I still remember turning on the news and seeing an escaped prisoner Brian Nichols peacefully surrender. This was back in March 2005 and I still remember the headlines. Then Brian, who had just murdered a judge, a court reporter, a deputy and a federal agent and escaped in a stolen vehicle. This man then held a woman named Ashley Smith hostage in her apartment. Ashley had just started getting her life on track to provide a great environment for her daughter. But her life was turned upside down in an instant.
It all started for Ashley when she went to the store for a pack of cigarettes at 2 a.m. When she returns she notices Brian in a truck next to her. Though not knowing at all who he is, she contemplates even staying somewhere else for the night. She could feel something wasn't right and sadly she was right. Before she even makes it in the door of her apartment Brian has his hand over her mouth and a gun to her head. This is where the story picks up for the worse.
Ashley has struggled with the drug use of crystal meth since she was a senior in high school. Though not a frequent user, she had been seeking God to help her break free from the strong holds of it. She finds out Brian is a christian and uses this to her advantage to relate to him. Once this bond is made, she uses the book The Purpose Driven Life and her experiences to win over Brian. With faith and by the grace of God Ashley is able to shed light into Brians' dark walk and that is how he surrenders. There is way more to this story than I am letting on and you are going to need to read this book. It is such a compelling story of how faith triumphs over a horrible situation that it has even been turned into a major motion picture.
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