Early in life, I lost track of my identity and who I was. The day I became the victim I began to push everyone away, and my school grades suffered. I was afraid and did not know where to turn for help.
I did not trust anyone, not even myself or my family. I hated everyone, including myself. I became paranoid, vengeful, and vindictive. I could not find a job, or keep one when I did. I continually failed at meaningful and healthy relationships. I felt abandoned and alone. Nobody wanted anything to do with me. I hated God, and I curse Him and threatened Him. I asked myself, “Where was He when I needed Him the most?” He did not care! As far as He was concerned, I was a nobody.
My life quickly went downhill. I have spent nearly forty years in prison on a life sentence. I have seen things most people wouldn’t understand, nor would they want to. If you want to understand overwhelming fear, step into a maximum-security prison, hear that steel gate slam shut behind you, and know that this has become your new home. Then walk down a long range of cells hearing comments like “fresh fish” or “fresh meat.” I began to lose track of the number of bodies that were wheeled past my cell door. Then there were the screams and the crying late at night. You begin to realize that this is your future, you have little control over your life, and that you’ve hit rock bottom.
Thanks to the minister, things started to change. I finally came to the realization that God has not abandoned me, and loves me. The Holy Spirit started to speak to me. “Don’t do that; this is wrong.” As a result, my life started changing.
Today, I believe in God’s Word and the promises He has made to all of us. I have an intimate and personal relationship with Him. He teaches me and guides me and in Him I trust. I am no longer afraid, alone, or angry. I no longer fear waking up in the morning. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities each day brings.
Even though I am locked up in prison, I am spiritually free. Maybe, if it’s God’s will, I will receive a conditional release one day. This I will leave in God’s hands.
For those who believe they are alone, remember the poem, “Footprints.” This poem showed me that I am never alone, and that none of us are. God is always with us, and when we are too weak and weary, He carries us. God always provides the tools we need; we just have to consistently use them during our trials and tribulations. We need to count our blessings and cling to God’s promises.
This student’s name has been changed for his privacy. Photo by Roman Kraft on Unplash.