It was August 17, 2013, when God revealed to me His heart for the incarcerated and His desire that I would minister behind prison walls. I was visiting a friend named Bill in federal prison at the time. Two weeks later, the Lord confirmed His desire and opened doors for Victorious Living to be distributed in Florida prisons.
I had already been publishing Victorious Living for two years when this opportunity came. And it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this was why God wanted me to do this magazine.
I was in awe and thanked God when I sent that first list of 34 Florida prison facilities to the printer for distribution. But I have to admit that as I sent that list, I placed a mental checkmark next to “minister to the incarcerated” and went on my way. I was doing what He asked.
But then, about two months later, God revealed another layer of prison ministry that He wanted to carry out through Victorious Living. It happened when I noticed a pile of mail on my desk. A closer look revealed that the letters were from inmates.
I was shocked that they were writing to me. Some people wanted a pen pal, while others wanted to know more about the God of hope. I’ll be honest—I began to feel a little uneasy as the letters kept coming. That uneasiness soon turned to panic.
As a people-pleaser, I didn’t want to let anyone down. I realized that each letter represented a life. It had been written by someone that God cared about, and they deserved a timely and heartfelt response. But there was no possible way I could answer every letter. The performer in me was wrestling with this situation too.
But then I remembered that the Lord had led me to prison ministry. He had opened the door for Victorious Living, and He had known the inmates would write. This was nothing I had planned. And since nothing catches God off guard, He must have a plan.
Peace replaced panic as I shifted my eyes from my inabilities and looked to the Lord. As Philippians 4:6–8 teaches, I told God what I needed and thanked Him for His answer in advance. And boy, did He exceed my expectations.
First, the Lord showed me that I was to write and send devotional letters to everyone who wrote to me. It would be a way to respond while carrying out our mission to encourage, equip, and empower people to live victorious lives for Christ. But these wouldn’t be individual, personal letters. I couldn’t do all that.
So God met my needs through a precious woman named Linda Cubbedge. I had met Linda at a women’s event where I was the guest speaker. It turns out, God had been preparing Linda for those letters for years. He clearly confirmed to both of us that she was to be part of Victorious Living’s prison outreach.
That was 2014. Since then, Linda has read and prayed over tens of thousands of letters as our Director of Prison Correspondence Outreach. She’s made sure that each person has received a proper response from our trained and loving team of nationally based volunteers. Further, Linda developed procedures and launched writing events for us called “Shine Bright and Write.”
I was so afraid of failure in those early days. I was focused on my inabilities—lack of time, words, and physical resources. But God wasn’t looking for my abilities; He was looking for my trust.
God had already prepared everything and everyone needed to fulfill every aspect of this ministry with love and excellence (Philippians 4:19). And He continues to perfectly provide for Victorious Living and our inmate family.
Recently, Mrs. Linda announced that she will be passing her torch of light and hope to those God has now positioned to carry it forward. As she moves into retirement, I will remain forever grateful to God for sending me His gift of Linda—a mighty woman of faith whose kindness, compassion, and steadfast love has helped many, including me, grow more dependent on God.
Linda, on behalf of myself, our Victorious Living incarcerated family, and the correspondence team, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can hear the Lord saying to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”