God’s Mercy Gives Woman Second Chance at Life
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“I didn't wanna go to church the way that I was. I couldn't face God and then still go out and do what I was doing. I knew that one day I would have to get right with God. I thought I had all the time in the world.” However, she didn’t. Tanya Wright’s reckless lifestyle was about to catch up to her.
Growing up, Tanya was a good kid, never partied, never got into trouble. She even accepted Jesus into her life as a young girl. She says, “I don't think I really understood the gravity of what, you know, what it all meant and, and what it stood for. I was more of a fan, I think, of Jesus than a follower.” Then after high school Tanya married and discovered ‘freedoms’ of being an adult.
She and her husband loved to party. She stopped when she got pregnant, yet was right back at it after she had her baby at 19. Now she drank and smoked weed to cope with the pressures of being a young mother. Soon she was using OxyContin to get her through the day. She recalls, “It gave me confidence, I guess, and, and energy, motivation. Instead of spending time at home with my daughter like I should have been, I was in various drug houses.”
For years Tanya’s life – along with her husband’s - was consumed by drugs. Tanya’s parents helped raise her daughter, leaving Tanya riddled with guilt. She recalls, “I felt like a, a failure as a mother. Once I became addicted, it took over my life, it took over my personality. I was motivated now for one thing, and that was to get high, to get my drugs so that I wasn't sick.”
Tanya and her husband separated when she was 26. She tried to get a handle on her opiate addiction and began taking methadone. Even then she’d use cocaine whenever she had the money for it. She says, “It really created a lot of shame and guilt in me, especially as the years continued on and I continued in this cycle. I always thought it was gonna make me feel better. And then once it ran out, it just made you feel worse cause now you have no money and you’ve let everyone down again.”
Her parents encouraged her to get back to God, but Tanya’s shame kept her from going to Him. She thought, “I felt ashamed to go to church. I just had this heaviness of depression, darkness surrounding me.” Then, around midnight on October 13th, 2017, Tanya was out drinking with her estranged husband. They started arguing, and Tanya stormed off to find her dealer for a quick fix. While crossing a busy street, she stumbled and fell backwards into the road… in front of an oncoming car doing 50 miles an hour. She recalls, “I land on the ground and I don't feel any pain. My thought was immediately, well, I can still go get high. I still wanted to go use.”
Instead, a critically injured Tanya was flown to the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She underwent a grueling 18-hour surgery to fix a broken neck and multiple leg injuries. Lying in a hospital bed she began to realize it wasn’t luck that had kept her alive. She recalls, “I had been given a miracle from God. That even though I was doing things I shouldn't have been doing, I was, and living this sinful life, He still loved me enough to not let me die there, to not let me end up paralyzed even.”
Over the next several days Tanya was touched to hear about all the people who were praying for her. She recalls, “It just made me feel so loved. They really showed up and showed me that they still loved me, you know, and, and they were still caring enough to just to take the time to, to pray.” After 10 weeks in the hospital, Tanya was sent home where she had another 4 months of physical therapy.
By now, she was talking to God constantly, yet still feeling ashamed about her life. Then one day she turned on the TV to see Pastor John Hagee talking about the joy of surrendering your life to Jesus. She says, “I just began to, I mean, pour my heart out. I mourned over my sin. I mourned over my, my life. And I mean, I'm just pleading with Him to forgive me, um, and to just help me, you know, to just change me. First thing I noticed was that I had this weight lifted off of my shoulders. I could see God's glory and everything all of a sudden. And on top of that, I realized, you know, how sinful I actually was and, and my need for a savior.”
Tanya started reading her Bible every day. As she grew closer to God, her desire for drugs and alcohol was replaced with a longing for more of Jesus. She says, “I wanted to be closer to Him. I wanted to know more about Him. It was like I was in the wilderness and I had been starving to death. And now I had this like bread.”
Today, Tanya has a wonderful relationship with her daughter. Tanya is also thankful that God gives second chances and accepts all who come to Him no matter where they are. She says, “I wish that I wouldn't have wasted so much time if I had known just how wonderful and freeing, you know, it was gonna be to, to finally do things His way, to finally do things Jesus' way. I would have defiantly done it long, long ago.”
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