When Running from Heartbreak Turns Deadly
Most drug users don’t plan on becoming addicts. But it happens all too often. Amy Lambert was stunned when it happened to her. Her story begins when she was ten. She grew up in a Christian home. Then her parents divorced.
“Tears were flowing down my face,” remembers Amy. “And I really didn’t understand what was going on, but all I knew was that if felt like my whole world was falling out from underneath me. There was a lot of anger, and bitterness. And mainly, the anger that I had in my heart, I turned a lot of it towards God, more than anyone else.”
And her anger led to something more.
“There’s something on the inside of me that just became filled with rebellion. And I ran away from God as fast I could run away from Him. I wanted nothing to do with Christians or Christianity, or church. I just wanted to be completely done with it.”
She reached out to her friends, who had a ready solution.
“We met up with some boys out in a field, in the middle of nowhere, and the first thing that I did was prescription drugs. I didn’t know how to deal with all of the emotions inside, so doing drugs was a way of escape. By the time I was 13 years old, I was introduced to cocaine, marijuana, LSD, basically anything I could get my hands on, and it was a very quick progression.”
She made it through high school, hiding her drug use from her parents. She moved out after graduation and it wasn’t long until she found even harder drugs.
“My drug addiction escalated to the point where I would inject anywhere from 20 to 30 times a day. It was such a dark period of my life. I lived in these crack motels, sometimes abandoned buildings, sometimes out of my car. From daylight to dark I was a needle junkie. I wasn’t a party girl. And I used in order to survive. I remember looking at people that would be in the grocery store, and looking at people on television, and I would so envy them, because they were normal, and they could function, and they could wake up without having to put a needle in their arm.”
Amy became a dealer, but it wasn’t enough to support her habit. So she exchanged sex for drugs.
“I think about being this young teenage girl, who got involved with a drug dealer who was about 55 years old, and he basically became my sugardaddy. And there were moments, in the darkness, that only God knew about, where tears would be coming down my face, and in my heart, I would be saying, ‘God, rescue me from this. I do not want to live this lifestyle.’ I felt so degraded. I felt less than human. I didn’t deserve to be alive, but in my tears, in the darkness, I would cry out to Him, to save me.”
One night Amy tried to shoot up, and she completely missed the vein.
“My arm swelled up the size of a grapefruit, and I had to call my mom, and said, ‘You need to come pick me up. I’m in bad shape.’ They took me into the ER, the doctors ran tests on my body, and they brought my family into a room and said, ‘At the stages of drug addiction, your daughter is at the last stage before death, and you guys need to prepare for a funeral.’”
Doctors operated on Amy’s swollen arm, and she had to stay in the hospital for a week. While she was there, a group of women from a nearby church paid her a visit.
“And they just started ministering to me. And one lady in particular just said, ‘Amy, may I pray for you?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ I had nothing left to lose. And it was so powerful to me because I had that church background, and for years of my life, I thought I was OK, because I knew in my head John 3:16. I knew in my head that Jesus died for my sins. But it was like God pulled the veil off of my eyes. And I realized in that moment that I am so lost. And she said, ‘Amy, are you ready to surrender your life to Jesus Christ?’ And you think, ‘How can a little prayer transform a life?’ But it did! And I called on the name of Jesus, and I meant it with all of my heart, and that was the beginning of my road toward transformation.”
Amy committed to a one-year recovery program at Mercy Ministries in Louisiana.
“Before I came into the program, I remember feeling like I didn’t care if I lived or died. I just had this guilt and shame that hung on me. But I came to this realization that, no, He really does have this hope and future for my life.”
Five years later, after working with several other minstries, Amy started her own recovery outreach called Hope Uprising. She speaks to thousands of young people every year who are hungry for the life-changing message of the gospel.
“But I tell you right now, the greatest decision I ever made was to give Jesus everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
“I remember many nights, where I’d be in these crack motels, and I’d flip on the TV, and there’s Christian television, and it’s penetrating me, it’s speaking directly to me. And there’s one thing I can say. It’s that you are turning on this television broadcast for a reason, for a purpose. And if Jesus Christ can save my life, and deliver me from multiple addictions, then He can do the same thing in your life.”