Katie Souza: God's Love Found in Lockdown
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
Katie Souza wanted the good life.
“I had all these pre-conceived ideas about what the good life was,” Katie Souza tells The 700 Club. “I thought if I was working in the entertainment industry that that’s the good life. If I’ve got money, that’s the good life. If I’m famous, that’s the good life.”
Katie pursued her dreams. She says, “I loved radio, because I loved music so much. I thought radio would be really fun, so I got into radio when I was really young. Like 17 years old, I was on the air. I got a job at CBS television, started doing camera work there and doing audio. I was having a lot of fun.”
Acting and modeling opportunities followed, but drug use that began in her teens was a full-fledged addiction that threatened everything.
“I was doing all these great things on one hand,” she recalls. “I was still empty and horrible even though I had this great thing happening to me. I didn’t even know why I was filling myself up with drugs and doing all these things to try to make myself feel satisfied.”
Katie was chosen for a role with Universal Studios, but just before her callback, she went on a drug binge.
“I go into this meeting wasted. This guy at Universal looks at me and says, ‘You look like a heroin addict. Get out of my office right now.’ That was like my last blow. I had gone through all these opportunities, and I’d blown them all. So, I fell face first into crime, and I became a full-time seller. I was already selling to everybody, and then I started cooking meth and collecting.”
She was arrested 12 times in one year for multiple felonies. Finally, she was arrested on federal charges for conspiracy, manufacturing narcotics and weapons violations. She was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
“I’m fighting with the cops. I attacked an officer. I’m getting shook down every day in the facility, because I am just starting up problems with all the officers and other inmates there,” she explains. “I got thrown in the hole over and over and over again while I’m there.”
Finally after a year of violent behavior behind bars, Katie reached her breaking point.
“I had been taken to this lockdown cell that wasn’t like a regular lockdown cell. You didn’t get a mattress. It’s freezing cold. It’s covered with urine, vomit and feces. Right then, I got a revelation: 'This is God’s way of dealing with you. It took this level of lockdown to get you to break. I’m the only one that can save you out of this.’
“I remember slumping back against that cold cement wall, thinking, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ I had been fighting everybody out on the streets, and now I’m fighting everybody inside. I didn’t even realize I was fighting God Himself. Right then, the Lord spoke to me. ‘I want you to surrender to your captivity, because this is My plan and it’s perfect.’”
Katie prayed to become a Christian. She read the Bible and shared what she was learning with her fellow inmates.
“The only book in the whole place was the Bible. I remember picking it up, reading through it and I just thought that this is the coolest thing I’ve ever read in my life. This is amazing. I would go from the front to the back over and over again. As I did that, the Holy Spirit began to point out these Scriptures about these people called the ancient Israelites who went to prison. I was going, ‘Wow, this is my story. It’s the story of every con I’d ever known. I started getting excited about it, and I started teaching it to everyone that I could teach it to.”
Her tough girl attitude and reputation began to change.
“The cops called our unit the ‘God Pod,’ because everybody’s worshipping God. We’re baptizing people in the shower. We’re praying. There’s fellowship going, and this amazing breakout of the presence of God is happening right in the middle of this captivity.”
After serving five years of her thirteen-year sentence, Katie won her appeal and was released early. She’s free now, and her view of the good life has changed dramatically.
“The good life is having your purpose and having your relationship with God,” Katie declares. “There’s been so many amazing things that have happened to me since I got out of prison. I quickly discovered that I didn’t want to do drugs anymore. I’m so filled up with this relationship with God that I had no desire to do drugs.”
Katie wrote a book about the lessons she learned from the Israelites’ time in captivity and how God can use prison time to prepare people for their purpose.
“He has a bigger plan an amazing plan where He wants to use captivity to totally give us our dreams, to give us our future. He loves us so much that He’s got a plan for it, and it’s way bigger than we thought it would be.”
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