A Wake-up Call That Lasts for Eternity
By Dory Nissen
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“I don’t remember any good time of my parents being married… not one single time. I was just sad.”
Amanda Herring’s parents divorced when she was five. She went to live with her father who re-married. Amanda didn’t feel like she fit in with the new family and felt neglected. “I felt very insignificant – really insecure. It was awful. I felt very forgotten.”
When she got older, she met a young man who showered her with attention. He was also rich, and bought Amanda lots of gifts. She didn’t know where he got his money, until she overheard him yelling on the phone. “And I said, ‘Who are you talking to?’ He was cussing. Mad. And that is when I found out. He said, ‘I sell dope! My mom is a crack head and she broke into my room and stole all my dope!’ And I was like, ‘Wow.’”
Her boyfriend was a notorious drug dealer. “I knew that it was wrong, not only morally wrong, but criminally wrong. So I guess, it was exciting, like, ‘Wow this is a whole world I never knew about.’ There is a lot of money involved, flashy stuff, jewelry, cars.”
Amanda found herself deep in the drug world, and wrapped up in her boyfriend’s obsession with her. She thought it was charming until the boyfriend threatened to kill a mutual friend. He thought the friend had tried to rape Amanda. She tried to convince him it wasn’t true. But he didn’t believe her. “He was planning to kill this guy. He was not hiding his feelings about this. So he called him to the park. When he got to the park, the next thing you know he started shooting him. He shot him 5 times. After the 5th shot, he was dead.”
Amanda’s boyfriend was sentenced to 24 years in prison. When her father found out, he dis-owned her, blaming her drug-related lifestyle on the murder of an innocent man. “He told me I was better off dead. That he never wanted to see me again. It was the worse thing in my life.”
Amanda relied on drugs and alcohol to numb all emotions. “I went from smoking weed, to snorting cocaine, to popping ectacy (XTC) pills. I would do them all in one day. It was bad. I’d be on a 5 narcotics and on a 5th of whiskey every day.”
Then Amanda got pregnant. She managed to stop the drugs and drinking until her baby was born, but then gave the baby to her mother. Amanda knew it was the best thing for her daughter. “It was very depressing to be off away from her and kinda wondering, ‘What is my baby thinking? What is going through her mind? Does she miss me? Does she think I’m never going to come around? Does she think one day it will be a normal family? Does she think we are not normal? Is she glad I’m not around?’”
Amanda’s worry didn’t stop her daily self destruction. “I would buy every drug. I would just do ‘em, do ‘em, do ‘em. Drinking whiskey. I could not function without it. Did not know how I would survive a day without it. (I) Had to have it. Physically, mentally, emotional, had to have it. I knew that I could not gain anything from this lifestyle. I knew the way I was living was totally wrong. It was so hard being away from my daughter. But knowing that I was not a fit example to be around her… She didn’t need to be around me. In my mind I was just trash.”
When her child got older, Amanda decided she wanted a second chance and asked to move in with her mom and daughter. She tried to quit drinking, but one day, passed out drunk. Her daughter found her, and thought she was dead. Terrified, the little girl ran through the neighborhood for help.
“You couldn’t feel any lower, than I felt. (I was) Absolutely devastated, heart broken, ashamed of myself. I was so sad that I had put her in a position to be scared that her mom was going to die, and she was going to have to deal with a dead mom. That was horrifying. I could not beleive that my nine year-old had to deal with that because of me. It scared me to death and I begged God not to let that happen. And I begged God to save my life. I was so repentant. I just surrendered. I was ready to let God work in me. And I knew He could. Everything I had ever known about God and His goodness and His grace and His mercy immediately came to me right then. That day, I knew without a doubt that God was going to save my life. I knew that He was going to help me and that I was going to be fine. Everything right then came to me, and I knew that it was over. That life was over. And a new life was beginning.”
Amanda went to a Christian treatment facility. There, she began a new life. “It was unbelievable saturation of the Word of God. It was genuine, wonderful, wonderful program. (It was) Nothing but the Lord.”
Amanda soon met Tre and became his wife. They have three more children together. And both work in full time ministry. “I’m in awe daily, and just grateful, and just humbled. Thankful. Amazed. Anyone can be saved and used by God if I can, for sure.”
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