Miracles in the Dark: How a Childhood Cult and Abuse Survivor Reclaimed the Light
Lighted Paths, LLC, 2024
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Miracles in the Dark: How a Childhood Cult and Abuse Survivor Reclaimed the Light is a compelling and raw story of overcoming the trauma of childhood abuse and finding hope and healing.
Tammy René passionately shares messages of hope and healing. A survivor of childhood sexual and physical abuse in a cult, Tammy navigated a path toward recovery, finding strength in her faith. Tammy has worked as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abused and neglected children, currently volunteering with her local Suicide Prevention Network as a PTSD support group facilitator. As a speaker and presenter, she shares her story to inspire hope in abuse victims and bring understanding to their communities.
It has been a long road since I first started writing about the events of my childhood. I have told secrets that I never thought I would live to tell. And not letting fear run my life is still a struggle. There are parts of my life that I am ashamed of; parts that I don’t really want to remember or acknowledge. But what I have discovered is that for every part of me I try to keep hidden away, a good part of me is lost. With every embarrassing behavior, there is also a hidden talent or goodness. The Lord has seen fit to bring all things to my remembrance that I may learn how to be whole—that no part of me is lost and that I may be more free to exercise my agency.
No one else has power over who we will be. They can take away our freedom, they can torture, maim, and even kill, but they cannot take away our agency to determine what we will do with what we have been given. We cannot choose our circumstances or even our experiences, but we CAN choose who we will be. I have learned that if no pain is really what I wanted, I could have it. However, I have also learned that asking for a life with little or no pain is not asking for much at all. It is through those experiences that we can learn and grow and ultimately feel true joy.
The ability to move on is always there, and if I look closely, a path opens up inviting me forward. Each life-altering event in life has its own pain that needs to be healed or miracle to be accepted. Throughout my life, powerful experiences of feeling God’s love through the kindness of others touched my heart. These are the moments I built my life on—the times that gave me life-saving hope.
Holding on to life and hope has finally brought me to the place I only dreamed of as a child. Instead of birthdays filled with fear, there are celebrations of life surrounded with love from Eric, our children, and grandchildren. I’m grateful to have eyes open to my successes in the past and the opportunity for continued growth in the years ahead. There is still sadness in looking back at my childhood and the loss of my innocence. But in the aftermath of the storms, the light penetrates the dark, and exposes the beauty of the journey that is my life.