“That is exactly what Miss Zander and I were talking about two days ago, ask her,” she said. As another one hugged me she said in a prayer, “Thank you for being obedient because that was right on target,” then she said, “That was the turning point of the service.” After I spoke to the ladies about a very sensitive subject in jail tonight, Tammy came and hugged me and I wept out loud. As tears were streaming down my face, Joanna came and whispered a prayer into my spirit and said, “Lord, put this back into the storehouse and only bring it out to bring glory to you.” Margo came and also ministered to me and as she did this, peace overtook me and I began to calm down.
It was on Saturday that a friend of mine asked me a question of why I never had any children. The question itself didn’t bother me, but the time in my life that the decision was made was a turning point for me. It wasn’t until Sunday, Louie and I were sitting at the kitchen table and I started revealing things to him that had happened to me when I was between the ages of 18 and 22. It was a dark time in my life and I haven’t thought much about it, until now.
I felt the Lord urging me to share this experience with the ladies in jail because they have been abused, mistreated and deceived just like me. These ladies see me on the other side of the negative. They didn’t see the struggle, the heartbreak, the tears and the despair in me, but they see it in their own life. The Lord wanted me to share with them how I got caught up in the lies of the enemy, the devil through a man. I won’t say his name because he gets no recognition except for the victory that came out of what he meant for harm.
This man was 9 years older than me; I was 18, a virgin. I was hanging out at the video store where my parents forbade us to go. My sister and a friend of ours went there every chance we got. We got to know the owner and his brother and they let us play the videos for free. The owner had a friend and that is who preyed on me. He took me out for drinks and bought me jewelry and we had secret numbers to describe our love for each other. One night we were at a nice hotel and I gave him my virginity. After that, I thought I had to marry him because he had my virginity. We came up with some lies to my parents so we could be together. It worked. Until one day my mom saw me coming out of the bank and found out I had withdrawn a large amount of money. They wanted to meet this guy and then later forbid me to see him again. So, I left home and moved in with him.
He was consumed with sex and had me believing that I loved it too, except I didn’t. He started bringing me downtown Chicago to the seedy side of town. I don’t remember a whole lot about it because I started drinking once we left the house so I could be drunk by the time we got there. There were so many times I was scared, but I would just do whatever he told me to do. I tried to leave him, but he wouldn’t let me leave. He would stay home from work for 6 months just so I wouldn’t leave his sight. I could have anything I wanted, but I had to stay with him. He hated when I talked with my sister or other family members and we would argue for days about it.
It was so dark in my world, and I thought I could never leave, I was trapped without hope. This was the time I took a bunch of narcotic pills a little at a time so I would die for sure. I didn’t want to throw them up, so I paced myself and kept taking them. I didn’t know it then but God had a different plan for me. Jesus was there the whole time; He never left me, even when I was acting like a whore. He loved me and He forgave me when I didn’t feel lovable or worth forgiving. I just didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t know God was giving me a way to glorify Him through the things I suffered. But these ladies felt the hand of God touching them and cleansing them from all unrighteousness. Just like the woman in Luke 7:47 when Jesus said to her, “for this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
I had no idea how God was going to work this out at jail for these ladies because when I first got up there, I was told to speak up, but I couldn’t speak at all. Then a new inmate got up to use the toilette without asking permission; which caused a public announcement for them to ask first. My mouth was so dry I couldn’t form words and my heart was beating out of my chest. I started reading out of Luke and my voice was breaking up into tears. The room fell silent and their ears were on high alert. I could see tears welling up in their eyes and they could relate it to experiences in their own lives. I wasn’t up there to convince them to listen to me; I was telling them of what happened to me and how God’s grace and mercy kept me. I could have died, got pregnant, got a disease or even worse, stayed in that dangerous lifestyle until it killed me.
The devil seeks us, to kill and destroy us and will do it a number of ways. It doesn’t have to be that way though if we would only turn our wills over to Jesus. Let Him be who He is inside us. Let Him love you, and He will set you free because He is love.
“Thank you, Miss Tracey, I loved your story, it helped me,” one girl said as she was leaving to go back to her cell. I thank the Lord that He brought that memory out of the storehouse of my life, but also to put it back in there, except to glorify Him.