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Death Comes Knocking for Woman Enslaved by Addiction

Working the streets of Las Vegas, Tina Harrington would do anything to get her fix. She would go days without food just to have money for drugs. “I had to stay high and I had to stay numb.”

One night, her drive to feed her addiction almost got her killed. “Every time I got into a car I didn't know what it was going to be.”

City life had never been kind to Tina. She was twelve when her family moved from a small town in Mississippi to California. Kids teased her because she was poor and had a thick accent. “I didn't feel like I was lovable. My self-worth diminished.”

As a teenager, she smoked pot and drank just to be accepted. She also started having sex, and at 19, had a daughter. Three years later, she married and had two sons. But her husband was physically and verbally abusive. While Tina sent her daughter to live with her parents, she chose to stay.

She started using prescription painkillers and eventually crank, a form of meth, to numb the pain. “It gave me a euphoria that everything was good and it made me work better. It made me do better. It made me look better. It made me feel better.”

But nothing ever changed. And after 13 years, her marriage ended in a messy divorce. Tina gave up on life and went on a drug binge. Eventually, she lost her job, her home -everything.  “I thought that I was just not supposed to have anything, and not supposed to be loved.”

Ashamed, Tina cut off all ties with her family. She turned to the streets, and for the next ten years, moved from city to city, prostituting herself to survive and stay high. Eventually she made her way to Las Vegas. One night, a client, armed with a knife, started beating her. Tina thought she was going to die. “I started crying out to God, ‘Help me! I don't want to die. Please help me!’”
 
Suddenly the man stopped, pushed her out of the car and drove away. Tina realized God had intervened. “And I began to talk to God, to yell at Him while I’m walking the street. ‘You saved me and if You want me to live, You need to prove it to me."

Later that night, she saw an undercover cop that had arrested her before. “I knew that right then that was my way out. God had put him there to take me to jail, to make a way out for me.”

Tina got in the car, was arrested and sentenced to 64 days. While in jail, an inmate told her about a Christian recovery center. Tina called them, and when she was released, went into their year-long rehab program. They told her about Jesus, and one night, Tina decided to pray to Him.

“I said, ‘all right, Jesus, I don't know who You are, but they say if I ask You into my heart, You're going to come live in me and You're going to take all of this pain away. So I give You my heart. Please come inside of me.’ And he did. He did!”

Tina finished the year-long program and has been drug free ever since. She also reconciled with her family. Now she helps other women find the love and acceptance that can only come through Jesus Christ.

“It's an all-consuming love, I can't tell you what it's like today to be able to, to walk with my head up to know that I have a Savior that loves me unconditionally, and took away all of that guilt and all of that shame and that pain and restored me back to my family.” 

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