Beauty From Ashes - Diann's Story

Diann grew up in a home filled with anger and verbal abuse. Her father was a functioning alcoholic. At the age of five, a family member began sexually abusing her, and by the age of nine she was smoking pot and drinking alcohol. The progression continued until at only 14 she was shooting drugs.

She didn’t go to church and knew little about Jesus. At the age of 21, she went to prison her first time, and by age 26, she was incarcerated the third time, facing 99 years. During the fourth year of that incarceration, her mom died.

“I knew the only way I could keep going was to cry out to God. And I did. It took me a long time until I knew that he was with me and that He loved me. I wasn’t alone. Jesus was there beside me. By the time I went to the faith-based dorm at Lane Murray, I was ready to see what living for God was really like. During my time in the program, I fell in love with Jesus. I could truly feel His presence."

Diann was 47 years old when she was released from prison. She had served 20 years and eight months. Finding a job seemed daunting, even though she had worked the entire time she was in prison. But she knew God was with her, and she was hired within six weeks of release by Chick-Fil-A, even though she had to wear an ankle monitor. She has been out of prison five+ years and has stayed at the same job.

Diann says, “Don’t give up. Even if the first job is not your first choice. Stay while you continue searching.” Diann has been promoted multiple times and is now an assistant director with Chick-Fil-A. She works a lot of hours, but is a well-respected, valued employee with leadership responsibilities and good compensation.

Added bonus: she is a grandmother as well.

One final word from Diann: “Thank you for being willing to start Murray Faith Dorm. Faith dorm changed my life, and I believe it will change the prison system”