“Whenever I felt like I wanted to scream or wanted to fight or wanted to cry. I would go run and I would kind of run it out and then come back. So running, even at a young age like that, was my therapy.” Amy Compston says. Amy often used running as a way to channel her energy as a child.
She and her sisters were raised in a Christian home. “Every morning before school we would have Bible study and we were in church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, every night of revival, if you had revival.”
But when she was 12, her family crumbled like a house of cards. “It came out my mom had been having an affair. And that is when life as we knew it completely changed. And this perfect life that I thought I had was not it at all. That caused my mom and dad to split up and my dad ultimately to leave my mom home alone with four children. I remember being so angry at her. I remember even in my journals like journaling that I hate her, like how could she do this?”
With her father gone, Amy and her sisters dove into drugs and alcohol.
“Dad was gone, Mom was weakened – she was broken. Her life had drastically changed. I don’t remember thinking like, ‘Oh, we’re going to get back at Mom, we’re going to pay her back for what she did.’ If anything, it was just taking full advantage of a lack of supervision.”
When Amy was just 12, her sisters threw a big party at their home while their mom was away.
“My dad being a police officer that he is, he got word of this party. Him and his police friends come to the party. And my dad found me, 12 years old, passed out. He makes me take a breathalyzer test. I blew a 4.0 on the breathalyzer. I drank enough that night to kill a grown man.”
Even then, her drug and alcohol consumption increased through high school. “One day I went home with some friends after school and they were all doing Xanax’s,” Amy says. “I remember the pill bottle dropping into the floor and I was picking the pills off the floor and eating them like candy. It lands me in the ICU.”
A second overdose followed six months later. sadly, even these close encounters with death were not enough to get Amy sober. her mother sent her to a Christian counselor. “She saw a 15-year-old girl filling her body with drugs, filling her body with alcohol, but she knew who loved me, and that was Jesus,” Amy says. “She would take the truth, God’s Word, the Bible, and she would just tell me truths from it, you know, ‘Amy, you’re wonderfully made. You’re fearfully made. God has a plan for your life, Amy, you just have to believe it.’ And I believed in God. I believed in Jesus, but I did not believe that God had great plans for a 15-year-old drug addict from Greenup Kentucky.”
After high school, Amy planned to pursue a nursing degree and continued running, entering several marathons. but her party lifestyle continued. “One night I was up all night at our drug dealer’s house, and we were partying,” she remembers.
“And the next morning, I get up to go to the gym. On the way home from the gym, I’m driving down the highway and I slam into the back of a truck. My face, it slammed off the steering wheel. And from here to here, I was totally scalped.”
The people she hit were not seriously harmed and the drugs and alcohol were out of her system, so no charges were filed. “After the car wreck, I definitely believed I was hopeless. You know, I had already tried court-ordered like AA and NA meetings and nothing had worked.”
Amy became a nurse and then a single mom at 21, but she still sought peace in more drugs.
“I turned to harder drugs: cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, Ecstasy, acid, anything I could get my hands on trying to find peace, love, joy, acceptance.”
She met and later married Chris. Ironically, throughout most of her 20’s she continued to read her bible and attend church sporadically. someone invited her and her husband to attend a bible study called “Master Life.”
There, something finally clicked. “The first week was about obedience, and Jesus says, ‘If you love me, you will obey me.’ I thought I loved God, but I wasn’t obeying him with an ounce of my life,” Amy says.
“The Lord spoke to my heart and he said, ‘Amy, do…you…love…me?’ The same question he asked Peter after Peter denied him. So that week I thought, ‘Do I even love God?’”
As Easter approached, the message of the cross became clear to Amy. “My pastor said, ‘Amy,’ he said, ‘God loves you so much that he wants nothing more than to know you.’ He said, ‘Amy, he loves you so much that he sent his only son, Jesus, to die for you. To die the worst death ever. Jesus went to that cross knowing you were going to be a drug addict. Jesus willingly went to that cross knowing you were going to be a pathetic mother. But Amy, he loves you.”
Amy knelt down by her bed that night. “I said, ‘Lord, I am so sorry for the way that I have lived my life.’ I said, ‘Lord, I’m sorry for the way that I have just trampled through the blood of Jesus, and I remember just surrendering to God and saying, ‘God, I’m done. I’m done with this.’”
She told Chris she was finally through with drugs and alcohol. “It wasn’t just a couple hours later, he called me and he said, ‘Amy,’ he said, ‘I’ve gotten rid of all the drug paraphernalia. Just come home. And we sat our children down at the table and we told them, ‘Guys, life is going to be different because we’re going to follow Jesus.’”
Amy and Chris founded ‘Amy for Africa,’ a relief organization that raises money for schools in Uganda. “One talent I knew I had was running,” Amy says. “So, I sign up for this 50-mile race and my plan was to get people to sponsor me. By race day, it was November 2nd, 2013, God had given us $43,000 for these two schools in Africa.”
Amy also still runs marathons, but is no longer running from God. “Whenever I realized how much Jesus loved me, I couldn’t help but fall in love with him,” she says. “No one had ever loved me like that. I said, ‘God, you take my life and you do what you want.’ And He has. And it’s been amazing.”
The 700 Club