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CBN.com Death was a normal part of life for little Tracy Elliott. By the age of six, she was an orphan.
"When my dad died, I was two," Tracy tells The 700 Club. "I was really confused. I just thought he was asleep. When my mom died, it was such a traumatic time. I loved my mother, just like every little girl does."
She moved in with her grandmother. At first it was all ice cream and cake.
"Then my uncles moved in and things just changed," she says. "They were very abusive. They were sexually abusing me. They were physically abusing my grandmother. I am six years old, and they would say, 'Where have you been, you little whore? You are nothing but trash. Your mom was trash; your dad was trash; you are always going to be trash. You will never be anything.'"
Tracy visited a little church down the road. She heard something there that gave her hope.
"The pastor says, 'If you want to make Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life, have everlasting life and go to heaven, He will be your best friend.' That was the line that got me. I could use a best friend.
"I could feel His presence, and I know now that was the Holy Spirit. So I leave there that day, and I go home. It was fabulous, because I had this best friend and no matter what my uncles said to me, no matter what they did to me, no matter what happened, He was there."
At 16 Tracy had had enough of the abuse from her uncles. Less than a year after she moved out, her grandmother passed away.
Tracy recalls, "Losing her was my everything. Imagine your whole world wrapped up in one person. It was her. She was my mom, my dad, my grandma, my grandpa. I hated God at that moment. I was so angry. I remember thinking, 'Who would do this to me?' It was the most traumatic experience of my life."
She fulfilled the promise she made to her grandmother to finish high school.
"I was a good kid with my grandma. I never drank, because I never wanted to disappoint her. Then I was like, 'So much for that.' I was hanging out in bars all the time. I had done coke, ecstasy. There was one summer where I did ecstasy every day, several times a day, and acid and crank.
"I was high one time on coke. I had been high for two weeks straight. I knew I was having a heart attack. I could feel my heart; I just knew. After all that time, I wished I could die. I used to say that all the time. I didn’t want to then, and I got really scared. I just prayed, 'If You just let me get through this, I swear I will never do this again.' And I didn’t die obviously, and He let me get through it. I never did cocaine again ever."
But the drinking didn’t stop.
"I got sick. I threw up blood, and when I saw that, I just knew I had to stop. Quitting drinking was harder then anything I had ever done."
Tracy was working in a bar in Atlanta as a stripper.
"I needed the money. I was living on somebody’s floor at this time," Tracy explains. "I just remember thinking, 'Why not? Could it be any worse humiliation then I had felt my whole life?' The answer was no. I didn’t think about what I was actually doing. I didn’t think that I actually had no clothes on. I didn’t think about that, because I was thinking that everybody else was doing it. Also it was my job."
Still, Tracy says she knew the Lord never left her. She wasn’t happy when she heard His voice one night in the club.
"This guy walks up to the stage, and he tips me. He won’t even look at me. He’s looking all down, and I knew this wasn’t his deal. I lean down, and the Lord told me that’s going to be your husband. I thought, 'Don’t bug me at work.'".
Tracy and Brian became great friends over the next couple years and eventually started dating.
"We dated like old-fashioned. He walked me to the door. We didn’t kiss -- nothing. It was very sweet. We get married. It was on the fast track from there. Eight days after we got married, I got pregnant."
Tracy and Brian settled down to raise their son. Together they made the decision to rededicate their lives to the Lord and live for Him.
"I realized once that the devil didn’t want me to enjoy what God had given me," Tracy says. "He wanted to remind me of what my life had been, and if I always constantly thought about that, I couldn’t really move forward. God is a big God. He can handle it. He forgets things that you think He will remember. He loves you. You are more important to Him then anything."
Tracy still had one addiction to overcome — prescription painkillers. She had suffered from migraine headaches her whole life.
"I was taking all these pills. I didn’t tell Brian, because I scared myself. I started taking so many."
When Brian found the prescription pill bottles in the kitchen drawer, the two of them prayed together and made a decision. Tracy left her family and checked into rehab immediately. Just weeks after returning home, migraine- and drug-free, Tracy was crowned Mrs. Texas.
"It gives me a chance to stand for what I believe," Tracy says. "People need to know that it’s OK if you screw up.
I for years felt like it was my fault -- not completely my fault, just ashamed I think.
I knew God had a destiny for me."
Today, Tracy sees herself unbroken in the sight of her Lord.
"The devil cannot make you ashamed of things you give God the glory for bringing you through. I am not ashamed about anything in my life, because if you are delivered from it and you give God the glory, then you are laughing in the devil’s face."
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