"Letters from Inside" is a new blog series featuring incarcerated women at Minnesota Correctional Facility–Shakopee, where Prison Fellowship® runs one of its Academies. Over the coming months, you will hear perspectives from women who are not only serving time for crimes but are now trying to live their lives for Jesus behind bars.
This is the second installment in the series. For more "Letters from Inside," click here.
FORMER MURDERER ON GOD'S LOVE FOR INCARCERATED WOMEN
by Kelly of Shakopee
It wasn't until I was 15 years into my 30-year-plus life sentence before I gave my life to Christ.
I was just doing time—until time began doing me. At that point, my mind felt like it was literally shattering and I sought help from everywhere until I was finally introduced to the [Academy] program … [The Academy] taught me so much—mostly how to be the person God intended me to be.
AN INCREDIBLE LOVE
What I do know for sure is [that] accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior means for me that I do not have the words to describe the depth of love I have for a God who showed how much He loved me—a murderer—so much that He sacrificed His one and only sinless Son to die for my sins. What incredible love! How can I do any less than live my life as a living sacrifice to Him?
That is what I strive to do every day in prison. My morning ritual prayer is to ask God to allow me to be an image-bearer of Christ to all I meet—to be Christ with skin on to others. I attempt to do this in several ways.
INVESTING IN INCARCERATED WOMEN
I [also] spend time with Darcy and Doan, my "little sisters" in the Academy. We pray together, talk, and get to know one Another. Darcy and I look at books, color, and go to the gym. Doan and I spend time outside together. I feel it is important to know each of their unique interests. After all, God knows each of us so intimately "even the very hairs of our head are numbered" (Matthew 10:30).
THE PRISON’S PULSE
One thing in prison that constantly astounds me is this "pulse" that runs through that is filled with hatred. It is pervasive. It actually hurts me. I can feel my heart cry at times. Yet, when I see people, I feel love. … I know I have never looked into the eyes of someone God does not love or Jesus did not die for. So I love them too. Any way I can.
* Kelly is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole in the state of Minnesota.