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‘part’ of my story – 1

July 27, 2009

the next three days i will be re-posting my 3 part story on a portion of my journey that led me to where i am today. i apologize in advance for their length. i am not a fan of long post, but there was just no way to shorten these.

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Here is my story, my journey to God. Honestly, I struggle with things like this because they always end up seeming like a, who has the saddest testimony.

Truth is, my testimony sucks. It is sad. I endured things a child should never have to endure. If you can think of an abuse, I was a victim of it. But that’s not what I want to talk about.

I always knew, early on, there was a God. I didn’t know it was “GOD” – but I just, knew. The book of Romans speaks to this – that the truth about God is known instinctively – He has put the knowledge in our hearts. Even so…I never searched for more of Him, for a better understanding, or even an introduction. I never set out looking for Him. He just met me where I was.

June 3, 1990. I got married to a man named Steve in Knoxville, TN. I was 19 years old and he was 34. I was looking for the father figure I never had. I just wanted someone to protect me. To coddle me. To love me. This man wasn’t to be that person.

I knew, to the bottom of my toes, I shouldn’t have married him. He was volatile, unpredictable and a drinker. But to the outside world, he was a pillar in the community, a very well known businessman with a stellar reputation. Until one day…he snapped.

I can’t, to this day, even begin to figure out why he came undone. He just did. We were driving home from a golf tournament and he began yelling at me like I was a completely different person. Making accusations and planning my punishment.

I will not go into details of what happened. But for the next 3 days, I was his hostage. He didn’t go into work. He unplugged the phones and went on a tirade. During the 2nd day, late in the evening, I was exiting our bedroom after having just had a “beating”. When I opened the door I saw him searching for something in the hall closet. Wanting to be helpful and non-confrontational, I asked if he needed help. He replied, “No, I just found what I was looking for.” It was then he pulled off the shelf, a gun.

I froze. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t speak.

I got in trouble for just staring. That’s when he backed me up against the door and put the gun to my head yelling, “There’s nothing stopping me from shooting you. You know that don’t you?!” I knew he was serious. And even though he had asked the question, I couldn’t answer. I just cried. He pushed me to the ground and walked away.

Fast forward to his drinking binge several hours later where he finally passed out from getting so drunk. I took this time to leave. I grabbed his car keys and drove to my brother’s house, the only other person I had in TN. But my brother wanted nothing to do with this. He had one thing to say to me…”You’re gonna end up just like Mom. Just go.”

I had no one else. Nowhere to go. I followed in my mothers footsteps and went right back to my house. Directly back into the hands of a man who could take my life.

While he was still passed out, I called my mother. Her advice to me was when he woke up, to act like everything was just fine. Like he had done no wrong. Even take the blame for everything (even though I had no idea what I was to be blamed for). She told me to do whatever he said. Get him to a point where he was calm and I could convince him to get back on with life. I thought the strategy to be a bit odd – but then she said…”get him to go into the office in the morning then go down to the Greyhound Bus Station, there’s a ticket there to go back to Southern CA.”

So. That’s what I did. He woke up a different person, so that helped, and I began treating him as if he were a king. I convinced him into going to the office that morning but that I would need to drive him and keep the car to do some grocery shopping. He didn’t protest.

I dropped him off then sped like a demon home, put everything I could into one suitcase and went straight to the bus station.

There I sat, a 19 year old little girl, barely escaping with my life. Then I heard a tap on the bus window. I’m certain my heart stopped. I wouldn’t look. I couldn’t look. The tapping got louder and faster. Then I heard my name being yelled. It wasn’t Steve’s voice, it was my brothers. I started to cry. A lot. He motioned for me to get off the bus. I told him no. I was too afraid. He insisted.

I met him just outside the bus where he would tell me he had never left me that night he told me to go away. He followed and watched my every move. He let me know that Steve had followed me to the Bus Station too and was planning on taking matters into his own hands – but…my brother got to him first. He assured me he wouldn’t leave until my bus pulled away.

The next 3 days would begin my journey back to So. CA where I would be met with the most unexpected of situations…

read part 2 here

read part 3 here

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. July 27, 2009 9:34 pm

    …speechless…

  2. July 27, 2009 9:36 pm

    amazing. i will be sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the “story to be continued”. i love hearing people’s testimonies & their journey back to the arms of their Savior as well as sharing mine. Revelations says that is one way we overcome the enemy…by the word of our testimony, by the Blood of the Lamb & not loving our lives. thank you for being vulnerable & sharing it with us. =)

  3. July 28, 2009 12:04 am

    Thanks for sharing this Tam. You are waaaay braver than I!

