Interview with Rachelle Rawson: Never Let Your Light Dim
Should you see someone come skipping into your workplace there’s a good chance you’re about to meet Rachelle Rawson. It’s hard to believe that at the moment she is fighting breast cancer, that she went to 10 different schools between her kindergarten and 4th grade years, and that she was in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamines.
With the deck seemingly stacked against her in life from the start, what she is doing now is even more incredible. She is in the fundraising stages of starting a non-profit faith-based treatment center and transitional housing program for men, Agape Community Services.
A lot of the inspiration for the program came from what she witnessed during her prison sentence.
“The mandatory sentence for conspiracy to distribute is 10 years. So, I cooperated with the federal government to get my sentence down. And I told everyone about it. I was what you called a snitch, and I wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed about it because here’s the truth, I knew one, that God would bless the truth and not a lie, and that two, I was done trying to fit in with people that couldn’t love me. I was done living my life for other people. I kept saying to myself, I just have to make it back to my kids. I did two years of a 4.5-year sentence, and it was amazing!” exclaimed Rachelle.
Rachelle knew that her prison time could do one of two things.
“When you’re in prison you have two choices. You can go and become more criminal, or you can go and get better. I beat my own drum. I would wake up every day and I would be so excited. I LOVE JESUS. He is my best friend. I would wake up every day excited and I would say how bad can this day be, I get to spend it with Jesus. I used the time as a gift. I would spend 12 hours a day in the word. I took every program I possibly could take to get better, to heal my trauma, to heal the holes in my heart. The program in prison teaches you how to challenge your thinking,” advised Rachelle.
Rachelle shared a particularly poignant moment during her sentence.
“I had this bunkmate, Bridget. She came up to me one day and said, ‘I don’t like you. You’re too happy. In my experience, people that are too happy are fake.’ I said, that’s ok, you don’t have to like me. I think she expected me to change, but I didn’t,” said Rachelle.
Days later, Bridget woke Rachelle up in the dead of night, tears streaming down her face.
“She said, ‘I want what you have. I hear you talk about that Jesus guy, and I think about how he was all alone up there on that cross, alone, dying for me, and I don’t want to be alone anymore.’ I ended up walking her through The Salvation Prayer and changed her life. I went to get well, and was able to do that for more people,” shared Rachelle.
This article is just a preview of episode 26. Listen to the entire inspiring podcast of Starting Conversations with Stacie and Tony on your favorite platform. For more information about the Agape Community Services program, check out their Facebook page. The program is a 9-to-12-month faith based treatment center and transitional program.
By Amy Buster