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Father's Abandonment Leads to New Father's Love

After her father abandoned the family, Tammy searched for love and acceptance through sex, drugs, and alcohol. But after contracting Hepatitis C, she had nowhere to turn. Read Transcript

I just didn't know the father's love

or a father's love.

Just wanting it so desperately.

NARRATOR: Tammy Baker was four years old when her father

walked out on the family.

He went to tour in Germany and never came back.

Throughout my life, I never knew why he left, you know?

It's like I always wanted to be a daddy's little girl.

NARRATOR: When her mother remarried when Tammy was 13,

she thought he was all she had hoped for.

TAMMY BAKER: He seemed great.

And I mean, I was like head over heels.

I'm running up, hugging him, jumping in his lap,

sitting on him, wanting to watch TV in his lap.

I had a dad.

I had a dad figure.

NARRATOR: But when her mother wasn't around,

her stepfather began touching her inappropriately.

And one afternoon, he came into her room only wearing

his underwear.

The panic in my body at that time, I just

knew I was going to be raped.

NARRATOR: But Tammy's mom came home, and he ran out.

This time, Tammy told her mother.

And she kicked the man out.

Tammy was safe, but hurt and confused.

I started blaming myself honestly, you know?

Because of how much I wanted to feel loved.

NARRATOR: In high school, Tammy found a boyfriend

and started having sex.

I finally had somebody to show me attention,

and I didn't want to lose him.

Tammy got married after high school, and had a son, Brandon.

When she got pregnant again, Tammy lost the baby,

and used alcohol to cope.

Because it would put me to sleep.

The only thing that took away the pain

was not to feel the pain.

NARRATOR: But the pain always came back.

Soon, she discovered something stronger from a friend.

TAMMY BAKER: So she laid out a line of meth.

And I took that first line of meth, and I was happy.

I was laughing.

I had energy.

I was ready to conquer the world.

And it had me hooked.

NARRATOR: When Tammy's husband had become abusive,

she left with their son.

She spent the next five years working

to support him and her addictions.

Soon, the money ran out.

I lost custody of my son.

I lost my car.

I lost my place to live.

Was living on, you know, people's couches

that would let me stay at their houses, or hotel rooms.

I was done living.

I was a horrible mother to the only child

that God blessed me with.

And I couldn't even be his mom.

NARRATOR: Before long, she contracted hepatitis C

from a dirty needle.

Tammy lost all hope.

My full intention that night was just

to smoke and do as many drugs as I could to just not

wake up again.

I didn't want to wake up again.

That Brandon would be better off without me in his life.

NARRATOR: When Tammy's plan didn't work,

she called her mother to come pick her up.

When I called my mom, the biggest part of me

is because I didn't want my son to see me die,

and I had to get out of town.

NARRATOR: Tammy's mother drove through the night

to pick her up in Augusta, Georgia.

And on the 13 hour drive back to Texarkana, Texas,

her mom started listening to Christian music.

I go to sleep.

And I would wake back up and the same song would be on.

God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

And I'd be like, [GROAN].

You know?

I mean, I could actually feel the just--

turn it off.

You know, I don't want to hear that.

NARRATOR: But her mom kept listening, and so did Tammy.

And when they were halfway home, Tammy

asked if they could go to church that evening.

The message was from the Bible verse Isaiah 1:18.

No matter how deep the stain of your sin, God

can wash white as snow.

I'm sitting there in the pew going, dude, you have no idea.

You don't know me.

You don't know where I've been.

You don't know what I've done.

There's no way.

NARRATOR: Afterwards, Tammy and her mother went to the pastor

and told him about her life.

He encouraged her and introduced her

to members of the Church, who over the next two weeks,

showed her love and acceptance.

And it was then that Tammy gave her life to Christ.

I just had my arms open.

And I'm like, here I am a broken person, beaten down, dying

from hepatitis C. I'm dirty.

I've sinned.

I'm just-- there's nothing good in me.

Who would want me, you know?

Who would want this?

And I could hear God say, I do.

That He wanted me.

You know, I surrendered everything to Him on the cross,

because He wanted me.

NARRATOR: Shortly after, Tammy attended a women's retreat

where they prayed for healing from hepatitis C.

And a couple of weeks later, she received

a call from her doctor.

Well, Tammy we cannot set you up for interferon treatments,

because there is no hepatitis in your blood.

And I'm like just shocked.

I hang up the phone.

And I only take about three steps.

That third step, I'm on my face.

I'm slain in the Spirit.

And I'm like, you got me!

And there was buckets of faith being delivered on me.

Just pouring over me.

Faith, faith, faith.

Faith to move a mountain.

NARRATOR: That was in 2004.

Today, Tammy is married, and has reconciled the relationship

with her son, Brandon.

And she frequently shares her story

of how a forgiving, loving Father gave

her new hope for life.

I love what the Lord has done for me in my life,

and how He has restored my love.

My relationship with my son, I mean, is gold.

And for him to look at me and say,

I know there's a God, because what He did to you.

You know, that's what I want the world to see.

That anybody can be changed, but there's only one person

who can change it.


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