Look what God can do!
(Tammy worked with Nancy in Tulsa when she was in transition)
“My name is Tammy Franklin; my title is Executive Director for Branch 15 Transitional Home for women. I am also called wife to Alfred Franklin, mother to Billy and Eddie, there is a certain two year old who has also labeled me with the awesome name of OMA AND I might also add, I have been labeled as Grandma by Kelsey and Jacy Watters and I AM A CHILD OF THE ONE TRUE KING!
I tell you all of these “labels” because it’s hard to believe that less than 2 years ago I carried on my back a very different list of names. Less than 2 years ago I was known as Inmate number 128965, I was labeled things like addict and looser and felon. I had been called these things for so long that I had bought into the lie that is who I was and who I always would be. But today I have a very different story.
My story is like many others who are in Oklahoma jails and prisons. I began using drugs at the age of 13, was an intravenous drug user by the age of 15. Methamphetamine was my drug of choice. My addiction started after being raised in a dysfunctional family where alcohol and depression were the norm. I went to the Southside streets of OKC looking for a place to fit in, looking for love and acceptance from anyone who was willing to give it. Unfortunately this was all the wrong people. I was a child lost in a very, very dark world and for the life of me I could not seem to find my way out.
After many years of addiction and 18 years of incarceration I finally reached my bottom. This came at the Oklahoma County Jail, when my daughter in law sent me an envelope full of family pictures. I began to look at these pictures and hang them on the wall in my cell and my world came crashing to a halt when I realized of all these memories of weddings, birthdays and graduations I wasn’t in any of the pictures. Because of my desire to get high, I had missed out on every important event in my sons’ lives and now, headed back to prison with a brand new 20 year sentence, I was doing the same thing to my grandchildren. This was my bottom, my point of surrender.
After meeting myself face to face in the county jail and knowing something had to give, I used the next years of my incarceration to take every class that was offered and to do some serious soul searching. I ended up serving 6 years on that sentence. Because of God’s goodness and people who believed in me, upon my release, I was able to find employment at a company who implemented Biblical standards in their everyday operation. They knew my background and gave me a chance in spite of my past. Since then I have learned time and again how God uses His people to make a difference in the lives of others. It is The Church who showed me Jesus in the flesh. I was able to learn about His love for me because of their love for Him.
Today I serve as Director of Branch 15 Transitional Home for women in OKC. For the absolute first time in my life I know that I am in the perfect will of God, giving back what was given to me. I see the women in our home get to experience the life changing, transforming power of Jesus and I know there is nothing more important. To share the love of Christ with the lost and broken, just like someone did for me, is the most fulfilling place I have ever been.