I Went Down a Path I Never Thought I Would
Ashley shares her story:
Ashely: I’ve been an addict for about 10 years now, and I’ve been clean for a little over 2 months.
Dawson: Time out! You are 25 and you’re telling me, you were an addict at 15?
Ashely: Yes, I was.
Dawson: Addicted to what?
Ashely: Opiates and heroin
Dawson: Opiates are big now, aren’t they?
Ashely: Yes, they are.
Dawson: People are dying all over this country just horrifically.
Ashely: I know, it’s heartbreaking.
Dawson: So, you were an addict at 15?
Ashely: My mom was killed when I was 13 years old. I started doing drugs to escape reality then my reality just became way worse from then on. I was addicted for years, and very very lost. I went down a path that I never ever thought I would go down. I know a lot of people can relate to that. I did things I never thought I would do. I ended up in jail about 3 months ago, and I spent 3 weeks in there.
Dawson: Why were you in jail? What’d they get you for?
I rededicated my life to the Lord in jail and I’ve never felt so free.
Ashely: I have a son. He’s 1 year and 3 months old, and I got a chemical endangerment charge because I was using when I was pregnant. They put me on drug court, and I did not get sober. I skipped drug court and they arrested me. And it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I rededicated my life to God when I was in jail. He saved my life and turned it around. I’ve never felt so free. It feels so good now to wake up and not have to have something other than His Spirit to make it through the day. I never ever thought I would be here.
Dawson: Did you get your baby back?
Ashely: I have not yet, but I know God works everything out is His timing, and according to His will. I’m waiting patiently. I know He’s going to work everything out for my good. I’m just having to be patient and have faith in Him. It’s not easy to do sometimes, but I have faith it’s going to work out.
Dawson: When did you originally come to Christ?
Ashely: I grew up in church off and on, but I got a personal relationship with God when I was about 18 years old. I’ve been on and off since then, but I’ve always known God. I’ve always known He was there. I’ve just fallen short and let guilt and all of that pull me away.
Peer to Peer: Encouragement for Ashley
Ashley has turned her life around, but I know she’s got some tough days ahead. We asked for encouragement for her and received these amazing responses.
I understand struggles. You are so much stronger than you believe. – Macey
Macey – “I just wanted to share a verse that has helped me out a lot in my life. Although I don’t fully understand what she’s going through, I do understand struggles. And it’s Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
And I also want to remind her that she’s so much stronger than she believes. I forgot that a lot. I used to forget how much power I actually have. God’s given you a ton of power. You have the power to say, ‘You know what? I’m over this. I’m done and I don’t want to struggle with this anymore.’ You have the power to stand up and leave that behind.
I recently was saved from depression and anxiety just a couple months ago. I was 1400 miles away from home. I had one aunt there with me. I was laying in bed, and I was broken. I didn’t have anything. I was done. I didn’t have the energy for the next day and that’s where God met me, like he met her. He gave me just enough for the next day. I survived that day, and then he gave me just enough for the next day. He continued that for about 2 weeks, until I looked back and I’m like, whoa, that’s not even a thing anymore for me. Sometimes it takes that… just getting through one day at a time. It’s okay to do that too.”
Jesus said, let’s live one day at a time. In Matthew 6:34, he said, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
I’ve wasted so much of my life. I want so much more for you. - Wendy
Wendy – I’m a little bit older than your usual demographic. I could hear a lot of myself in Ashley. God bless you, Ashley! I have struggled with that for 23 years…legal opiates, medical problems but it turned into an addiction.
First of all, I wanted to thank you for encouraging me. When I heard you say, now when I get up in the morning, it’s God that’s enough to get me through the day instead of the other junk.
I feel like I wasted so much of my life. I want so much more for Ashley, having gone through that for 23 years. It will be a struggle for the rest of my life, but that’s because Satan is always wanting to bring us down. God has amazing plans for me. God has amazing plans for Ashley. And that is why Satan uses all kinds of vehicles, but he uses this vehicle so much these days.
