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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

Hannah Lu Butler, a pastor's wife and mother of 2 based in Florida, USA

Hannah Lu Butler Testimony

Today I am so honoured to be sharing my friend Hannah's testimony on here. When we first met on Insta, she made me (and all she encounters, I'm sure!) feel so loved and encouraged. Then I heard her full testimony of overcoming an addiction and it just blew me away. Thank you, Hannah, for loving God so much. For using your testimony for so much good. For passing on the everlasting love that has been given to you onto others so they may experience the love of Christ.

Here's a sneak peek of her heart but you'll for sure want to read her whole testimony! And don't miss the Q&A at the end, especially if you're interested in learning more about how to support a loved one who is experiencing addiction.

I have a love for those who are unloved. The people that no one believe in. The homeless person that gets shamed for not having tried harder in life, the single mom that can “never do right,” the broken addict that no one thinks will ever be clean. I love these people. Not because I’m some great loving person, but rather, I have seen what God can do, and I know miracles are just one more prayer of faith away.

I’ve befriended many women who have struggled with various situations like rape, abortion, unfaithfulness in marriage, a broken home structure, homeless, drug addiction, and more. Everyone needs an encourager in their life. Just simply hearing the words “YOU CAN” goes a very long way.

Name: Hannah Butler

Location: Tampa, FL

Age: 27

Hi Hannah! Please tell us about yourself.

Hi! I'm a pastor's wife and mother of two. My children, Tucker and Abigail, 5 and 2 years old, and the joy of my everyday life! Two years ago, my family moved from Ohio to Florida to start a church. My work in and outside the church allow me to use my passion for counselling and encouraging other women in their faith - especially those who struggle with addiction as it has impacted my life in a very personal way. Last December, the Lord led me to start a blog to further expand this passion.

Aside from spiritual things, I love coffee, a good long chat with a friend, writing, and family days spent by the water somewhere!

Hannah Lu Butler Testimony Addiction

Hannah's testimony of addiction and salvation (originally shared on her blog)

All I wanted was to close my eyes. Everyone around me kept telling me to keep them open. I don’t remember much from that night, but I do remember some. I remember being taken to the ambulance that was waiting in the driveway.

Throughout the whole ride to the hospital, the people in uniform kept telling me to stay awake. I kept thinking, why do I NEED to stay awake? Everyone kept saying, “Stay with us.”

The next moments were a blur.

As I lay there in the hospital bed, I peered through my heavy eyelids to see my mom and my older brother walking in through the door. I remember seeing my mom cover her mouth and run out of the room with tears in her eyes as my brother sat next to me.

I was dying.

At 16 years old I was dying because of my own choices.

That night I drank a whole bottle of vodka. I had already taken multiple prescription pills. Because I had so much in my system already, I kept forgetting how many pills I had already taken. I took 30 more pills slowly, not realizing what was happening.

This overdose put me in ICU for 1 week and in the hospital for 2 weeks. I partially lost my eyesight, and I had uncontrollable tremors in my hands. These tremors caused me to be unable to write and barely able to feed myself.

This was the worst overdose I had but it was not the only one. When I look back on this day, I see God all over the situation.

I should have died, and I almost did.

If you have ever been addicted to anything then you get it, and I’m sure you have stories too.

I was addicted to being high, and I was addicted to drinking.

At 15 years old I watched my mom struggle with heroin addiction. I spent years trying to figure out how to help “fix” her. I saw what heroin did to her, and I knew that she hated her addiction. The endless cycle of withdrawals and then going back to it again, then withdrawals, and then back again.

She wanted out.

Being only a young teenager at the time, I thought “I” could save her. When you love someone, you want to do anything to help them. For years I studied heroin, and its side effects. For years I studied her.

But in the midst of my wanting to save her, I fell to my own addictions. There are many things in this world one can be addicted to but no addiction can quite compare to that of heroin.

Heroin is a silent killer.

Its high is more gripping than that of any other drug. Its withdrawals are stronger than that of any other drug. Many love the high so much, and hate the withdrawals so much, that they stay.

No one who shoots heroin in their veins knows when it will be the one that kills them.

That’s quite a risk. Once someone becomes addicted to something (especially heroin) the body thinks it needs that drug in order to create endorphins (the happy hormone). When the drug isn’t present, withdrawals take place because the body thinks it is missing a vital part.

It’s very hard to overcome a physical pain. Let alone all of the mental torment, and anguish that comes even after they have gotten over the withdrawals. This usually is where many people fall back to their addictions.

The reality of what they have done throughout all their years of using, and hustling to get their fix, have hit them full force. They may never say it to you, but the guilt is strong and very real.

The thought of “starting over” is enough to stay in their addiction because they don’t believe in themselves.

They have messed up every time they tried, only letting people down all of the time, and the thought of letting people down after trying and failing AGAIN, is enough to keep them in their addiction.

I have a passion for people who are addicted because I have experienced it first hand.

As much as I wish it wasn’t, it IS a part of my story. My mom passed away two years ago from a heroin overdose, my brother was a heroin addict, and I was a drug addict and an alcoholic.

Here in this section we’re going to look at all aspects of addiction. The viewpoint of the loved one who is affected by it, the person who IS addicted right now and wants out, and also those that counsel people who struggle with addiction.

I do not claim to be an expert, but I do claim my experiences.

This section is here because I want to bring light to the dark thought that addicts are just….addicts, and they will never be clean. To show that people who struggle with addictions are just like you and me. They have people that they love, and people who love them dearly. It’s just somewhere along the way, they fell.

We must believe that God CAN change their life.

We need to love them to Christ, and sometimes we need to love them back to Christ.

