Blog

How Writing To Inmates Actually Changed Me

My sister is incarcerated until September unless a bed opens up somewhere for her (please pray on that). Well a couple of months ago I told her to ask if anyone there needed a pen pal. It is an all women’s facility and I prayed God would lead me to people to write. I didn’t want to judge but I wanted to err on the side of caution about who I wrote to. This isn’t to boast like “Hey, look at me! I do something good!” This is because it has turned out in ways I didn’t expect and I wanted to share.

So she found one woman who wanted someone to talk to who has no support right now and someone she has gotten to know there. Then she found a second person who she actually knows on the outside as well. Both are Christians and attend worship services there as well. They will be in a bit longer than my sister, but I don’t mind writing as long as God wills.

So these woman were all excited to have someone write to them and share their stories with. My intentions were to be there for people who felt alone and encourage them in the Lord. I even told my sister…. look for the people who don’t have support. Those are the ones I am led to write. It wasn’t to be some hero or fix them or change them, just give them encouragement. Letters and pictures can mean so much to someone who is incarcerated.

They have shared themselves with me and we relate so much despite our different situations. I can literally sense the emotion behind the letters from them. I set out on this journey expecting to help others and in turn, this experience, God, and these girls are helping me. I can see the prayers they pray for me helping. I can see them writing more about God and opening up more as I am doing with them as well. And I let them know they are helping me too and God can use them anywhere.

I find myself much more empathetic and realizing we are all people and we all make mistakes. Some lead us down roads we wish we never had to travel which may include incarceration however, we are never out of God’s grasp if we trust in Him and obey and repent. If we believe Jesus died and rose for our sins and ascended into Heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

So my sister and the girls get excited for letters and guess what? Now I do too. It is a pleasure writing to such deep and thoughtful women who want to do right. God knows more than me and I do understand I must be cautious, but I am always wanting to be prayerful for these women and I would love it if you could say at least one prayer for them too. They have good hearts, they messed up but there is still hope and I think more people in prisons and jails…and all over the world, need to know this. Not so we just willfully sin as in “Oh God will forgive me so I will do whatever I want.” No, that is not what I mean. I mean that God can use us anywhere, heal us anytime, answer our prayers, and give us faith anywhere and anytime. He can literally do anything. I may have some pretty crummy moments but I believe this with all of my heart because He helps me to believe, not of my own doing.

So please take some time if you can not to sound bossy, but maybe to pray for the incarcerated because no one is too far gone from the Lord….ever.

jesus

Trying to press on…

I woke up with a bad headache and earache. I cannot get back to sleep. It is 6am. I have a sinus infection, fluid in my ears, and a stye that no matter what I do, just won’t budge. I am on a slew of medications for all of this as well as waiting for results for some blood work (mostly for vitamin D and white blood cell count, few other things).

I…feel…awful. On top of that, I just got over my monthly friend and am trying to move on from things of the past in regards to family situations. I feel discouraged to be honest. I feel like I could cry but then all of this pain I have from being sick would just get worse. I feel like I don’t know what to do.

Even though I feel all of this stuff, I am trying to press on with the help of the Lord. My feelings and sicknesses are fleeting and Heaven awaits us where everything is perfect. I am thinking about this while reading from my prayer books and Bible verses. But I still am human and I struggle so much to just let go sometimes. It doesn’t do any good to keep looking back over things I cannot change yet I do it anyway. I wake up from dreams where things in my family are way better and then am saddened that they were just that, dreams.

This is probably all over the place and I apologize to anyone reading this. I just feel lousy but need to remember God and His love and truth that never change. Help me, Lord and help everyone else too.

Mother’s Day

I hope everyone has a most blessed Mother’s Day in the Lord, Jesus Christ. This day brings up a lot of pain for me. I honestly don’t like Mother’s Day and feel like my mom would easily forget me if not for the effort I try to put into our awkward relationship.

I hurt emotionally and I also miss the cats I was a mama to. But God can heal and everything will be okay. I just need God to look into my heart and just help me and those who struggle with Mother’s Day too.

I always wanted a healthy family dynamic and we all have issues, every family does. I just had to learn a long time ago to let go of that yearning for my mom’s love and seek the Lord.

I just felt like writing I guess.God bless all of the mothers and even those who struggle with this day.

Holy Week

I am very excited for Holy Week! Unfortunately, I am quite ill however, I believe God is using this to draw me nearer to Him. I would like to immerse myself in Him and focus on the sacrifice of His son Jesus for our sins. No greater gift is there than this.

I also am excited for what God has been doing putting me in touch with certain family members. I truly hope this is blessed and am grateful for answered prayers.

My sister is still back in prison but I am thankful for the chance to talk to her when I do. I am a bit worried about her but am praying and hoping she will call tonight. My husband and I have been writing to her and put a little money on her phone account so she can call. She is going through a tough time right now so if anyone sees this, please pray for her as well as my family.

I will be going to the doctor tomorrow and even if I cannot get to church this week, I still want to celebrate. Without the forgiveness of Christ, we are nothing. I am so grateful for this and also the opportunity to share this with others to the best of my ability.

I just wanted to say that I hope everyone has a blessed Holy Week and no matter what is going on in your life that you are able to have that alone time in the Lord. It really is a beautiful thing and helpful to our relationship with Him.

