A Tennesse couple’s remarkable story of redemption and recovery has been inspiring people across the globe after going viral on Facebook.
Sensing a prompting from the Lord, Brent and Ashley Walker put together a quick Facebook post detailing their miraculous recovery from serious drug addiction. The post, which featured a “before and after” picture of the couple, was subsequently shared an astonishing 143,000 times and has been offering hope to thousands who continue to find themselves struggling with substance abuse.
So, exactly how did such a phenomenal transformation take place in the space of just three years? Well, there is only one true answer: Jesus.
This story of addiction, however, found its genesis all the way back in early childhood — and it began with a meager packet of cigarettes.
Brent was just nine-years-old when he started smoking, which is often viewed as a “gateway” habit into harder substances.
“I thought it was the cool thing to do,” Walker told Faithwire. “By 12 I was smoking weed and starting to mess with pain pills, and by the time I was 15 I was full-blown into anything and everything I could get my hands on.”
Brent explained how he went on to get involved in the seedy underworld of drug dealing, even putting down a deposit on an apartment with his brother so that they had space to stash the gear.
Not long after this however, tragedy struck — Brent’s little brother was killed in a drink-driving accident. He was just 19.
“I was 20 and he was 19 years old when he passed away this is where my path starts going downhill fast,” Brent explained.
Now a father, Brent was doing increasingly harder drugs, and his life began to spiral out of control. Eventually, he got in serious trouble with the police and had his children taken from him after failing a court-ordered drugs test.
At rock bottom, Brent and his girlfriend, Ashley, ventured into the world of methamphetamines.
“Meth,” as it is commonly known, is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant drug — in 2017, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that approximately 1.6 million people admitted to using it over the preceding year. As such, it continues to wreak havoc on America’s streets.
“I loved it and started staying high day in and day out, going 3 to 4 weeks without sleep or food,” Brent explained, adding that he could not believe Ashley stuck by him during this time, particularly as he was openly sleeping around with other women.
Eventually, Brent found himself serving a two-year prison sentence for various drug-related offenses. But just 30 minutes after being released in 2016, he was back on the meth.
Still, Ashley refused to leave his side. After another season of hard drug-taking, the pair of them were exhausted and desperate for change. So, despite the odds stacked against him, Brent picked himself up and resolved to fight for a better life with the woman he loved.
“One night when we were coming down and she was asleep I remember sitting and just watching her sleep and daydreaming of us being sober and married and living the happy life,” Walker candidly explained. “Something just told me it was time to grow up and stop all the nonsense.”
With steely determination, the pair got themselves jobs and worked hard to keep off the drugs. But knowing they couldn’t do it all on their own, they decided to join their local church — Cornerstone Church of God.
And it was one kind and devoted pastor from this local church who became instrumental in their miraculous turnaround by simply offering to give them a ride.
“A minister I knew that would come minister to me when I was in jail came and picked us up and brought us to church and took us home,” Brent explained.
After a period of time engaging in the recovery programs and being loved and cared for by members of the congregation, Brent and Ashley felt God lead them to get married — so, on their 30th day sober, they tied the knot!
“As the weeks went on we kept getting happier and happier” Brent said, noting that he became a Christian in April 2017. “I turned my life over to Christ,” he declared.
Still, the couple pressed on with their recovery. “We spent a year going to church and going to other church programs we could find like OCI and celebrate recovery,” Brent explained, highlighting the importance of persevering with rehab treatment.
Slowly but surely, life began to improve as this remarkable couple began to make healthy and wise decisions.
After a while, Brent went back to school, passed his GED, and now works full-time at a steel plant. Wanting to help his wife achieve her goals as well, Walker then sold his prized truck so Ashley could go back to school and study to become a nursing assistant. She now works in the ICU of a local area hospital.
“God has just continued to bless us over and over,” Brent said.
Indeed, as the now-viral side by side photo shows, the astonishing results are clear to see. So how does it feel to be impacting so many people for good and inspiring others to kick their habit and turn to Jesus?
“To know we are helping so many people that need that hope… it’s amazing,” he said. “This is my story and I hope it can help addicts out there and show them that there is hope. You have to fully turn your life over to Christ… you have to completely give yourself to the Lord and let him take over.”
“My favorite verse has always been 1st John 4:4, ‘Greater He that is in me than he that is in the world,” Brent concluded. “I am living proof that with God anything is possible.”
God bless this amazing pair!