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Leap of Faith
After years of living in darkness, Tracy Haluk decided to let God be her lamp.

Tracy Haluk's world consisted of prison, prostitution, drugs, theft and violence. In 1996, the drugs ran out and, for Tracy, the emotional and physical energy required to maintain this lifestyle was no longer there. She cried out: "OK, God. I want to do it your way!"

Descent into addiction

Tracy and her two younger sisters were raised in a working-class home in London, Ontario. "We had food, clothing and a beautiful house," she recalls. "What we lacked from our parents was love and affection."

It was as a little girl of three that Tracy's life took a tragic turn. While in a car, the vehicle collided with another. The sudden impact threw Tracy over the front seat and out the front window. "I suffered a broken shoulder and fractured jaw," she states. "I still have terrible scars on my forehead and underneath my jaw line.

In the years to follow, bullies called her "scar face" and friends betrayed her. Although her school grades were good, she didn't fit in. At 14, she rebelled by smoking cigarettes and stealing, as well as running away from home. Her parents, unable to control her, placed Tracy in foster care.

Before long, Tracy called the streets home. "Most days," she remembers, "I was high on acid, cocaine, crack, heroine or speed. I skipped school and was kicked out. I prostituted and stole. My goal was to be a full-time drug dealer."

During this time in her life, Tracy often hitchhiked. One day, she hailed a ride with a handsome guy with "beautiful long blond hair." He suggested they party at his place and Tracy thought the invitation was cool. After they all got drunk, six men at the party gang raped her. She was 15.

Dead-end lifestyle

A couple of years later, Tracy was introduced to Shawn. "I loved him," says Tracy. "But he was a user, too." They married and two months later had a son, Chris. The marriage lasted ten months.

Her addiction led to more bad decisions. One night, a man at the strip club where she worked offered her a hotel room. Again, after an evening of heavy drinking, she was raped. When he attacked her a second time, she emptied a bottle of beer, smashed it on the frame of the bed and, using the jagged edge, stabbed her attacker in the back. He fled.

Not long after, Tracy robbed a cabbie and was sentenced to 21 months in jail. She lost custody of Chris and he was sent to family members in Ontario. Tracy was devastated and attempted suicide. She jumped from a second-story apartment window, fracturing her back, pelvis and foot.

Many times over the years, Tracy had called out to God in desperation. As a young child, a babysitter had taken her to Sunday school where she heard about Him. She knew that if she fully gave her life to God, He would direct her path. Yet, up to this point in her life, she had not taken that leap of faith. "I should have died," Tracy recalls, "but as I lay on the ground, broken, I believed God let me survive for a reason."

Journey into light

After she served her jail time, Tracy returned to London. She continued to use, though, and started dealing again: "I felt power as a drug dealer." People needed her. But when her drug bag was empty, she was worthless to them. That was when she finally told God she would do it His way.

Today, Tracy lives in London and has been clean for ten years. She works for Sears Canada in the customer-service department. She has a good relationship with her mom, but only minimal contact with Chris. In 2005, she began attending her local Salvation Army church and through them is now volunteering at the same jail where she did time.

"It hasn't been easy," admits Tracy. Track marks can be seen on her arms from repetitive use of needles, scars from slashing her wrists and the foul words she burned into her arm are a constant reminder of her old life, before God rescued her.

Tears flow as she recites the words of 2 Samuel 22:29-30: "You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall."

Linda Leigh is a staff writer and proofreader for Faith & Friends.

Originally published in Faith & Friends, November 2006.




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