It all started when someone said, "Hey, let's perform a robbery."
"I knew the person that performed the robbery," says Ivy Thompson. "And I made the choice not to tell."
That choice would change Thompson's life forever. She was convicted of unarmed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
TIME ALONE WITH GOD
Serving time in prison was an experience Thompson will never forget. But when asked if she would change her past, Thompson says no.
Thompson says that she's learned valuable lessons from her prison sentence. One is to be dependent on God, not on herself.
"No matter what I'm going through, I'm not bigger than [God]," she says. "I'm not smarter than Him. I don't know more than He knows.
"I have to just go 'Okay God, I don't know what to do.' And when I don't know what to do, I have to pray."
While in prison, Thompson met God, and He radically changed her life.
'ALL THEY CAN DO IS PRAY'
Furthermore, Thompson says that prison also provided her with a strong example of how consequences can affect so many people. The actions that led her to prison affected her and her family.
"The [prisoner's] family has to go through so much," she explains. "They have to go visit this loved one and when they leave, they cant take them with them … All they can do is pray."
In Thompson's experience, her parents were actively involved in their daughter's life. They struggled with her incarceration because they wanted to keep her safe.
"That was a very, very tough situation just to see my parents have to come to prison and visit me and have to leave, and I couldn't go with them," Thompson remembers.
MORE THAN A PRISON ORANGE JUMPSUIT
Thompson credits the work of Prison Fellowship® in helping her change her perspective and way of thinking.
Consequently, change was the only way she would see good results. And a future.
Today, Thompson hopes her story can help others. "I want to be an example," she says.
"I am going to be a business owner, and my businesses are going to thrive and flourish," she says, "and I am going to travel the way that I want to travel. And I'm not going to allow my past to change that."
Thompson's face lights up with a smile as she shares how her faith is what saved her from prison. As she explains, it was God who sustained her to be patient and wait out her sentence. Thompson focused her life on Jesus and on His love for her.
"[I had] to believe that there [was] more to my life than just sitting in this prison with these women with these orange clothes on," she explains.