Restless, hopeless and with barely anything to live for, Ashley Smith’s devastating life story made it to the headlines in 2005 when Brian Nichols, an escaped convict, held her hostage for 7 hours in her own apartment. After assaulting her, Brian asked Ashley whether she had drugs and if she would do them with him. Surprisingly for an addict, for the first time Ashley convincingly said “no” to drugs. This made her feel more powerful and in control over her life that had taken a rather downward course at that time.


After this brave and courageous move, she began to see Brian through the eyes of Jesus. She realized he was a sinner saved by God’s grace, just like she was. She was aware that by taking away the lives of four innocent people, Brian had made very bad choices, but in God’s eyes, that was no different than her choosing drugs over her daughter. He was troubled but he was also a human being and someone’s son and father. So, she started seeing things from his perspective and thought about how she would like to be treated if she were him in that situation. She attempted to make him realize that it is still not too late to do the right thing and find inner peace and redemption.

Trying to figure her way out of this hopeless situation, Ashley started reading Rick Warren’s best-seller “The Purpose Driven Life” to him, a spiritual book that talks about finding our purpose of existence. They began talking about what the book is about and of God’s greatness and forgiveness. After reading parts of this amazing book, Ashley and Brian started talking about their families.

In her interview with Katie Couric, Ashley said:

The person that I encountered when he first came in – very antsy, angry, letting me know he was the one in control, definitely began to soften and mellow out a lot after reading the book to him.


For Ashley, this incident was not only something that she will remember for the rest of her life, but also something that enlightened her and made her realize it was still not too late to right the wrongs she had done and get back on the right track.

Have you ever wondered what is your purpose on Earth? Why did God create you? What is your mission? The truth spoken, we all do and we all sometimes find ourselves on crossroads not knowing what to do and how to go on after going through tough times. If you haven’t read Rick Warren’s best seller “The Purpose Driven Life” I warmly recommend you do as the spiritual journey that this amazing book offers will transform you into a better person. As Rick Warren says, nothing happens without a reason. Our destiny is in the hands of our great God who has everything designed for us and all we are left to do is follow His plan.

The author divided his book into 40 short chapters that will inspire readers to consider God’s purposes of human life and focus their energy on completing His plan for them. The writing style of the book is very simple and easy to read so that people from every corner of the world could get a glimpse of the message that the author tries to convey and inspire them to lead a better life.

According to a survey that has been conducted among pastors, Rick Warren’s best seller, “The Purpose Driven Life” is the second most influential book after the Bible. Through his masterpiece, Rick preaches that once you discover your purpose in life, you will know real happiness. It is never too late to become who you might have been. God is great.