Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

(Week 8) 5 Lessons I Learned in Prison: Butterflies and Barbed Wire


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5 Lessons I learned in Prison: Butterflies and Barbed Wire


“…All through these difficult days I keep hoping,

waiting for the final change—for resurrection…” (Job 14, MSG)

Many would call prison a tomb,

a dirty pit,

a bone collector,

a trough for the troubled,

or a cell for the shameful.

I experienced something different.

Why, you may ask, was I in prison?

The short answer: God called me there.

“Why” has always been my first question, so I totally understand if it was yours.

God never promised to answer “Why” but HE did promise HIS presence and that in all things HE would work for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

5 Things I learned in prison:

1) Although prison CAN be seen as a tomb, God intends for prison to be a womb.

“…the tomb was empty…” (John 20)

The resurrection offered us rebirth; HIS tomb became our spiritual womb.


2) Although prison CAN be seen as a dirty pit, God intends for prison to be a plucking place, to pluck the prisoners out of the pit and place their feet on solid ground.

“God lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” (Psalm 40:2, NLT)  

Our solid Foundation has nothing to do with our earthly location!   Metamorphosis can take place anywhere.  Wings are not bound by wire.

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3) Although prison CAN be seen as a bone collector, God intends for prison to be a place of resurrection.

“God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!” (Ezekiel 37:5-6, MSG)  

Grace is not bound by barbed wire.

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4) Although prison CAN be seen as a trough for the troubled, God intends for prison to be a door of hope.

“…transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope. She will respond to me there, singing with joy as in days long ago in her youth after I had freed her from captivity…” (Hosea 2:15, TLB)

I heard the worship songs and saw with my own eyes the melting of hearts of stone in big strong prisoners into hopeful hearts of flesh in forgiven, free little boys.


5) Although prison CAN be seen as a cell for the shameful, God intends to lift the chin of the sinner, lovingly look them in the eye, accept their repentance, forgive their sin, remove their shame, and replace it with HIS radiance.

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:5, NIV)

I saw first hand how prison bars and barbed wire cannot keep Christ’s love from anyone:  I witnessed 21 men come forward and accept Christ as their savior in an environment where this would have been seen as a sign of weakness.  When our hearts are compelled by God, wooed by the Spirit, nothing can keep us from the outstretched arms of Jesus!

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“Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…(Romans 8:39, MSG)

“Butterflies and Barbed Wire”

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I saw wings being woven in barbed wire cocoons.

I saw butterflies birthed behind bars.

I was reminded that freedom has nothing to do with our physical location

but everything to do with spiritual salvation.

Of course there were some who rejected metamorphosis.

God gives us a choice, our way or HIS.

Don’t get me wrong and think that prison was a palace.

It was just a place to choose peace or malice.

But isn’t that true of anywhere?

Self-pity and bitterness fight to keep souls.

Some prisoners chose to decorate these grimy dark holes.

But can’t those holes be anywhere?

The inmates who got it, who broke down in repentance,

Were free in that moment, no matter their sentence.

We can all find ourselves in the prison story

Iron bars may cover stars

But they cannot keep out glory.

Apart from Christ the prison is sealed

Barbed wire burns like fire,

But In Christ we’re  free and healed.

I pray you run with open arms,

if God calls you into prison.

Overflow the hope you have,

share the One who’s RISEN!


Check out:  

Voz de Liberated of Costa Rica

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About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel Forgiven and Free Living a life that says: COME AND SEE!

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