Eventually my eyesight went back to normal and my tremors stopped. I got clean when I got saved years later.

At the time though, I was living on the streets, staying with whoever I could.

One day I remember being hungry because it had been a few days since I had eaten anything, and I was SO tired of being hungry.

I had recently run into my grandparents somewhere and as I was hungry, I kept thinking about them. With one phone call my grandpa came and picked me up. All I wanted was something to eat. He took me to McDonald's. It was the best chicken sandwich I had ever eaten!

My grandparents let me stay with them for a few days. Then they told me I could stay with them to finish high school. Once I moved in, they always invited me to go to church. I said no every time because as a teenager, I thought that church was boring.

But after watching them leave the house week after week, I felt bad that I didn’t go with them. They were kind enough to let me stay with them, the least I could do was go to church with them.

I went... and then I continued to go with them.

One Sunday, on Mothers Day, something clicked with me. I had heard the plan of Salvation before, but this time was different. After I got home, I sat on my bed, and prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart.

Little did I know that my whole life was about to change.

Two months after getting saved, I went to Bible College. I had to learn how to overcome everything that my drug and alcohol use was numbing, but the Lord met with me, and He helped me every step of the way.

At Bible college I met my husband. We got married right after we both graduated with our Bachelor's degrees and we’ve been in the ministry ever since. Right now my husband is a pastor in Florida and I couldn’t be more happier to have the beautiful life Christ gave me.

When I reflect on the past, it brings me to my knees with tears in my eyes. I am so thankful that drugs didn’t take over the precious life that awaited me. I’m forever grateful to have such a wonderful, godly husband, and two very sweet children. I can’t imagine my life any other way and I wouldn’t want it any other way. There is victory ahead!

Hannah Lu Butler Testimony Addiction Christian

Praise God, Hannah! Thank you for sharing your testimony. Do you have any suggestions on how we can pray for those with addictions? Family members and strangers?

The key to praying for these people is to first actually pray. It may sound somewhat cliche, but I have found that when someone feels there is no hope for an individual they often stop praying for them altogether. So, the first thing is to make sure you NEVER stop praying for them. Even if you have no hope for them in your heart you must never give up hope in God.

When we pray for someone, specifically for a miracle, we are praying because of God and not because of them. Sometimes we forget this. When we look at it this way we realize it is a direct response or action of OUR faith. God delights in our faith and He even says that whatsoever is without faith, is sin (Romans 14:23)… Our prayers are answered according to our faith.

To be specific, I would pray that the Lord would get a hold of their heart. That is what is needed for them to want to make a life change. The heart is almost always the issue in regards to their relationship with God. Whether it’s that they don’t know Him, or they do know Him and need to be brought back to Him.

I often pray this way for those who are struggling: “Dear Lord, You know Suzie's heart. You know that she truly longs for You and not this drug even if she isn’t aware of that right now. Lord, if she only could see the freedom you give, the life that awaits her, she would trust You. Help her to trust You Lord. Help her to see that there is so much more to life than what she is currently living. Help her to see that ALL that she clings to in her addiction is temporary; that true hope, healing, and peace can only be found in You. Please rescue her from the arms of satan and help her to live in the freedom You give. Lord, please get a hold of her heart.”

Drug addicts NEED someone to reach down and help them get back up. They need someone who will take them to rehab, someone who will pray with them, and be there for them when they need it. That person is a special person. So, for strangers I would pray for that person for them. And then lastly I would pray and ask God what I can do about it with what He has given me. His answer would be different for everyone. That may be starting a blog, it could be going out and witnessing to them, or it could be as simple as just being willing to pray for them and not write them off as a lost cause.

Hannah Lu Butler Testimony Addiction Christian

How do you feel God is calling you to serve others in this season?

Right now I am a Pastor's Wife. That is a very special thing and something I don’t take lightly at all. I believe my biggest responsibility is to love on my husband as he fulfills the role of Pastor. As I do that, I believe God wants me to care for the women who come into our church. To be a friend to them and be there for them as needed for spiritual guidance and influence.

Aside from church, the Lord has very specifically put this calling on my life to reach others on social media. I have often had no clue what I am doing (lol) but He has certainly taught me and helped me along the way. I believe in talking about the hard things and how to see Christ through it; sharing His blessings and what He has taught me this far. And always making sure to give Him the glory for it. I provide free printable worksheets for ladies Bible studies, Bible reading plans, poems, and verses all through my email list for whoever to use as they need it!

I have a love for those who are unloved. The people that no one believe in. The homeless person that gets shamed for not having tried harder in life, the single mom that can “never do right,” the broken addict that no one thinks will ever be clean. I love these people. Not because I’m some great loving person, but rather, I have seen what God can do, and I know miracles are just one more prayer of faith away.

I’ve befriended many women who have struggled with various situations, rape, abortion, unfaithfulness in marriage, a broken home structure, homeless, drug addiction, and many more. Everyone needs an encourager in their life. Just simply hearing the words “YOU CAN” goes a very long way.

Hannah Lu Butler Testimony Addiction Christian

Hannah's favourite things

  • Bible verse: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)

  • Worship song: Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross

  • Way to worship: The Lord loves to hear us sing, so all throughout my house I like to sing to Him while I am cleaning and working on things. It’s not the most consecrated way to worship Him, but I believe He delights in it because it is acknowledging Him ALL day long and not just at certain times.

  • Food: I LOVE blueberries!

  • Beauty product: Definitely mascara. Put me on a deserted island, just give me the mascara!

  • Piece of clothing: I love wearing dresses. It makes me feel feminine and beautiful.

  • Place: The beach! It’s just so beautiful and calming

Connect with Hannah!


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