Writer, business woman, lay minister...mother, daughter, wife, friend...with a past and a future. This is my story. This is our story. This blog is the compilation of my experiences and the women I meet in the ministry. It is our gift to you.
*Names may be changed to preserve the confidentiality of the work we do. The facts of their experiences will not be altered. I hope to be honest, unbiased and clear; however, this blog is not a politically correct place. This blog will be used to glorify God, spread the Good News of the saving grace of Jesus Christ and to encourage other believers in their own walk.
Time is something we take for granted. I assume every morning that I will wake up to continue doing my doings. Arrogant, isn't it?
When I see that it's been since July for a new blog to post, I am amazed and wonder where the time has gone! Ridiculous. No excuses. Just ineffective use of my time!
You see, I spent a lot of time at Woodman State Jail in Gatesville, TX ministering to the women in our Faith Based Dorm. I spend a lot of time reading, sometimes studying; not enough time in the Word (and that's my confession to you!). I spend a lot of time with family, friends and crafting either at retreats or our monthly crops.
But I have failed to keep you informed with our ministry and most importantly sharing the many stories that I have promised you; stories that help us understand better "the least of these my brethren" that Jesus asks us to care for and love.
And it is the "least of these" I teach, meet with and share a good part of my week with as I go along. I have a dorm of 30-50 women who are hungry for a relationship with the Lord. I have challenges and difficulties each time I make the hour and fifteen minute trek up there. I counsel women on their faith walks, I counsel them on accepting their time inside, I counsel them on family problems including illnesses and deaths while they serve their time. And sometimes I just sit and listen as they talk.
It is in those times I am reminded of my time inside the walls that keep out the world. I remember having no one familiar to share my deepest pain with; the pain of losing custody of my sweet daughter and the heartbreak this brought to my son. I remember having to turn to a stranger; a clergy who would let me talk and who would ultimately allow me the security of a place to go when I had no where to go.
I am reminded that life outside those walls went on; I would call my father and he would not have time to talk because he was headed to dinner with his wife. I remember letters that didn't come. I remember my son moving to Houston just after his sister so he could keep close eye on her because he has always felt responsible for her. I remember knowing that life did go on and I was in a place where life became mail call, chow and tv schedules; but little else.
And I am reminded that Paul said "Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body." (Hebrews 13:3) for they are a part of the church.
I remember Jesus' words, "35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’" (Matthew 25:35-40)
But just because I find myself busy does not mean that the ladies I serve do not deserve to have their stories told and while I visit them at least twice a week almost every week, I am aware of them as individuals. I am aware of them as lives with stories. I am aware of them as women seeking, stumbling and getting back up, when sometimes their burdens and tears weigh them down.
So when I'm absent, know that I am with them. My story and theirs will be back as I put more time into this blog and others. I will share my heart and theirs. All I ask is that you pray for this ministry, me, and all the women we serve. We all need you to agree with us in prayer to our mighty God who hears our pleas and loves us all.
May the God of grace and mercy cover your life with His love.