Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Event - Jail!

**Warning this is long...brace yourself***
I want to share with you something that I participated in this weekend. It is a prison ministry called Bill Glass Champions For Life. It was an unlikely and unlike any experience that I have ever been a part of. I love the Lord with all my being and I know that I need Him in a great way because I do fall short of the glory of God every day. I also know that my cup runeth over in so many area's of my life. This weekend confirmed all of that EVEN more. Leading up to this weekend I had lots of mixed emotions and fears and concerns and dreading it all along the way. On Monday night a sweet little lady named Ethel Duncan called me and was explaining the events of the weekend, as she was speaking all that I could think was I'm not going to go, I've over-extended myself and I just have to much going on to try and do something that will consume my Saturday. As this very thought was going through my mind sweet Ethel says the following "Satan is working hard against us. He is prowling around doing all that he can to stop us from doing God's work" and I stopped in my tracks and wondering if Ethel could read my mind and knowing that this is God speaking through Ethel directly to me. And Satan worked very hard: Justin was out of town this weekend, my house is a wreck STILL, I need to be running, I NEED to be with Collier, I haven't done my bible study and the list went on as to why I didn't NEED to be going into a jail to share the Word of God with these broken, sad, lost women. But, I trusted that God would just provide and arrange for everything to fall into place just as it needed and He did! I attended a training/prep event on Friday night that was sort of helpful but didn't completely set me at ease. I think that my biggest fear was what would THEY think of me! I knew that I would be safe and I knew that God would be the words, but I really was worried of how I would come across to them...I wanted to show love, compassion and understanding to the ladies to be sure that they didn't feel judged in any way but that ultimately that they would want to seek and know Jesus. I was with a friend through all of this and Friday night we were paired with a lady who has done this 24 times through the Bill Glass organization. She goes by Grandma Jane and is sixty something years old has white/gray hair cut in a short bob. She wore bluejeans, pink ball cap and a pink tie-dye looking shirt with a leather biker vest over her shirt. She carried her bible in one hand and her pink helmet in the other hand. Grandma Jane would be there with us every step of the way and would be sure we were comfortable speaking with the ladies. Believe it or not, I actually felt better after meeting her.

Saturday morning, I was up bright and early and my friend, Rachel and I arrived at the Jefferson County Jail house at 7am. Our Id's were checked and we were escorted to the basement with all of the other members to gather before being assigned to a block. Grandma Jane tracked us down and made sure we had everything we needed and we prayed before being escorted to the 5th floor of the Jail. We were then grouped in teams of 5 for each block. Door slides open and shuts will a loud thud to only confirm that we are securely locked in to this block with about 40 ladies staring at us. I suddenly realized that I CAN NOT understand. Grandma Jane took lead and had us all introduce ourselves and then we walked to each lady and meet her face to face. They all had on the same green and white stripes. We talked to many of them just getting to know a little about them allowing them to talk letting them know that we cared about what they have to say. We then had platform speakers who came in to share with them and all of the speakers for the day had been in their position from one time to another (all with horrible past and crimes and circumstances that about knocked me down) and how they have achieved and succeeded through the power of Jesus Christ. That Jesus gave them the strength to CHANGE their life. Most of these ladies have been Christians and know and believe in God - they have walked away from their relationship with Him. Some of them re-dedicated their life for Christ and what a blessing that it! some of them would say the words and you could just look in their eyes and not see any heart felt desire behind it. I pray that the seeds that were planted that they fell on soft soil and that these ladies will seek Him. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them and help them to CHANGE so that when they walk out that they will not return to what got them in there to begin with.

We left Jefferson County Jail at 3pm and I was almost speechless. I didn't know what to think about the day. Sadness would be the first emotion because most if not all of these ladies have children (or pregnant) who are cared for my a mom or ex-husband. Children need there mom's! The level of abuse and drugs and prostitution and anger and fear and regret and loneliness was all more than I could even begin to understand. I can not even try and relate to these women. A few of them asked if I had ever been in trouble and I asked what they meant by trouble? Ha. I knew what they meant! "have you ever been locked up or incarcerated?" well no "what kind of trouble have you been in?" just your normal mischievousness as a child....aka my dad had to spank me one time and that was the last time because I cried so much and it broke his heart! I snuck out of my house one time and got caught...I told them that really it doesn't matter what I or they have done that God does forgive! My sins are no less then their sins. As long as we repent and ask God for the forgiveness of our sins he will erase them - he throws them into the deepest end of the ocean! We are forgiven through Christ Jesus!

I was so glad to get home and have the afternoon with Collier. But with every minute that passed by fear began to build inside of me. Justin was out of town and I was scared all of a sudden of being home alone. I knew it was satan and I just kept thinking in my head satan get out and get away. Collier was needing to go down for a nap and Brinkley was barking outside and would not come inside and I was afraid to walk outside. I got her in and when I walked into the house I said it out loud JESUS PROTECT ME AND THIS HOUSE! I DECLARE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THAT SATAN, YOU GET OUT AND GET AWAY. JESUS FILL EVERY CORNER OF THIS HOUSE WITH YOUR PROTECTION AND YOUR PEACE! WITH ALL GLORY AND HONOR TO YOU JESUS. AMEN. Yall I suddenly was at peace and had a great rest of the night. I wasn't once fearful or on edge the rest of the night. Collier slept great and I slept great. Jesus has power over all!

I am thankful that I am free to worship and praise Jesus, God Almighty
I am thankful that I have a food full of food to my liking
I am thankful that I have a comfy bed and home
I am thankful that I can see my family every single day
I am thankful for privacy
I am thankful that I can exercise when and how I want to
I am thankful that I can dress in whatever I want and wear makeup every day (if I choose)
I am thankful that Jesus called my name and that I answered His call
I am thankful that I am forgiven of my sins - free from the bondage of sin
I am thankful for the love of God
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit's direction and the ability to communicate with our Heavenly Father
I am thankful to have eternal life in Christ!

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