A former drug addict tearfully recounted how she went from a life of selling drugs and abusing substances to one filled with faith and an entirely new perspective.
Listen to Erica tell former “Duck Dynasty” star Missy Robertson about her harrowing journey in the latest episode of Robertson’s “The Overcomers” podcast below:
Erica discussed a slew of topics, including the challenges she faced as a young child watching her dad abuse her mother, her experience with her father’s death and her attempts to navigate a difficult childhood.
Eventually, Erica made the decision at the age of 15 to drop out of school and run away.
“I ran away, and, of course, when you run away … you’ve got to survive, you’ve got to make it,” she said, noting that she ended up living with random friends. “It wasn’t a good neighborhood at all.”
Erica ended up going to jail and then a group home after her mom reported her a runaway. She later moved in with one of her aunts — until she headed back out on the streets again and her life started getting a bit “rocky.”
“I was exposed to the drug life, selling drugs. I was exposed to crack houses. … seeing people use drugs,” she said. “I smoked weed and I took Ecstasy pills at the time.”
From there, Erica’s path took a slew of twists and turns, as she learned how to sell crack cocaine and eventually became pregnant with a little girl. At one point, she ran a successful home daycare, but Erica simply couldn’t escape the drug life, finding herself hooked on Xanax.
“Xanax was a really bad downfall for me,” she said. “I never knew that something could take over me so fast.”
Her drug use as well as her selling had spun out of control; she was making more and more money and was doing more and more drugs. Soon, Erica started experiencing seizures from her drug use.
Now, years later, she looks back with gratitude that she survived it all.
“I’m very lucky to be alive,” she said. “[I would be] out of my mind on cocaine and Xanax, I’m riding around with my child in the car, a 40-caliber under my seat, drugs everywhere.”
Erica said that so many bad things could have happened to her, as people in her town knew what she was up to and the money and drugs that she had access to.
“God was truly with me,” she said.
But eventually the law did catch up with Erica and, before long, she was arrested and faced 20 years in jail for dealing. She tearfully recalled not seeing or talking to her daughter for 85 days after her arrest — something that shook her to her core.
Erica also talked about a “little old lady” who came into her jail from a local church and who told her one day, “God has something in store for you.” Erica was skeptical, telling the woman she didn’t believe this was the case, as her child was in the state’s custody and her life was in ruins.
Soon, though, those words resonated, as Erica started attending church meetings inside the jail. And, for the first time at the age of 32, she opened a Bible.
“The first thing I’ve ever done in my life that was just the right thing for me is I picked the Bible up,” she said.
Remarkably, Erica was released on March 24, 2016, and entered drug court rather than serving a lengthy sentence. She successfully completed her GED and has been sober ever sense. Now, she works for Robertson’s phenomenal company Laminin.
“I’m a whole different person now,” she said. “I can see people on drugs and my heart goes out to them.”
At one point, Erica said that she would have, instead, thought about how she could get her hands on the money that an addict was spending on substances. She’s now hoping to one day become a drug counselor.
Praise God for second chances.
Author: Billy Hallowell