Why I Choose Peace Over Chaos: How God Helped Me Survive Prison
Allow me to introduce myself. I am a woman who has known the depths of despair, who has been through the trials and tribulations of serving time in prison, and yet, through the mercy and grace of God, I have been lifted up and restored. My tale is one of redemption and hope, and I pray that it may inspire you to turn to the Lord in your own time of need.
Now, I know what you may be thinking. “What could God possibly have to do with prison?” Well, let me tell you, He had everything to do with it. And no, I’m not talking about the “God is punishing me for my crimes” kind of way. I’m talking about the “God is always with me, guiding me, and giving me strength” kind of way.
In the dreary confines of the prison walls, I was lost and alone, feeling the weight of my mistakes on my shoulders. I was sitting in my cell, feeling like I had hit rock bottom. I was angry, bitter, and ashamed. Furthermore, I felt like a failure and a disappointment to everyone who cared about me. But then, something amazing happened. I started to pray again. I opened my Bible. And slowly, but surely, I began to find peace and calm in the midst of the chaos of prison life. But it was in this dark and hopeless place that I turned back to the Lord for salvation. Through His grace and mercy, He lifted me out of the miry clay and set my feet on solid ground. – Psalm 40:2
You see, I had strayed far from the path of righteousness. I had lost my way, and in my foolishness, I committed crimes that landed me in prison. And yet, even in the midst of this dark and hopeless place, my Heavenly Father was with me. God helped me survive prison. He alone, is the only reason I made it out alive to share my testimony.
Through His omnipotence, He gave me the strength and guidance that I needed to survive the chaos of prison life. Spending most of my time in the Chapel for church services, choir, and Bible Study, I honored the Lord and allowed Him to be in control again. His ways are far greater than mine. His grace and forgiveness helped me to overcome the bitterness and shame that I felt for the mistakes I had made, and allowed me to move forward with a renewed sense of purpose.
But it wasn’t just about finding inner peace and strength. The Lord also helped me to heal the broken relationships that I had left in my wake. Through His grace and forgiveness, I was able to repair the bonds that I had shattered, and rebuild trust with those I had let down. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being forgiven and loved by those you care about.
Healing My Bitterness and Shame
As the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This verse spoke to me in a profound way, reminding me of the power of forgiveness and how it can help us move forward in our lives with a renewed sense of hope and purpose. In addition to finding peace and strength, God also helped me to heal from the emotional wounds that I had been carrying for so long. Through His love and grace, I was able to let go of the bitterness and shame that had been holding me back, and embrace a new sense of hope and purpose.
“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” – Isaiah 61:1
And yet, even as I worked on rebuilding relationships and restoring trust, I still struggled with the shame and guilt of my past mistakes. But through the power of God’s Word, I was able to overcome these negative emotions and find a new sense of peace and joy.
Walking Upright on the Promises of His Word
In Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” This verse spoke to me in a deeply personal way, reminding me that even in the darkest of times, God’s Word can serve as a guiding light to help me make the right decisions. As I continued to grow in my relationship with God, I found that His Word was a constant source of guidance and direction. Through the promises of His Word, I was able to walk upright and stay on the path of righteousness, even in the midst of the challenges of prison life.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3
Repairing Relationships and Rebuilding Trust
“Bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so must you do also.” -Colossians 3:13
As I mentioned earlier, one of the most important things that I worked on during my time in prison was repairing relationships with those I had let down, and rebuilding trust with my children. This is not an easy task, but with the help of God and His Word, I wake up each day with His new mercies and make the effort to restore and build upon these important bonds.
Through consistent communication and effort, I am able to show those I had hurt that I am sincere in my desire to make things right. And through my actions and words every single day, I am able to demonstrate to my children that the mother that had to go away for a short time, is not the same mama here today. They are coming to the realization that I am committed to being the best mother and role model that I could be.
“If anyone considers himself religious and does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” – James 1:26
The Prison Gratitude Journal: A Tool for Staying Positive While Serving Time
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
And so, dear reader, I share with you a glimpse of my story in the hopes that it may inspire you to turn to the Lord in your own time of need. Whether you are currently serving time in prison, or simply struggling with the challenges of life, know that God is always with you, ready to lift you up and guide you on the path of peace and joy.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have created a tool to help others who may be facing the challenges of serving time in prison. It is called the Prison Gratitude Journal, and it is designed to help those in prison focus on the blessings in their lives, and find the peace and stillness that can only be found in the Lord.
Through the use of daily prompts and reflection questions, the Prison Gratitude Journal encourages those in prison to reflect on the things that they are thankful for, and to express their gratitude to God for His love, grace, and forgiveness. It also provides space for prayer and petition, as well as space for recording daily affirmations and encouraging scriptures.
If you know someone who is currently serving time in prison, I encourage you to encourage them to seek Him diligently. And if they are looking for a tool to help them stay positive and focused on the good, I would highly recommend my Prison Gratitude Journal. I created this journal as a resource during my incarceration because it was far too easy to focus on the bad. This journal is designed to help those in prison focus on the blessings in their lives, and find the peace and hope that God offers.
To learn more about the Prison Gratitude Journal, or to purchase a copy for someone you know who is currently incarcerated, visit our online shop today and order today. Together, we can help those in prison find the peace and hope that they need to overcome the challenges of serving time.
In closing, dear reader, I urge you to consider the mercy and grace of God, and how He can help you overcome the challenges of life, no matter how dark or hopeless they may seem. For as Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, thy comfort me.” May this verse bring you the same comfort and hope that it has brought me. May the good Lord bless and keep you.