Using one word, I could describe Thursday night in jail as amazing. Jesus is the one who made it so amazing, but He did it through an ex-inmate of Christian County Jail. Her name is Stacy Cagle Kelsey Chamlee, she brought with her two close friends, Georgia and Tori who traveled all day to get here from Georgia. It was well worth their trip, they said. “I wanted to bring them hope from someone who has been where they are,” Stacy said after reflecting on the night.
There was an inmate in the audience who had been in the same cell together all those years ago. She recalled how all the others thought Stacy was an informant and no one knew her because she was from out of town. She and her husband were stopped at a rest stop in Oak Grove with drugs on them and later were arrested again in Christian County for two warrants. She tells her story after kicking off her flip flops and leaning against the wall in front of the room full of ladies dressed in orange. She starts off by telling us she wore “whites” in honor of the ones she came to bring hope to. Tori yells from the back of the room, “she made us wear “whites” too. The whole room breaks out into laughter.
But the laughter quickly turns solemn when she speaks of her “rap sheet” of things she is not proud of, but she’s quick to tell how God showed her that old life of hers is like a stained glass window and for her not to tell her story would be like throwing a rock right in the middle of it. You could tell she didn’t want to dwell on or brag about her past, but makes the point she’s no stranger to that life. She looks down a couple of times as she relives the moments that hurt the most, not just her but her family. It doesn’t take long for the darkness to become light as she beams with excitement when she tells us of her passion for youngsters and older folks. God has made her into a Sunday school teacher to young children who she delights over. She takes another drink of water and she continues to praise God for the transformation in her life, she tells us she is taking college classes online.
Anything is possible with God; she proclaims and says she has a song for us. “I’m not a singer, but God told me He wasn’t asking me to be a singer, but to sing THIS song.” Tori put the CD into the player and she begins to use sign language or dancing. I can’t remember the song, but I remember how beautiful she was using motions to describe the song. My mind went to a place where I met with God, and He blessed me through her obedience. “Store your treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” I believe this verse in Matt 6:20 is talking about people. People go to heaven, invest in people, love them, forgive them, and give them hope. There is hope in Jesus Christ; He is our hope!
After the girls had a chance to ask questions and just before time to leave, the girls formed a circle. The ministers had an opportunity to pray for each female who wanted prayer. Nobody refused. The power of God was in that circle, tears were flowing and hugs were plentiful. One lady I prayed with said she was having nightmares about the time her dad molested her and asked to be prayed for. When I asked her if any of the other ministers had prayed with her, she said she had not told any of them. I prayed with her, but I didn’t know what to pray. But one thing I know, she forgives him. Another lady wanted to pray for me and asked God to bless me and thanked Him for anointing me with His Spirit.
The night continued to grow into early morning, and three counseling’s later He had done what He came here to do through me. I never get tired of being His called. I never get tired of seeing the miracles He is doing through His saints. We believe in faith that many ladies who were in the jail this particular night will come back to the jail after years of sobriety and minister as Stacy has. I am truly amazed by Him.
Written by Tracey