My Story | Amber Gallagher
I basically grew up in church, my parents were very involved and it seemed we were ALWAYS doing something with the youth group, church events, choir... you name it and we were there. My parents also made sure we lived a very sheltered life, so we also went to private school.
I am the youngest of three girls, and when I was 16 started leading worship for our youth group. My mom had organized trips to the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola Florida for our youth group, and I can honestly say that is when my relationship with God gained depth and meaning... my story was only beginning.
Leading worship at an event with the youth band one day, I was approached by several musicians that needed a new lead singer. The band was called Ezra, and I was very excited to expand in music with more experienced people. Those were some of the best memories I have to this day. To be able to minister through music for youth events, church events, even simple outdoor events that brought the love of Jesus to others was indescribable.
However, things took a drastic turn when I was in 3 consecutive car accidents within a span of 6 weeks. People still think it’s crazy that I was rear-ended by a negligent driver, hit by a drunk driver, and then T-boned by a distracted driver in such a short time span. This led to chronic back pain and several corrective surgeries before I was out of high school. I lost my friendships and relationships with my classmates, because I was always at some type of doctor’s appointment and missed out on most of my senior year.
Within a matter of months, I became dependent on prescription pain killers to be able to function. Over the next 2 years it became an addiction. Over time I lost my will to pursue ministry, my band, or life for that matter. The pain was constant and overwhelming, and I simply did not want to live with it anymore. I started severing all relationships I had and secluding myself because I saw no hope; I saw no future for myself. I prayed daily for God to show mercy and take me home.
God had other plans for me.
He delivered me from my addiction in 2006. I put myself into a rehab facility to learn any other way to cope with my condition. In rehab, I had also started a bible study and was able to share Jesus with new people and even gave a couple of people their first bible. That was amazing to see hope in others' eyes when they realized they did not have to conquer things in their own strength.
About 2 weeks after I returned home, my mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. My prayer warrior and my best friend gone overnight. To this day I have no words to describe that experience... and because of the timing no one expected me to survive the loss. There was a peace that truly surpassed all understanding and strength like I had never felt before. God was not done with me yet.
Within weeks and months our family not only fell apart, but became divided. My dad started dating almost immediately and remarried shortly after our loss. It felt like everything I knew about my family had been false as I watched the foundation I was raised upon crumble away. God was my strength, God was my hope, and God was my reason for being. I could trust ONLY in Him.
As always, God is faithful and He made a way for me.
I was adopted by my mentor and spiritual grandmother Beth Alves and became a part of her family in which I remain close to this day. I love and cherish every opportunity I get to visit her, and just listen to her teachings, her stories, and her experiences. My adopted family has seen me in some of my hardest times and prayed me through. God brought her to me the day of my mother’s wake and my life has been richer for it. I truly know the power of God’s love and His peace. I may not understand His ways, but I do understand His grace and that is more than sufficient for me.
There is so much more I would love to share about my story... after all, God is not done with me yet!