I understand the lie of these opiates are going to get me through the day. I’m not going to feel very much pain. I’m going to feel happier. There’s so many lies that only someone who has struggled with that understands. It seems like it makes sense. That’s what I need so I’m going to do anything I have to, to get it. It’s just such a lie. I wasted 23 years of my life, but the rest of my life belongs to God, and my family.
I’m going to be keeping Ashley in my prayers, and I want to thank her for encouraging me. I just want to encourage her, don’t spend the next 10 years of your life like I did in that cycle. It’s a vicious cycle. You end up lying to everybody just to get your fix. However, you can get it, because for me, what the doctor prescribed turned out not to be enough. I don’t know the opiates she struggled with but it’s the same demon. God’s life that He has for her is so much better, and it doesn’t have the daily struggle, and the lies. Her life is precious! She has so much more to live for. God has so much bigger and better plans for her! Please don’t go down the same path I did.
I found my relationship with God over again and it has completely changed my life. – Breanna
Breanna – I am a 27-year-old mother of a beautiful 4-year-old. I myself have been a heroin addict for, probably since I was 16, so right around the 10-year mark myself. I just celebrated 2 ½ years clean!
It took me going to prison and completely relocating myself out of California. I had to hit rock bottom and have my daughter. Somewhere in all of the chaos, I found my relationship with God over again and it has completely changed my life.
Living completely sober day-to-day and being a mom, living life on my terms is hard, but it’s so worth it. It’s so worth it! I have struggles and life is hard, but when I look into my daughter’s eyes…it’s everything that keeps me going. My mom was an addict too. And so I want to give my daughter the life I never had.
I know you have a baby boy out there, and just like you said, in God’s time everything is going to happen. And I’m going to be praying for you, and for God’s favor to come over your life. I know you have 2 months clean, and I hope you turn this 2 months into 6 months, and 6 months into a year. Living life clean and sober, being a mom is wonderful. I never thought I would have this beautiful apartment that’s mine, a vehicle outside, a job.
A Key to Addiction Recovery is Total Surrender to God
We asked for encouragement for Ashley and boy did we get it! I love what Macy, Wendy, and Brianna all said. They were so encouraging!
God’s plans are always better than our plans. And as much as drugs have a strong pull, God’s power is stronger than any drug. Macy shared a key to addiction recovery, and that is total surrender to God. She surrendered to God and then He gave her what she needed for that day. In the Word, God says today’s problems are enough for today, so don’t worry about tomorrow. God says to you in your struggle: I’ve got you today. Rely on me and my strength to get you through.
Ashley completely changed her life around. Going to jail led to her rededicating her life to the Lord, and that in turn led to a complete life turnaround. That’s what God does for us. He takes our brokenness and makes us whole.
Does your life need a major change?
The Lord wants to do a revamp of your life and change you from the inside out. He wants to be your Savior and save you from a life of sin. Ashley rededicated her life to the Lord, meaning she made a commitment to follow after God again with all of her heart, mind and soul. She admitted she needs God. She confessed her sins. Then she thanked God for all he has done for her and asked Him to be Lord of her life. If you’ve fallen away and want to rededicate your life to the Lord or ask him to be your Lord and Savior for the first time, then pray this prayer along with me:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I’m sorry for the wrong things I’ve done. Please forgive me. I believe your Son died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. I willingly give you my life. Now, Father, help me do your will. Thank you for saving me! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
If you asked Jesus into your life for the first time or rededicated your life, I’m so excited for you! God is going to love on you, guide you, and help you!
If you have questions about all of this…please ask. You can chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine.com any night of the week. Access chat at TheHopeLine.com/gethelp.
We also offer lots of different types of help for addiction recovery. Find it all here.
More Help and Resources for Substance Abuse:
Free eBook: Understanding Substance Abuse
Verses of Hope: Bible Verses About Substance Abuse
TheHopeLine Partner: Celebrate Recovery (Hurt, Pain or Addiction Recovery Program)
Need to talk to someone? Chat with a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine.
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This is the Dawson McAllister Podcast, and until next time…Remember you are loved, you are valuable, and God has an amazing plan for your life. - Rachel