Meandering through life, self-destructive at best, I was sentenced to 5 years in prison. When I arrived at MCIW, my mind was under tremendous attack; I was bound by the defeatist perspective that I was hopeless and beyond reach. Belligerently sinful without remorse, I was convinced that my name was Sunshine until God began to speak to me. He showed me myself. He revealed that I wandered into the dark seeking validation, my self-esteem was so low. I looked at the ground when I spoke to other people as I felt inferior. I wanted a friend, someone who loved me for me, unbeknownst to the fact that I already have a friend that is closer than a brother Proverbs 18:24.
I remember God showing me what solitary confinement was about. Somehow the penal system found a way to make prison worse. If someone violated one of the rules, fought, stole, or any other offense great enough, they would be put in solitary confinement, also called lock. As a kitchen employee, I delivered meals there and I could hear the sorrowful misery that penetrated the cold brick walls. I also carried meals to the mental ward. Another place I did not want to find myself, the women remained locked in their cells for 18 hours a day or so. God gently advised that these were my choices if I did not shift my focus from the things of this world to Him.
“”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
I accepted God’s invitation to a better life. Instead of sitting in my cell all day, sulking over how unfair life was, I began to sing in the choir and attend bible studies within the institution. Another inmate introduced me to the Celebrate Recovery program. After a while, I started leading the initial worship segment of the service. As a condition of my parole, I had to learn a trade. I was taught how to repair computers. At this point, my faith reached heights that I did not know existed. I went to the library, obtaining all of the phone numbers for Computer Repair companies in my hometown. Against the advisement of my cellmate, in my letters, I honestly told the computer companies that I was in prison, possessed the ability to repair computers, and would be honored to work for them. Out of about 20 companies, one wrote back.
They offered me a job, while I was still incarcerated. On this day, seven years ago, I was released from prison. Actually, I was released from spiritual bondage before I exited the barbed wire gates. My mother and grandmother provided some real food and street clothes upon my release, as well as an abundance of love. Several weeks later, I began working for the computer repair company that hired me out of prison. I learned so much there. After being employed there for some time, I went to AACC and obtained my Associate’s degree in Human Services. I changed fields because I wanted to use my experiences and triumph over bondage to help others.
Flash forward seven years and I am diligently working on my Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. As a Service Coordinator, I coordinate community resources to vulnerable populations. In ministry, I facilitate Celebrate Recovery in the prison system, as well as driving the Church Van biweekly. I never thought that this level of freedom was possible. But with God nothing is impossible.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”” Mark 10:27
God blessed me with an awesome husband and a little man of the house. Something is different today, there is a burden in my heart like never before to see the manifestation of the promises of God. Jehovah Jireh has given me the vision to facilitate workshops to see the same transformational power of God manifested in the lives of others. With the use of writing prompts, I will use Christian Creative Writing to engage those who otherwise might not seek the Lord in a program that I created entitled “Editing Destiny”. Donations are needed to secure a meeting place, purchase supplies, and market the ministry. With the help of God and kind donations, this mission is possible. Boldly, I seek fiscal assistance in the name Jesus. This is outreach and evangelism through the arts. Your gift will bless many! Please see my GoFundMe page at the link below. I thank you in advance for your contribution to the work of the Lord!