California woman uses painful past to bring others to Christ
The parable of the woman at the well is often used as an example of God working through someone others have deemed insignificant. For Ally Fletcher, the passage in John 4 is more than a parable – it’s her life story.
Ally’s early life was filled with drug addictions, alcohol abuse, homelessness, and abandonment. After more than 20 years of drug addiction, she had essentially abandoned her son, Josh. Four years later, during her greatest moment of need, she reached out to him.
Ally had been abducted by her husband and abuser, Jimmy. After dialing 911 and being rescued by police, officers asked if there was anyone they could call for her.
“I had burned every bridge as an addict generally does,” Fletcher said. “The only phone number I knew was my son’s. And so, I had them call my son and he came to pick me up and he says, ‘Mom, I'll give you one last chance, but you have to go to church.’”
Josh had joined Connecting Point Church of the Nazarene in Denair, California, in the years since he had last seen his mother, and he had been praying for her salvation.
A few days after the incident, in the midst of a panic attack fueled by anxiety over the kidnapping, Ally’s daughter-in-law prompted her to make a paper chain of all the things that were causing her pain and hurt.
“I just started tearing pieces of paper and I made this chain that had drugs, alcohol, fear, anger [written on it],” she said. “I just put it around me and I just started crying and I’m like, ‘Jesus, if you’re real, I can’t take this anymore.’ When I first put the chain on, I could feel the heaviness of it. And I took that chain off and it was just light. It was nothing.”
After experiencing relief and freedom in Christ by surrendering her life to Him, she couldn’t wait to tell others what God had done for her, including her husband who had kidnapped her and been abusing her.
“[Our] pastor’s wife said to me, ‘Jesus died for Jimmy too,’” Fletcher said. “I really felt that I had heard God say, ‘That’s your husband.’ So even after the restraining order and the kidnapping and all of that happened, I called and I said, ‘I have to show you the new me.’”
Ally and Jimmy are happily married and volunteer every Thursday with Connecting Point Outreach, a ministry through the church that serves the homeless people in their community with showers, laundry facilities, a meal, and a message from God’s word.
The ministry and her testimony have helped her lead multiple people to Christ.
“I just felt it’s really important that someone who has been through it walk alongside these people that are currently experiencing it,” Fletcher said. “[They] say, ‘you don’t know what I’ve been through.’ I’m like, ‘let me tell you what I’ve been through.’”
Fletcher is still amazed that God chose her and continues to use her to reach others.
“If you look in the Bible, He used all kinds of people who were ‘not qualified,’” Fletcher said. “The woman at the well, Jesus knew about her, and that’s how I feel Jesus knows about me, and I just can’t wait to share.”