Reoffender renewed from inside

Ex-drug junkie shares why people should never give up on life

Michelle Mondientz
Michelle Mondientz

Sometimes life outside of prison is harder than life behind bars and Michelle Mondientz knows the reality of this all too well.

"I got released from prison after my fiancé died but I couldn't cope so I decided to end my life using the drug ice," Michelle admits sadly.

"Instead the drugs just made me homeless and I decided the only place I would find freedom was back in prison where I would at least have a place to eat and sleep."

As ironic as it seems, Michelle's tragic life was one filled with drug addiction, prostitution, alcoholism and two failed marriages involving domestic violence. Prison really did seem like a haven at that time.

"I hated people in general. I had given up on life," she shares honestly.

Despite this, after her first arrest, Michelle remembers fearing the unknown after death.

"I had some knowledge of God before this time," she says, "but I blamed Him for everything that was wrong in my life and I hated Him! While I was in the watch-house (prison), though, I became scared that I was going to die and afterwards face His judgement and be punished forever.

"So, I prayed 'God, please save me' and instantly I felt this indescribable peace."

Over the next two years, God revealed to Michelle that He loved her and would always be there for her. The peace and changes she had experienced through surrendering to God were, however, short-lived when she was released from prison.

"I did not obey the Word of God," Michelle confesses. "I got out of prison, partied, took drugs and became a junkie. I reoffended and nearly died."

Through a bad drug deal Michelle became involved in witchcraft, Satanism and occult practices, all making her a more violent person.

"When I was high on ice I had a vision of myself burning in hell and it was the most terrifying thing I had ever seen," she recalls.

Sent back to prison a third time for violent crimes, Michelle says she realized that God had not given up on her. It was time to choose a different life for herself, one of true freedom.

"Glory to God, this time I have truly turned from my sins for good," she relates from prison.

"The Bible says 'Repent (turn away from sin), then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (see Acts 3:19)'," she shares.

Michelle wants to encourage others to see that no matter what has happened in life, God is always ready to welcome you back into his open arms.

"When you surrender your life to Jesus Christ and trust Him as your personal Savior and Lord, you receive God's love forever.

"I now live for God, but I deal with the regret of not obeying Jesus wholeheartedly before this. I could have lived with God's blessing if I would have just obeyed."

Speaking from her own experience, Michelle says that obedience to God is the only way to know whether one is forgiven by Jesus Christ.

"There are so many people, like who I was, claiming to be Christians but still living a life of sin (continuing to disobey God's Word) and think they are going to heaven. The truth is they could be far from God and I don't want that to happen."

Wanting to make up for lost time, Michelle now volunteers her time to help rebuild fellow inmates' lives in Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre.

"If you are reading my testimony, you are not reading it by chance. Jesus loves you and He wants to bring you into His eternal kingdom.

"God took this burned out 'junkie' and turned me into a happy woman with a great family and living an excellent life that cannot be compared with my old life.

"I might be in prison at the moment, but God's love is not in chains!"

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