I. have. so. much. to. share.
Let’s start with last Saturday. I had the humble honor of leading worship for and speaking to the incarcerated women at Madison Correctional Facility. It was a beautiful time together.
I met countless women whose stories both broke my heart and blessed me – stories of pain and suffering, but also stories of transformation. My favorite moment was during worship. I asked the girls who Jesus is to them. Across the room they began to raise their voices, confidently naming Him as their Friend, Father, and Husband. I watched tears roll down their faces as we cried out to our “Good, Good Father” and sang about His “Beautiful Name.”
We laughed together – and I hugged countless necks. I prayed with my new friends, getting the awesome privilege of hearing the stories of women whose lives have been turned upside down by choices they have made.
But every single one offered me a smile. A kind word. An encouragement. We were one in our mistakes and our Maker. And because of the generous donations of friends and family, EVERY SINGLE WOMAN was able to get a book. If you haven’t heard this part of the story yet, read here.
As I signed the books, I was able to write a message of hope inside. As a result of our time together, seven women accepted Jesus for the first time, and 30 recommitted their lives to Christ. THIS. IS. AMAZING.
What an amazing, wonderful trip. The chaplain has invited me to make this an annual event, and some of the girls who will be released in the coming weeks and months plan to visit Grace Point Church of the Nazarene (my husband is the senior pastor there).
God is seriously good. Completely. And I can’t wait to see those girls again. I am so thankful to my sweet friend Chris who sent my book to her daughter Mandie, who read my book out loud to a group of girls at Madison. Who showed up at my church in tears when she was released. Who told me about the girls she left behind when she left prison.
Mandie, who went back with me last Saturday. Who hugged and prayed with girls and sang Amazing Grace to a standing ovation. Who, through her graceful and growing heart, is a transformed woman herself.
God is seriously good. Completely. Thank you to the prayer warriors who sent me texts and encouraged me on this journey. Thanks to Martha Banks, the chaplain, who welcomed me with open arms. Thanks to my prayer partner Heidi, for praying me through car sickness and the nervous jitters and for calling on heaven while I was speaking.
But mostly, I’m thankful to Jesus. The One who allows a broken girl like me to hang out with other broken girls. The One who was BROKEN so we could be fixed and spend forever together in heaven with Him.
If you would like to know more about Carrie or are interested in having her come speak for your church, retreat, or organization, please visit her ABOUT page here.
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