34-year-old Ashley Hancock lives in Winter Haven, FL, where she was born and raised. She is a house keeper for a private residence. She has 5 children: 16-boy, 13-girl, 7-boy, 6-boy and 4-girl. Her oldest son plays Varsity soccer for Winter Haven High school; her oldest daughter is gorgeous and has the most generous loving heart; and her youngest 3 are like triplets (who went through some really hard times). She was a drug addict for many years until she found victory over it recently. On her off and free time, she reads the Bible, prays and worships. She dedicates much of her time to ministering to others lost and broken and to her savior, Lord Jesus Christ!
Hancock shares her journey answering a few questions. Please continue to read and be blessed.
When did you get into drugs and what made you try it in the first place?
At age 14, I was with a 25-year-old man. He had introduced me to Methamphetamine one night. That night, my life changed – not for the better but for the worse! I then started stealing my mothers pills, such as Xanax, soma and Vicodin. This became an everyday thing for me. I hung out with people who were using cocaine, ecstasy and LSD; this was a normal life to me! I went to high school and snorted meth in the bathroom in between classes. About a year later, when I was 15, I started hanging out with drug dealers aged 25–28. I would drive them around since most of them had a suspended license or just been up for days and paranoid by police. I started robbing people, houses and stores, and I was involved in many car thefts. When I was 16, I moved out of my parents house and moved in with my boyfriend, whom I eventually married. We did drugs and robbed people together. Soon, I was pregnant with our first child at 17 years. We were married by then. Two years later, we had our second child. Throughout our marriage, he was physically and emotionally abusive, and we both were unfaithful in our marriage and sold drugs together. We got divorced after 5 years. I was highly addicted to pills; Xanax was my drug of choice – I was eating them like candy. I was also seeing a psychiatrist who prescribed highly addictive medications, making my problem worse. I started selling meth and Oxycontin on the streets. During this time, I had 4 abortions. I met my 2nd husband on the streets and had 3 children with him. Finally, after many years of domestic violence and abuse, I was able to get away from him. Now, he is in prison. We got divorced and I have sole custody of our 3 children, glory to God!
Did you ever feel like overcoming your addiction during those years?
I’ve never been to a recovery centre or any drug rehab, but I’ve been in the crazy hospital 4x for manic bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression. I’ve tried committing suicide numerous times, first by cutting my wrist at age 14 and throughout my 20s. I was diagnosed with seizures at 22; doctors couldn’t explain it. I was on medication for that, always having test done by specialist. At this point, I was highly addicted to pills and slowly killing myself! In June 2017, my mother took me and my youngest three children to Kansas to stay with my oldest sister. I was still using meth and taking pills and drinking alcohol. I got worse there ‘cause both my sister and I were using drugs. After some time, I moved from my sister’s and was able to live with the Mennonite ladies. I had my own apartment and continued using even more. I became an alcoholic and it wasn’t till Oct 2017. I woke up one day and I was tired. I was tired of chasing the high, depending on a pill or ingesting meth. I read my Bible, prayed and begged God to take the withdrawals and the want for this high away. Mind you, I was raised in church. Only thing is home life was the opposite. My step father was physically abusive to my mother and us. My mother would take us to church to cover up and hide the pain from home. All my life, I was in and out of church to hide and cover up the pain I had from being rejected from my step father and so forth. I have never known my biological father ‘cause my mother has never and will never speak of him to this day. I’ve heard from her close friends that he raped my mother and I’m the product of that. But anyhow, I never picked up another pill or touched meth that day in Oct 2017 by God’s amazing grace and mercy on my life. He took away all the physical needs and mental wants. Unfortunately, after my 3 youngest children were sexually abused and my best friend was shot and killed, I lost myself again. I picked up alcohol and began drowning myself morning and night.
How did you find complete victory in this area?
I never thought I’d overcome this! It wasn’t till the end of April 2018 when I had a radical encounter with Jesus Christ. I was on an elliptical working out that late morning outside in a garage of my house in Kansas. He was in all white, His hair like wool and His face so bright and amazingly beautiful. He came with His arms wide open and hugged me. I laid my head on the right side of His shoulder and wept. I remembered all the things I had done from the time I was 14 and about how I was a thief, a murderer, an adulteress, a liar and an addict. He said, ‘forgive them for they know not what they do.’ He was speaking to me about the two women who sexually abused my 3 youngest children and the man who killed my best friend. I knew at that moment Jesus had forgiven me and redeemed me of all my transgressions. I wept harder and yelled out, ‘I forgive them Lord, I forgive them!! After that day, I’ve had the deepest love and hunger for Jesus Christ. I have been serving Him since that day in April in Kansas. He saved me during the darkest time in my life. You see, I was carrying a murder Spirit and I had planned on hurting people who hurt my children, but GOD reached down and saved me. Now, I am redeemed, forgiven, chosen and adopted into His family for such a time as this!
Many are struggling with addiction of different kinds. Would you like to give them a word of hope?
There is hope. There is light in that darkness you are facing. Call on His name, Jesus, and He will answer you. He will never leave you nor forsake you! I don’t care how far gone in drugs, alcohol or pornography you may be ‘cause He will see you through. He is a loving, gentle, miracle-working God, and His plans for you are for good and not for evil, a plan for a future and a hope! Believe and trust Him! His word is living and is truth and is life! I’m sure there are facilities and drug rehabs that can work, but I believe the only one true physician is Jesus Christ. He has delivered me from seizures, anxiety, depression, addiction and everything else “man” has said over my life! He loves each and every one of you and is waiting for you to open your heart to him with full surrender and repentance of your sins. Be obedient to him, stay faithful, trust him with your life and your family’s life, and repent and forgive others no matter what it cost. Our ABBA Father has His arms wide open and is ready to give Himself wholeheartedly to you and all that He has is for you! You are an heir of God. You are the apple of His eye – fearfully and wonderfully made, so come with a willing heart and He will transform you from the inside out.
I hope you were blessed by Hancock’s story. If you are struggling with any kind of addiction, I pray you would find a breakthrough and are set free for good. If her story seems too supernatural and you are not sure whether you will ever overcome your addiction, here are 5 Ways to Break Free from an Addiction.