How Refreshed and Blessed Began

God can use you for Kingdom purposes even when life’s challenges are overwhelming.

My story of Refreshed and Blessed is born out of anger, shame, and confusion…

As a young woman with a heart for helping others and degrees in both Nursing and Law, I never thought I would be sentenced to prison.

But that’s where I found myself on November 17, 2015.

I still remember the clanking thud of the cold gray steel bars closing behind me…

My mind whirling, still filled with questions, I angrily wondered again, “Why is this happening to me?”

This was not how my life was supposed to go.

Can you relate?

Have you had dreams that didn’t come true? Did you plan your life’s journey only to encounter roadblocks and detours along the way?

Just imagine putting your trust in God, thinking you were following His will when you realize you’re dealing with the consequences of a disobedient choice.

That’s where I found myself…

My Life’s Calling?

As a child growing up in Queens, New York, I was blessed to have parents who loved me and taught me Christian values. Religion was an important part of our lives.

During high school, I developed a desire to become a lawyer because of my academics and experiences on the debate team. However, my mother, a registered nurse, did not want me to go to college immediately after high school, she wanted me to first attend vocational school to train as a licensed practical nurse, then go to college.

Still filled with the dream of practicing law, I listened to my mother and went to nursing school, primarily to please her.

After graduating, I worked as a geriatric nurse in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. There my passion for advocacy was re-ignited when I witnessed rampant elder abuse and wanted to become a voice for the voiceless. I felt this was my life’s calling.

So, after suppressing my dream to become a lawyer for several years, I determined the time had come to act.

New Beginnings

After completing law school and passing the New York bar exam, I began fulfilling my dream of working on medical malpractice cases and defending people who suffer those atrocities.

I loved law school for many reasons, but one of the best was that it was where I met the man who would become my husband.

A few years later, the Lord opened a door for me to attend a new church and grow significantly due to the teaching of that church’s pastor. I learned how to pray. I learned how to lead Bible studies. Even though I felt hypocritical at times, the Holy Spirit used me. Another pastor encouraged me saying, “Cassandra, you have a gift to teach. What you have is natural.”

The Big Mistake

I had been practicing law for 5 years and had a partner who worked in real estate cases. When my partner became overbooked, I helped her with closings. Big mistake…

I did not know the client I represented well. All I knew was that I met him at two previous closings that I attended to be of help and that I now had a repulsion towards him. Years after those first two closings and four more that we assisted him and his friends with, we learned that he and his friends forged documents and made major misrepresentations when they applied for the loans. When these illegal activities surfaced, all eyes were on me because the person assisting him was a mortgage broker our firm recommended. Since my office made the recommendation, and I was the attorney representing the clients he referred, it appeared as if I was involved with the fraud and everything that I did was in furtherance of his fraud.

But my bigger mistake was not listening to the Lord. He had warned me not to help this client. I proceeded anyway.

As a result of assisting with the closings, I was charged and convicted of wire fraud and sentenced to seven years in prison.

“Why, God, why?”

Answers Come Slowly

As the months in prison wore on, I began to see how the Lord was working. Amidst the shame and anger, I realized that God had to remold me.

That process began by attending every Bible study in the prison. Eventually, I knew the Lord was expecting me to teach Bible lessons. This time, I listened.

Over the months, more and more women attended the studies. Each woman who wanted a Bible could get one because personalized Bibles were provided by a nonprofit ministry.

When that source of free Bibles suddenly disappeared, I began calling people to find Bibles from other places. The situation sparked something in my heart … I determined I would do whatever I could after prison to ensure there was a constant supply of Bibles for incarcerated women.

The Power of Prayer

In addition to the Bible studies, God told me to bring those incarcerated with me together to pray.

In the end, our prayer group consisted of varying religions and backgrounds. We discovered that when we pray together, we have more in common than we have differences. We united in praying for our early release from prison.

God responded! When COVID peaked, our prison was the only one where about 80% or more of the women were released, including every woman in our prayer group!

After serving 4 ½ years of my seven-year sentence, I was released on May 6, 2020.

Lessons Learned

There were many lessons I learned from my prison experience, but this is the one that stands out:

Because of God’s faithfulness, you can take courage knowing that difficult circumstances can lead to spiritual awakening—for yourself and others.

Plus, my experiences sparked a deep desire to use my gifts and skills to continue helping women in prison. I launched Refreshed And Blessed in 2022 as a Christian social enterprise designed to “give back” by supplying Bibles to women’s prisons and shelters.

Your purchases from Refreshed And Blessed promote social justice and spiritual awakening. Hopefully, your heart is touched by the products. In addition to strengthening your walk with the Lord, a portion of your purchase provides more Bibles for women in prison and shelters.

Thank you for taking the time to visit this site! We welcome your feedback. Feel free to share this site and our story with others.



We believe in giving and in the power of generosity to transform lives. With every purchase, you're not only acquiring a study Bible or beautiful piece of jewelry or item, but with a portion of your purchase proceeds you are supporting Bible studies and clothing distributions in women's prisons and shelters and the supply of personalized Bibles to women in prisons and shelters. Our guiding principle is “naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” ~ Matthew 25:36

Moreover, we encourage Christians to stop reading the Bible! And instead start studying the Bible!!

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou

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