I haven’t been writing here as much as I would like. I’m still writing…but just not here. I’m doing a graduate program for Prison Ministry and it’s my focus at the moment. Pray for me. My heart and life are both changing from this program. TGBTG.
…when I’m in prison. Yea, that sounds funny. I feel most free when I’m in prison. I experience Gods love and presence most when I’m in prison. Yes, this all sounds crazy. But, it’s true! When I write to an inmate, read a letter from an inmate, or sit and hug and laugh and share life with an inmate, I feel most alive. God has been breaking down barriers in my heart and mind and I see Jesus more clearly. I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that God loves us all the same and doesn’t identify us by our behavior. He loves us. He wants us. We can know him because of Jesus. The least of these have given me the most of Him. I wish I could write all the individual stories of how God is working. I want to share the details but I can’t. Maybe one day with the permission of my inmates, I can share their stories and how they have changed me without even realizing it. Maybe one day I can paint a different picture of them than the media around the country portrays them so that people may see we are not so different and Christ can bring hope to all of us no matter if we are in a prison behind bars or a prison of our own making. My heart is quite full tonight. I have times of sadness where I can’t get past the horror of what us humans are capable of and what I see up close, and then God reminds me that he has overcome it…all! Nothing about prison is easy (and im very glad i get to go home) but there is no place I would rather be thank sharing life with these precious people.
The God who sees me. My mind keeps running. I have so much to do. When is the last time I had a care free day? I don’t even know. El Roi sees me. He knows my name, my thoughts, my fears. He sees me. He wants me. He loves me. His eye is on the sparrow.
I haven’t written in a while. Frankly, I haven’t felt like writing. Over the past month in a half I’ve been to my doctor 4 times, the urologist twice and the ER four times. Many, many not fun tests and drugs later, I’m tired. A kidney stone and an out of whack back. Oh yea, and I moved two weeks ago. I’ve missed tons of work, have been harassed by my neighbor, missed church and bsf and haven’t been able to go to the prison in weeks.
I’m tired. My body is tired, my mind is tired.
As I look back at these hard weeks I just can’t help but think, wow I do not get it but God has been soooooooo good to me. From friends reminding me of scripture, driving me places, laughing, visiting, praying, putting up with txt messages while I was high as a kite in the hospital, I’m blessed. I have experienced God’s presence and have no idea how I’m gonna get things done for my class and how I will manage going back to work, but God is good and has sustained me when I have felt like this nonsense would never end. I’m still in pain, and tired, and dealing with a mean neighbor. None of this comes as a surprise to the Shepherd. One day at a time. His mercies are new each morning.
Well…I only lasted a few weeks back on Facebook when I realized I like my life better without it. So, I’m off…again. For a person who doesn’t like change, I sure change my mind a lot.
Life is very busy. Moving, work, prison, church, and now SCHOOL is taking up a lot of time. And I got set back with my two ER visits last week. It made me realize I just need to enjoy each day cause time goes by too fast and every moment can be used to glorify God. Even moments of rest.
Turning off the tv by 10 pm has been good this week. I like this new routine so I can read and listen to adventures in odyssey. However I do let myself watch celeb apprentice on Sunday nites. That goes til 11. Good old Gary Busey.
I’m thankful for where God has brought me and how he continues to change me. I love Jesus.
We have all seen the rather rapid shift on the issue of homosexuality in our culture. We have gone from nearly zero talk about it, to now, where we are constantly fed news on the matter from the media. After election day, we all heard about Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay senator ever elected. More recently, we have seen Senator Rob Portmann of Ohio reverse his stance of gay marriage as his son has come out of the closet as a homosexual.
This past week is over. I am glad. It’s was a doozy in many regards. It came to a boiling point when I went to my general doctor thinking she would give me an antibiotic for an infection I thought I had, and my doctor sent me to the ER with suspected appendicitis. I didn’t have time to process that I might have to have surgery. To make a long story short, all my tests came back clear and I was eventually sent home. I was more sick from all the junk they pumped thru my system. It was not a fun experience, but God reminded me his was are not mine and I have no idea what his plans are. I only see my own sliver of the puzzle. How am I going to pay these new medical bills? I have no idea. I must move forward being the person God has called me to be and doing what he has called me to do by stepping out in faith. It’s hard for me. But, I don’t see any other way of living being as great as this. There are other seemingly easier and def safer ways to live, but living in faith is a risk I am willing to take.
You should probably read the front page of the Detroit Free Press today! I am excited to be a very small part in what God is doing in the Michigan Corrections!
Another day of watching the Holy Spirit work behind bars. Four visits in about 6.5 hours. I’m going back tomorrow for one more. Different security levels have different visiting hours. Blessed with another mentee today. Not sure why God wants to keep entrusting people to me. I’m nothing but a mess saved by grace. I can be present and give them hope just by being with them. My quirky self.
You don’t cry in prison. Today, I saw tears. Three daughters around my age or a little older visiting their mother. Sobbing. Uncontrollable sobbing. I sat next to them waiting for one of my girls to come in and just stood up and walked to them and asked if I could pray for them. They cried with tear stained faces, gripping each others hands and looked at me with what could only be described as pure desperation and hopelessness…and cried YES!!! So I prayed…and prayed. I don’t even know if the words made sense but I know God heard our cry. I don’t know their names and I may never see them again. The waiting and waiting and waiting I do in prison has a purpose. When God puts people directly in front of me who are clearly in pain, I must obey him and share hope with them even if I don’t think I have anything to offer or don’t think I have anything profound to say.
Have mercy on me, a sinner, my Abba. I’m here…send me into prison. You will have to work thru me. May your Spirit go before me and fill me so I only share what you want to be hear. Don’t let me be a distraction.
Saturday, May 4,2013, 7:30am. Downtown Indianapolis. What is so special about this day? Why, it’s the 500 Festival mini marathon! The website (www.500festival.com) brags about being the nations largest half marathon. “From United States Olympian marathon runners, the arrival of international runners, to the family traditions, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon provides competition and camaraderie.”
Why does a Detroit girl care about this race? Obviously half marathons happen all the time…Well, this one is different. My mom and step dad are walking this race…I repeat, my mom and step dad are walking a half marathon that starts in 67 days 10 hours 26 min and 18….17….16…15 seconds.
Uhhhh yea. My mom, who we will call Lola, called me earlier to inform me of their decision. Of course I immediately died laughing because this is 2 months away and the thought of the parental units walking in a race for 3 hours when they haven’t even trained tickled me. Lola went on to explain that my step dad, we will call him Ellwood, decided they needed to do it because he has always wanted to go on the Indy 500 race track and kiss the bricks. So, Ellwood and Lola will be taking their camera phone with them and they will walk in the half marathon race to the Indy 500 race track and take Ellwood’s picture kissing the bricks and then get in their previously stashed vehicle and just go home. Oh and they will get their race shirts too that show that they did the race.
They are going to start training tomorrow and I decided I should track their progress. Maybe they will walk the whole race! Watch out Indy. Here come the Millers!
Ellwood and Lola, May the 4th be with you!