From Surviving to Living Blog & Podcast with Holly Bot

AUDIO 999 Years in Prison: The Incredible True Story of Coley Gates

AUDIO 999 Years in Prison: The Incredible True Story of Coley Gates

In this heartfelt episode of 'From Surviving to Living,' Coley Gates shares his incredible story. Once sentenced to 999 years in prison, Coley talks about his rough upbringing, and life of crime. Discover how his faith in God transformed his life behind bars, leading...

our podcast

/ serialized audiobook /

/ hybrid podcast /

1) a literary form that combines the concepts of a podcast and an audiobook

2) a podcast that splits out of its standard format for one to several episodes

I love listening to the From Surviving to Living podcast! I look forward to every new episode


the blook (blog)

/ (blʊk) /


1) a book published on a weblog in a series of installments

2) a printed book derived from a weblog

I was up until 2am reading your blog! Thank you for sharing, it is so meaningful!

Sarah From Surviving to Living Podcast

God is interested in you! My story is not fiction. I am a woman, a felon, a sex-offender; I did hard time. It was a living hell. I am so awed by Jesus I will risk reputation, everything, to tell you about my personal transformation for His glory. God changed me. He will do that for you, your family. I trust Him. I hope you do too!!

From Surviving to Living Studio

“What were you thinking? Why did you do that?”

My family asked me often after my arrest. They were mystified. Me too! At that time I had no answers.

Prison doesn’t change lives. People’s lives can be changed while incarcerated.My life didn’t end when I went to prison, it began while I was there.

Are you struggling to survive today? Are you sick of just moving from one day to the next?

How does one go from surviving to really, truly living?

When I entered prison I was unaware I needed to change. Change is possible.
Let me tell you how it happens…

Introduction: Get to know From Surviving to Living!

A brief note or two for first time visitors. First, welcome! I'm so glad to see you! Are you in need of rescue? Here is my rescue story. I share it because I know it can be your story too! It is my prayer that every post lead you one step closer in your walk with...

Chapter 26: Changing Rooms, Changing Lives

One afternoon in May 2017 as I sat in the prison dayroom, I noticed my coworker Sylvia being pushed in her wheelchair by her roommate. Sylvia’s hands trembled as she struggled to recall where she was. Her eyes looked lost and confused, searching the room for something...

Chapter 25: The Impossible: God can do anything!

In January 2017, I was still mourning the absence of Tim in my life. Graciously, God had moved my son Tom to begin speaking to me again. God always moved in the hearts of my children to keep at least one of them in my life. When one disappeared, another arrived again....

Chapter 24: Christmas and Love

“Upper A, upper A, come down for linen exchange,” the PA squawked. In my room, I watched TV and waited for my wing to be called. My linens – bed sheets and towels – sat folded at the end of my bed. Sometimes we received fluffy soft towels and new sheets. Usually, we...

Chapter 23: The Trial: Learning to Trust God

Standing in the dayroom I stared at the Memo of the Day. I’d read it three times and my heart sank. A prison-wide lockdown was scheduled for next week, the very day of the trial for my parental rights! Lockdowns during past court hearings had occasionally happened and...

Chapter 22: Journey Through Betrayal: Faith Tested in the Prison of Family Dysfunction

Filing into the prison visiting room with the rest of the ABE students, I found a seat and dropped into it. It was September 2016, and the quarterly education meeting was about to begin. The visiting room furniture had been re-arranged. Now blue plastic chairs faced a...

Chapter 21: Born Bad: Transforming Darkness into Light

“I was kicked out of Anthony.” I turned in my chair to see who was speaking. Vikki, one of the ABE students, was talking with the teacher, Ms. Shaibley. It was a Monday afternoon in August 2016 and the school day was nearly over. I’d been reviewing a kite to me from...

Chapter 20: “Passing” Summer: Surrendering To Obedience And Experiencing God

“Noel, do you have Tim’s newest phone number?” I asked my oldest son. I was concerned about Tim and felt certain additional support from family and friends would help. “I do,” Noel replied. “I have not called him lately though,” he added. I imagined Noel busy with his...

Chapter 19: Meeting Mr. Bot: A Journey of Unexpected Connections and Spiritual Growth

At my desk, I finished another letter to my children. Suddenly, movement was called over the P.A. system. I looked over at my clock radio to check the time. It was noon, time to pick up my canteen in the Core building. I did a quick scan of my room, which was clean...

Chapter 18: Projecting (Hope): The Journey Through Adversity and Faith

“Hi, It’s Holly! How are you?” I was reaching out to every family member, friend and organization I could remember, trying to find a place for Tim to live. It was May 2016 and 13-year-old Tim had been in foster care for a miserable 2 and half years.   So far,...

Chapter 17: LOVE & HATE

It was April 2016, and I'd spent the past three months trying to find a home in Minnesota for my son Tim. It was not going well. Tim, now age 13, seemed despondent. He'd spent the past 2 and a half years in a slew of foster and group homes in Washington, so many we'd...

From Surviving to Living


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