  4. July 28, 2009 12:26 am

    I remember when this was over on T’s blog and getting MAD cuz I had to wait a week for the next part.
    Powerful story and hard to believe that someone lived it. I appreciate the strength it takes for you to share with us!!

  5. July 28, 2009 3:44 am

    Thanks Tam! I left my tissues in my other pants this morning. I’ll make sure to bring them to work from now on.

    Seriously though, thank you for sharing. Abuse is such a huge issue for me. I was fortunate to not have it in my life directly, but many of my extended family have been. It tears me apart to hear how awful people can be to each other sometimes. Praise God that you were able to make it through when so many don’t. You’ve gone on to raise a beautiful family despite going through horrible opposition. I know that God is smiling down on you today.

  6. July 28, 2009 5:09 am

    Oh my goodness. What an amazing testimony of the life-changing power and transformation of Jesus. Can’t wait to read the rest!

  7. July 28, 2009 7:05 am

    Seriously I don’t know if I can stand to wait to read the rest. I am sitting here at work zoned into reading this story. My heart would start racing as if I was reading some sort of ficiton novel. Then I reminded myself that this is a REAL story, and I got goosebumps over my entire body. Thank you for sharing.

  8. July 28, 2009 7:44 am

    one thing I forgot to tell you in the previous post is that well… I am not good at waiting…… I will think all day about what happened to you and are you okay…. well I mean you are okay ’cause you are here.. see this is why I don’t ever go to the movies, there is no fast forward button and I have to wait. Waiting is so not good.

    on the other hand….. thanks for being brave.

  9. July 28, 2009 9:37 am

    Tam, i love you. you are such a strong woman. The things that you have been through put you in prime position to let God use you…I cried again…more reading it this time than the last time because i have since met you and know you.

    I wept…at first because of the pain and then because i know that God has brought you out of that and put you in a safe family with an incredible husband and awesome kids…you let God use you and are not scared of your story, but you also dont let it define you.

    You rock! Love you woman.

  10. July 28, 2009 10:04 am

    Raw. Real. This is why I love Tam. I know this story….but I’m riveted every time I read it. My story pales in comparison and I’m so grateful to God who has brought me, and you, to the other side.

  11. July 28, 2009 10:34 am

    Girl, I can’t wait until tomorrow… now I am going to have to be a stalker on your blog and find these old posts. So thankful God has brought about hope in your story. Peace today.

  12. July 28, 2009 11:07 am

    Wow. I think that’s all I can say.

  13. July 28, 2009 11:17 am

    I have no words. Very moving. Thank you having the guts to share your own journey to you.

  14. July 28, 2009 11:50 am

    Wow. Thanks so much for sharing and being open, Tam.

  15. July 28, 2009 3:37 pm

    i am humbled that God would use me to affect, reach out to, those here.

    i am equally humbled that you would choose to read this.

    so, thank you…sincerely.

  16. July 28, 2009 3:38 pm

    and as usual…i have no idea if i used the right e/affect.

  17. Heidi permalink
    July 28, 2009 4:22 pm

    Everytime I read this my heart just stops.. tears flow

  18. July 28, 2009 10:42 pm

    I just finished part 3. Since everyone else seems to have done a good job of expressing how amazing it is, I thought I’d just pop in and tell you that you used “affect” correctly, and to good effect. 🙂

    Amazing story. I really loved the last few lines, showing how HE always brings us to a place where there is something truly amazing waiting for us.

    (‘SB><

  19. cvin permalink
    July 29, 2009 11:20 am

    An amazing post that has left me wanting to hear more.
    Your testimony does not suck, and God is always going to be with you even when you feel like he isn’t! 🙂

  20. August 4, 2009 6:15 am

    i know this is going to sound weird…
    but have you posted this story before?
    or…um…have i seen this like on WE or something?

    not meaning to sound insensitive…

    • August 4, 2009 8:57 am

      ha! yes, ive posted it before. i said in this post that i was “re-posting” 😉 but it wasnt on my blog. it was on another one for their testimony page or something.

Trackbacks

  1. ‘part’ of my story – 2 « inProgress
  2. I Feel Inspired « Words Off The Top of My Head
  3. not what i planned…but better « inProgress
  4. Testimony… - This Pilgrim's Progress
  5. Tammy Hodge: Bringing Freedom | jenniclayville.com

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