God bless everyone!

Premarital Sex

As many people know, this is the season of Lent. Usually God puts something on my heart during Lent and this year something so profound has been on my heart I ended up wanting to share it. I will try to make this a friendly read for all ages but am going to be completely real about what I am about to say.

Lent is a time to dwell on the awfulness of our sin and also God’s wonderful forgiveness. If it were not for Jesus dying on the cross, we would not have true love and forgiveness at all. One of my huge past sins that God has forgiven me for is premarital sex. I am so thankful for this and for Him making me new, but it sure has come with baggage at times.

I engaged in this activity having come from a rough childhood and already having PTSD from other events. I let men use me thinking I was worth nothing, not knowing my worth was in Christ… and even then it still took awhile to stop.

I had low self-esteem, I did drugs and drank, I dressed immodestly. I just didn’t care. I felt unloved in the world and thought that the only way to be accepted was to be used. I learned to turn my brain off during the encounters, yet cried afterward feeling so dirty and sad. It wasn’t making me feel loved or better, it only made me feel worse.

People may engage in premarital sex for a myriad of reasons. Maybe they are struggling to feel loved. Maybe they are trying to make ends meet. Maybe they just don’t see anything wrong with it or justify their behavior. I mean, everyone who does this can have different reasons but the bottom line is God’s word never changes. The world may change, the devil may influence us in ways and a lot more sin is becoming “accepted”. But sin is sin and it doesn’t matter why you do it, God wants His best for you and for you not to do it.

I am now married for a little over a year and a half and what I am about to share is hard for me to but it has to be said. My previous actions have certainly affected my intimacy and marriage. I am not going to sugar coat this. I am forgiven in Christ, yes I turned from the sin but there are consequences.

My PTSD grew worse from having premarital sex. Even with counseling (Christian and non-Christian), I have still struggled at times in this area. I can barely stand to see a kiss on a tv show or movies without feeling triggered. (My husband and I do not have cable and barely watch anything but news, thank God!) When I hear of sexual assault I am reminded of times I was assaulted. I have nightmares sometimes and panic attacks.

God is healing me and I have come a long way, but I will always need the Lord to mold me and help me.

I know some people don’t have sex willingly or are assaulted. I have been assaulted as well. But I really want people to know, if you are having premarital sex… seek God. Don’t do it. This is coming from someone who has been affected by it in so many ways. You are not doomed forever, you can be forgiven and find healing however, the longer you carry on with it, the harder it can be to heal from.

Jesus loves us, our worth is in him. If you have peace and are engaging in this, it is not of God, it is the devil in my opinion. Pray for conviction.

God wants His best for us, for you, for everyone. He can make us new. But we have to truly acknowledge the sin and give it to the Lord and pray for deliverance, maybe even ask others to pray. (My pastors I have had have been asked by me a ton of times to pray lol but never once complained).

If there are situations leading to premarital sex and temptation to do so, examine what they are. Certain movies, television shows, even music believe it or not, can influence us as well. The devil will use anything.

I am not writing this to judge others. I am not perfect at all and now whoever may read this, knows that even more. I am writing this because I have been affected and regret my past. It has deeply affected me and while I am improving as I said, I don’t want others to have to endure this.

I am so thankful for Jesus dying for our sins. I am grateful to have been delivered from that sin however, I am not sinless and never will be until Heaven.

If you are struggling with this, or any sin…I encourage you to pray and read the Bible. Ask others to pray. If you are struggling to see any sin in your life, pray about that too because the Spirit will convict you so you can become more Christlike.

May everyone have a most blessed Lenten season in our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

 

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:16

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”- 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”- Psalm 51:17

 

“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

 

 

Prozac and Prayer

So I had my psychiatric appointment last Wednesday and it went well. The woman I saw is a Christian and it was great to be able to talk about that intertwined with my treatment because Jesus is the biggest part of my life. I don’t always show it and I sin a lot but I really do love Jesus because He loved me first.

So anyhow my Prozac is increased and everything else is staying the same. The higher dose has me feeling better at times and quite uneasy at others. I am having more nightmares and weird dreams waking up feeling like I am going to die (okay not literally but it does get hard to breathe).

I am working on reminding myself that adjusting to this medication in the first place last year brought some challenging times but then once it kicked in, it was great. So this is quite normal for me.

I feel bad though because at church last night I struggled at times with heightened anxiety from the dose and tried really hard to pay attention to the sermon and not my heart racing. But I am glad we went and am looking forward to Ash Wednesday coming up.

I am praying a lot for God’s will with this medication as well as the rest of my life but waiting in general can be hard…for anything. So I try to meditate on the Bible and His promises and all He has done for me none of which I deserve and I know that soon, whatever His will is..will be done.

I have to be honest, sometimes I find myself wishing I was someone else with like a different past. Perhaps nurturing parents, having a driver’s license, no abuse of any kind but God uses all of us in different ways and I feel like God reaffirmed this at the service last night. No matter how broken I am, no matter what mental illnesses I struggle with.. God can still use me.

For now, it will be prayer and filling eggs for the church hunt on Easter. But honestly…sometimes I  hope it will be more, and maybe it will be. But for now… whatever I do is for God… PTSD and all.