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The Void Only God Could Fill

Feeling abandoned as a kid, Tamara grew up looking for the love she hadn’t found at home. By the age of 16, she found herself pregnant and alone. She gave birth to a son—someone she hoped would love her unconditionally—but the void she felt remained. Searching for anything that might fill the gaping hole in her life, she turned to drugs.

Drugs became her way of escape—the thing she loved.

“But I learned that drugs didn’t love me back; they would destroy me,” Tamara said.

Years passed and her addiction grew worse. By this time, Tamara had a second son and her life was spiraling out of control.

Under the influence of cocaine, she became violent and it was her sons who witnessed the effects of her addiction. Having grown weary of living with his mother’s drug use, her older son, Raul, moved out and threatened to take his little brother with him if she didn’t get help from a facility.

Raul found a rehabilitation center for his mother, but once she learned it was a Christian program, she wanted nothing to do with it. But Raul wouldn’t budge and eventually, Tamara gave in to the idea.

Siquem Lugar del Refugio is a faith-based center that helps women battling addiction. It’s the only one of its kind in or around Santiago, Chile. Translated, it means, “Place of Refuge,” and is an outreach of Global Teen Challenge that Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions, is honored to work alongside.

The rehabilitation program is a difficult one and at first, Tamara resisted their structured guidelines. She refused to do the daily devotions or go to church, and let the leaders know she was only in the program to appease her son—that she had no intention of changing.

It wasn’t until her second month that something inside her “clicked.” She finally gave in to God and felt Him speak to her spirit that she should focus on Him and not what was going on around her.

“I began to understand His Word. I began to love, and I forgave myself,” Tamara said through tears. And, she also began to see and understand her older son’s pain.

The hard work was long from over, but Tamara put in the effort and the miraculous happened; she fell in love with God, His Word and doing His work.

It was a rigorous program, but Tamara graduated. Today, she feels a strong connection with the women at the facility and knows God has gifted her with the desire to help them.

Tamara’s life isn’t perfect, but her new life with Jesus is better than she could ever have imagined.

“Everything started because of a lack of love and affection,” she said of her life. “Nobody ever shared affection with me.”

But now that she knows the love of Jesus, she has experienced real change on the inside. In Tamara’s words, “He fulfills everything!”

You can be part of helping more women and girls around the world at joycemeyer.org/projectGRL

Hand of Hope