Journey of Faith

Groundhog’s Day-or not?

Before I continue with my story from the last post, I want to share some other funny stories with you. So, on 06/16/19 my oldest son came to visit with me. In county there’s no contact visits. It’s just like you see on tv, where I’m on one side of the glass and he’s on the other. We talk using a phone. During the visits apparently another girl was scene on the cameras trying to pass something through a hole in the glass. Later that day, one of the officers came to the dorm to get me since I was there at the same time. She wanted to question me and see if I knew/saw anything. We walked to the visiting room together and the door closed behind us. Normally, precautions are taking when an inmate is with a guard, however most of the staff remembered me from before and knew I was of no risk whatsoever. Most in fact thought me being there wasn’t the correct punishment, but there I was. When we went to leave, here the door locked, and she didn’t have her key. So, I’m locked in a room with a guard. She says to me, “now I need to call my supervisor and explain how/why I’m locked in a room with an inmate”. The supervisor shows up to let us out, comes around the corner and is laughing at us. The supervisor says, “you didn’t tell me you were in there with Tierney.” She let us out and after a good chuckle I returned to my dorm. In August before I was transferred upstate, I saw something no one should have to witness. A group of us were waiting to be escorted back from church to our dorm. A girl was in a holding cell and wasn’t being cooperative. A call was made and the extraction team showed up. It was 5 staff members who extracted her. Her screaming was insane. She fought and they ended up placing her in a chair restraint. Had she cooperated, none of this wouldn’t needed to take place. It was heart wrenching to watch. The guards weren’t forceful. I just hoped to never have to see that again! I’m only sharing this because I don’t want you to think every day was a walk in the park. It wasn’t. I learned however that it was what you made it. Cooperate, follow the rules, mind your own business and things should be ok. One of the final pieces of mail that I received before going upstate was from a lady I never met and didn’t know at all. She wrote me a letter explaining that she didn’t personally know me but followed my story though the news. It was honestly sent to me by the Lord, because it was beginning of my healing and forgiveness. (She was actually an author for Children’s books.) She let me know that a lot of people were supportive of me and felt I shouldn’t have been punished so severely. Just to hear that from someone I never met, allowed me to just cry. I sat with Brandi and Angie and just cried my eyes out. A release that was way overdue. I get it, you’re wondering about Brandi and what happened next. Well, a young lady came into the jail that I recognized from before. She remembered me being nice to her and how I read my Bible. She came to me one day and started asking me questions about God. She did this here and there and Brandi kept coming over telling me, “She’s a lost cause, she’ll forgot all this when she leaves here, you’re wasting your time”. I said, “look, the Lord is sending her to me for a reason. I need to at least talk to her and if she doesn’t listen now then later it might save her life”. My job is to be obedient to the Lord. I sat with her and one of things I asked her to do was to read Galatians and Ephesians and come back to talk. I felt that this was where the Lord was leading me to send her. Most of the questions that she was asking me was about getting right with God and some sexual immorality issues. She was concerned that she was so far gone in sin that God wouldn’t take her back. I explained that iwe’re being changed, but we still sin. Paul explains how the Holy Spirit works in us to battle our sinful desires. It’s in Galatians that we find the fruit of the Spirit (Ga 5:22–23). That doesn’t give us a free ticket to keep sinning recklessly, however. Ephesians 2:8-10: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We have to shield ourselves from spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:10-11: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” I explained that that means staying in God’s word and in his presence at all times. Remember when I talked to you before about being baby Christians? The book of Ephesians pretty much sums up this concept. First, as followers of Christ, we must fully understand who God declares us to be. We must also become grounded in the knowledge of God’s accomplishment for all humanity. Next, our present existence and walk must become exercised and strengthened. This must continue until we no longer totter or stagger back and forth. While my conversation with his young lady wasn’t only based on her readings, the Holy Spirit led me into a conversation with her that it could have only come from the Lord himself. I walked away from that conversation knowing that those words didn’t come to me on their own. I can’t recall the exact words to spoke to her, but I remember taking to her about forgiveness. She had lost her mother fairly young and recently had lost her fiancé. Neither of them she had a chance to say goodbye to. She was living with that guilt and pain for a long time. One thing I learned while spending time with addicts is a lot of their addiction was to self-medicate pain. Emotional or physical pain. I asked her if she could write a letter to each of them. Tell them exactly what it is that she would want to tell them if she had the chance. I said she didn’t have to share it with anyone else. I said then I would read it to them when she was alone. She said she thought she’d like to go to the cemetery to read it. I said that’s up to her. Next, I told her once she reads it, to then burn or tear up the letter. I said once she does this to then give it to God. She can’t keep living in the past, it’s not what they would want for her. It’s not what God wants for her either. This conversation was so profound, it stays with me to this day. It seemed to affect her positively, but whether or not she did what we talked about-only God knows. I never saw her again. I was transferred upstate on 8/30/99.