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The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Stacy Holbrook: There Goes My Hero

By Audra Smith
The 700 Club Stacy Holbrook was raised in a strong Christian family. She was daddy’s little girl.

"I looked up to him, because he loved people and he loved life," Stacy tells The 700 Club. "He always had this joy about him. He always had something hilarious to say. He was also the kind of dad that, if I had a question about anything, whether it was the Bible or any life topic, he would sit down an answer the question for two hours if I needed it."

However, when Stacy was 19 years old, her father was diagnosed with an irreversible strain of Hepatitis C. For treatment, he had to undergo a series of chemotherapy injections.

Because of the treaments, Stacy’s father fell into a deep depression and without his family’s knowledge, he began to self-medicate. 

"It kick started a habit out of his best intentions."

His addiction to prescription drugs quickly snowballed into a crack cocaine. Stacy’s family began to notice his suspicious behavior. She says, "We would find all kinds of paraphernalia. He would go into rehab facilities, and because of insurance reasons, he would be back at the house and back on the streets in days."

On March 5th, 2004, Stacy remembers leaving for work at the same time as her dad.

"I remember seeing him that morning. We were making our lunches at the same time. He was acting like my dad I knew from before. We pulled out of the driveway at the same time. He was just waving his hand out the window and that was the last time I saw him."

Stacy’s father was last seen on afternoon, cashing a check at his local bank.

"He didn’t come home that night.   Two days later was my little brother’s birthday. It was abnormal, just bizarre for him not to come home or call. At first we were scared and then you are mad. Then a week goes by and you know things aren’t okay. We started making missing person’s flyers immediately and posting them wherever we could. Six weeks went by and I got a phone call from my mom at work that my dad’s car had been found."

A search and rescue team and the family began to sweep the field where the car had been found. About 20 minutes into the search, Stacy’s brother called her cell phone from the opposite side of the field.

"He says, 'Stacy, I’ve found him. I’ve found his skull.' It is so weird to see somebody who has always been so strong be scattered like that and broken."

Because of the history of his drug use, the police did not pursue the case as a homicide for long. The family was simply left with a lot of questions and very few answers.

"Once the calm set in, once we realized that this nine months was over, I was filled with anxiety, darkness, doubt, all the things I believed in and what he taught me. Not because he failed me, but because I felt like God failed him."

At first, Stacy could barely leave her home, even to take out the trash or check the mail. She would sleep constantly and would often show up to work hours late. She recalls, "It felt like I couldn’t breathe. It felt like I was overwhelmed to wake up. I can’t do that many days. There came a point after trying a variety of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety where I felt like I need to get out of this house."

One day, a friend invited Stacy to return to church. She accepted the offer just so she could keep her mind busy.

"When I was there, I was mad the whole time. People would get up on the stage and tell their testimonies, and I would be filled with bitterness and sarcasm like, 'You have no idea.' Pretty soon, just people being sweet and showing God’s love to me broke that and broke through that in worship services and just being in His presence. One day I said, 'I can’t believe I’ve been so angry with You.' It was a long process. It was years, but He always kept me close."

As Stacy began to trust God more, she started the process of coming off of her medications. She found she was able to function again in her day-to-day activites, but there was one last thing the anxiety wouldn’t allow her to do: read her Bible.

"I said, 'God, I am turning everything off. I am going to go in the room. I am going to read, and it is going to just be me and You. I got excited for no reason, and in that moment, everything started making sense just like when I first gave my heart to Christ. It was like a window opened up, fresh air came in and just brought newness to my room and into my life."

Today, Stacy is off all of her anti-anxiety medications. She is a full-time teacher and engaged to a man she met in her church. She encourages others, "Out of all the things that you’ve tried, you can just trust that He is the only one who can fix it. God can take those horrible things and make them beautiful.
I am not controlled by a knot in my stomach anymore and an inability to breathe and panic. It is a freedom, and it’s a relationship with God, where I know Jesus is my Savior. I’m so thankful to know the truth. It is only because of that that I know that I am free. I’m not bound by anything on this earth, and I have a future."

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