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The Baileys' Story: A Daughter, a Drug Dealer, and a Miracle

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
October 25, 2023 3:00 am

The Baileys' Story: A Daughter, a Drug Dealer, and a Miracle

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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October 25, 2023 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, after Mike and Deborah Bailey lost their daughter to a drug overdose, what they did next is nothing short of a miracle.

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Available in select locations. See after details. This is Lee Habib and this is our American stories. And we tell stories about everything here on this show from the arts to sports and from business to history and your stories too. And up next is the story of Mike and Deborah Bailey.

After losing their daughter to an overdose, the Bailey's did what some would consider to be the unthinkable by forgiving the dealer who sold the drugs to their daughter. Ashlyn was really fun. Little tiny thing, always smiling.

Full of energy. She's one of those just magnetic people. She was at church all the time, so she was very familiar. So she was six years old when she became a Christian. She just was like, mom, I want, I want to do this.

She talked to the children's minister as well as the pastor. And they were like, yes, she totally gets it and totally understands. From a little bitty age, she wanted to be a cheerleader. She was the one that they would just see how high they could throw her, you know, and she loved it. When she started in kindergarten, she came home upset because some of the other girls wouldn't let her be in the club because she wasn't big enough. And it really crushed her. When people would tease her about it, she would just kind of laugh with it. They didn't really think it bothered her.

She would forgive and just kind of move on. I think if something started in an early age, built that toughness up, I think she kind of went over and above to prove to everybody that she was important. So I really think she started experimenting with drugs just to prove that she was, you know, she was cool like the rest of the gang, you know. So Ashlyn's addiction started kind of in ninth grade as her just sampling weed just to try to fit in.

And that kind of grew into, you know, a stronger addiction over time and stronger pills. Her senior year, it was really taking a pretty hard slide, her attitude around us. And we had been trying to parent her through it. She ended up deciding to go to rehab. Came back from that, a very strong Christian, but she went right back into the same environment that she was in before she went out there. And within two or three days, she was already back smoking weed again.

Two or three years, it was just a downhill spiral. Her drugs kept getting stronger and harder. She got on a, you know, a pretty hard opiate addiction that led to heroin. Ashlyn went to purchase heroin, ended up purchasing heroin that was mainly fentanyl. They told us that they had found her dead of an overdose in an abandoned house, downtown Birmingham. It was leading up to the sentencing hearing for the drug dealer. I don't know that I felt anything for or against him.

We don't ever know if she would have been clean. You know, that chance was taken away from her. I'm dealing with anger. At times, you know, it's like, man, he needs to get what he got coming to him. I mean, that's the earthly side as a dad because, you know, what I love so much got taken from me. And about that time, our son came to us and said, can I go see him? Because I want to go talk to him and I want to offer him forgiveness.

And I was like, well. And I knew that I needed to go and talk to him or write him a letter or something just to let him know that I forgive him. I get freedom from it, but he also knows that I don't have any anger or hatred towards him. So I knew that I had to because Jesus forgave me and I'm called to forgive others.

If he's got it, that's just, that's just confirmation for me that we're doing the right thing by doing it because all three of us are being convicted of the same thing. So we went ahead and we wrote him a letter of forgiveness. As a family, we write this letter to you, hopefully through the eyes of Christ, not to condemn you, but to allow your conviction to change your heart and your life. You need to know that we do not hold any ill feelings toward you as a person created by God. We extend forgiveness to you for the wrongs against our family in the same way that Christ has forgiven our wrongs.

I really, I think it, I think it kind of hit home, I hope anyway. Forgiveness is not righting a wrong. It is not reconciling a wrong, fixing it. But what forgiveness is, is what, what's happened can keep me in bondage.

And I'm not going to allow that, what you did, to have a strong hold up for me. So I'm releasing this to God. Our goal also is, God loves Roderick, the guy that killed him, as much as he loves anybody.

So, I mean, he's got a story. God's got a plan for him, just like he's got for me. You know, I don't want to be the thing that keeps him from that, number one, but I want to be the one that helps, or we do, that leads him maybe closer to God. As many things as Ashlyn may have gotten wrong, the one thing she did get right was forgiveness. And all of us are going to have some struggles. We're all going to have some failures. We're all going to have some people that hurt us. Forgiveness, like, changes it all. And I think that's one thing that she really did get right.

And if I could copy her on that, you know, I think I would be in a lot better place than I would have been without it. And what a story. And the power of forgiveness. Christian or not, forgiveness, well, sometimes that's all you have.

And if you don't forgive, well, you are in bondage, and that hate will consume you. What a story indeed. That's Mike and Debra Bailey, their daughter Ashlyn, lost to fentanyl and to opioids. And my goodness, we've been doing any number of stories about families losing children to drug overdoses. And fentanyl has been the chief problem over the last few years. Fentanyl knows no class.

It just comes in. It's a killer. And what a forgiveness story here, folks. The son teaching the adults the power of forgiveness. That letter, well, what better thing can you do to let go of that hate? And my goodness, what a thing to read if you're the person who sold those drugs.

What a second chance you're about to have if you'll just allow yourself to. And we do a lot of prison stories here on this show, too. The power of forgiveness, the power of love. Mike and Debra Bailey's story, Ashlyn's story, and of course, the son's story and that dealer's story here on Our American Story. This is Lee Habib, host of Our American Stories. Every day, we set out to tell the story that we set out to tell the stories of Americans past and present from small towns to big cities and from all walks of life doing extraordinary things. But we truly can't do this show without you. Our shows are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to our American stories dot com and make a donation to keep the stories coming.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-25 04:12:41 / 2023-10-25 04:17:21 / 5

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