. I had called bishop and he always told me, "Tamela, God loves you and so do I." This time though I didn't get back up. I believed the lie that I wasn't good enough, haven't done enough, wasn't smart enough. I didn't bring those thoughts captive. I lived in a trailer park and a palm reader kept pursuing me to read my palm. I knew it was bad and not to get into that but on a day I needed that crack she offered to trade me crack for a palm read, and I succumbed to that. Within 24 hours, I was face to face with death and couldn't remember a single scripture that I had memorized over the last 5 years. My mind was a complete blank. All I could do was call my mom and the bishop. When I spoke to him over the phone what came out was screams. The lady gave him the address to where I was and when he got there I was in a battle with Satan. It was like I was in the grip of Satan but looked out and saw two white coats coming towards me. In my mind I thought it was the people from the mental hospital. The bishop must have been speaking the word over me and all I kept saying was "Jesus, Satan, Jesus, Satan." The bishops prayers broke me out and once I was able to make eye contact with him, I came back to enough to get up and go with him. I was put in the ministry house and was put in front of the tv which played preaching 24/7. I had to renounce Satan and witchcraft and after some time got my mind back. My mind had to be renewed by the word of God and eventually my faith believed the word more than the lies of the enemy who was out to kill, steal, and destroy me. I ended up getting several degrees and am now working in ministry to bring people out of homelessness and get them plugged in to know the freeing power of the word of God.
To view the entire testimony on YouTube click the link below
1 John 4:8 NRSV
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not the old way of the written code.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.