Amy Pasley has been made new.
After two divorces, abandoning her two daughters, a period of homelessness, time spent in jail and an addiction to drugs spanning 13 years, Pasley’s shame is gone after giving her life to Christ.
“I know, with especially some of the things I did in my past, I am pure again,” said Pasley, 35. “I feel better about myself. I don’t carry shame. I’m able to go through situations and storms without thinking about drugs. God has made it easier. Even when I was sober—when situations would get rough—I would think about it, but I wouldn’t act on it. Once I started attending church and have been saved, when situations are bad, I don’t think about it. I know that’s God.”
Pasley first visited Southeast Christian Church’s Southwest Campus on Easter Sunday 2017 with her parents and eventually connected with Women’s Ministry leader Jennifer Choate.
Pasley got plugged into Bible studies and surrendered to Christ. Her father, Jeff, and stepmom, Paula, baptized her last October.
“My parents and I are closer than ever now,” Pasley added. “My stepmom is my best friend. I could see how God changed them because they were so forgiving, loving and didn’t care what I did. They just wanted me to come home and be a family again. It was seeing the love from Jennifer and my parents that kept me coming back. My parents inviting me over for dinner and trusting me into their home again. It was a process.”
Choate has seen her grow over these past few years.
“In 2019, Amy shared at our Southwest ladies fall retreat and made a mark on every woman listening,” Choate said. “It has been an absolute joy to be a witness to Amy’s continued growth in The Lord! She takes every opportunity to serve Him well, whether that is following up with a prayer request on our Facebook page, helping a single mom find support through Southwest Women’s Ministry or simply being vulnerable enough to share her beautifully broken story of redemption. Amy shines bright for Jesus and is a reminder that He came to save the lost and set the captives free. I’m blessed to know her. I am excited to see how God uses her to advance the Good News.”
‘I’m an adult’
Pasley, who seldom attended church in childhood, thought she had life figured out and moved out at 18.
“I grew up with a good childhood,” Pasley said. “My parents were great. My problem was I thought I was grown before I was grown. The second I turned 18, I moved out. I always had that, ‘I’m grown, you can’t tell me what to do’ mentality.”
Pasley drank, dabbled in marijuana and pain pills and had a string of failed relationships.
She married her first husband at 19 and had two daughters with him before divorcing after four years of marriage.
Her second marriage a few years later had long-term repercussions.
“That’s the man that helped me meet my demise,” Pasley added. “I started using heroin with him. I was the type that said, ‘I’ll never do that,’ then turned around, and it was me who did it.”
Things got so bad that Pasley said goodbye to her kids, who were 6 and 7 at the time.
“One of the hardest things I had to do—because I knew things were falling apart and I was going to be homeless—was take my children to a family member and say, ‘I’ll be back for them,’” she said. “As much as I meant that with everything in me, that’s not what happened. I ended up abandoning my children.”
Pasley spent the next two years in and out of jail—she was charged with a felony for theft—and was homeless when she was released.
“I slept behind dumpsters. I did things I’m not proud of to get my fix,” Pasley said. “I was really lost. I was with a man who was very abusive to me. Even though you get sober for a little bit, when you see it, it’s very hard. I lost custody of my children.”
On April 16, 2016, shortly after divorcing her second husband, Pasley had the best and worst day of her life.
“I was getting to the point where I really missed my kids more than anything. I was tired of being sick and tired,” Pasley said. “I was at Wendy’s one night. I’m waiting on a call from the dope man. I don’t know why, I just prayed to God, ‘I’m tired. Just help me.’ After I prayed, I headed over to the dope house. While I was there, the door got kicked in by the police. There was a large group of us, but I was the only one who got arrested. For a long time, I wanted to find my arresting officer to thank him for saving me that night. Now I know that it was God who saved me.”
Pasley was sentenced to house arrest, but her dad set boundaries and would not let her back home because she had a history of only coming around when she needed money.
She spent the next six months at Divine Steps, a halfway house in Louisville, where she met a woman named Ms. Lucretia who “was hard on us because she cared.”
“I remember what it was like showing up with only the clothes that I had on and a card from my dad that said, ‘We are praying for you,’” Pasley added. “I learned to live sober and be a woman again. Even though I was sober when I left, I still felt like something was missing. When I came to church, I was like, ‘Oh, it’s God. That’s what I’m missing. That’s what I need.’”
God has worked in many ways in Pasley’s life.
Her boss hired her back as a property manager even though she stole from him while she was using drugs.
Pasley’s children—Zoe, 12, and Chloe, 11—are working toward a restored relationship.
“For a long time, I would only be able to see my kids if the family member who had them let me,” she said. “But of course, it was hard for my kids to tell me they love me and be affectionate toward me. Over the past year, though, my kids hug me. They told me happy birthday recently and got me a purse. They do tell me they love me. I know I really hurt them, but God is fixing that relationship. I finally get to be the mother my children deserve, but also the mother God made me to be.”
Pasley is working to regain full custody of her children.
God has healed Pasley personally and relationally and now she wants to comfort others who have similar struggles.
“I felt like there was more that I needed to do,” Pasley said. “One day, I was scrolling through Facebook, and I saw a friend who had relapsed and she’s like, ‘I don’t have anything. Can anyone help?’ I said, ‘I can do that.’ I can help these women. I don’t want to forget where I came from.”
Pasley has started a group called Pure Beginnings to collect donated hygiene products, clothes, sheets, pillows and food for Divine Steps and eventually other halfway houses.
“Most women, when they get to the halfway house, don’t have anything,” Pasley added. “You’d be surprised at the small stuff that will tickle you when you’re in there, like, ‘Oh, I have my own set of sheets.’ I can’t force anyone to listen, but while I’m dropping stuff off if anyone’s willing to listen, I’ll share my testimony and hopefully bring them to Jesus.”