Ashley Smith Robinson: from drug addict to hostage hero

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Southwest Church of Christ in Jonesboro had Atlanta's Hostage Hero, Ashley Smith Robinson, come to speak about her experience with addiction, and how being held hostage changed her life.

Before 2005 Robinson's life was what she described as "out of control". She was battling addiction with drugs, had her daughter taken away from her and was in and out of rehab.  It wasn't until she was held hostage by Brian Nichols, a man who was on trial for rape and escaped custody by shooting several people in the courtroom. Nichols had managed to steal a car, and Robinson's apartment was the random stop he chose. He held her hostage for seven hours, but Robinson said it was in those seven hours that God changed her life.

"Life is a struggle sometimes and people don't have hope, so I want to give people hope that if God can change me, he can change them too," said Robinson.

While being held hostage, Robinson shared her life story with Nichols, telling him she was trying to change her life. Unbelievably, Nichols let her go unharmed, and she had even convinced him to turn himself into authorities. She now travels world-wide, hoping her story can save the life of others battling drug addiction.

"A lot of people are dealing with addiction in their life, or they're dealing with a child who has strayed away," said Robinson. "Knowing that my life is different now than it used to be, I think it gives them hope that maybe their loved ones or they will change also."

She said traveling has opened her eyes to others who are either recovered or in the process of recovering from addiction.

I do enjoy listening to other people on how their life has changed in ways that mine as changed," said Robinson. "Whether they have been recovered for a year, or two months, it's just neat that God changes other people as well."

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