Journey of Faith

Why am I the one crying?

I would consider myself a fairly strong person. I don’t cry easily, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sentimental or don’t care. When my friend received her determination from the parole board, I didn’t take it well at all. I didn’t want to come across as being ridiculous. My friend understood however because this was a trying time for both of us. When someone comes up for parole, it’s a delicate situation because you don’t want to go around bragging since there’s many who won’t get the chance or have a long time to do so. Those of us that would see parole sooner than later, tried to be supportive of each other. There were some long timers who were actually happy to see someone be paroled. I found that to be very admirable. When Jodie found out that she was denied, I not only was crying for her as well as what could soon be my own fate. It actually felt good to cry and to release that stress. I prayed every day and knew that the Lord was with me regardless. Some people may not understand when Christians say, “The Lord spoke to me”. The Bible makes several references to God speaking to us or how “his sheep hear his voice”. The first instance of this happening was when another Christian told me that during her prayer time, she was told that I was going home. I was a little skeptical because I wasn’t used to this type of thing. I often felt the Lord spoke to me, but not through someone else. I also didn’t want to hang my hat on something that someone else believed they heard. I am an avid reader of the Bible, but I also had begun reading books written by notable Christian authors on “prayer”. We had 2 Christian tv channels (TBN and HIllsong) that I had been seeing several preachers talking about prayer and how God gave us authority through prayer. I had already been faithful in my prayer life, but I started asking the Lord to please show me if or when I was going home. The Lord will speak to us many ways, but it seems to me that he speaks to me through dreams and confirmation. As the weeks/months went by I started having very vivid dreams. The first one, I was with my husband, and we were going into an office. I remember having to go in to sign paperwork for parole. We walked inside and the person handed me my paperwork and a t-shirt. The t-shirt read, “I’ve been paroled”. I prayed, “Lord, are you telling me something?” By this time, he knew how I operated. I needed more confirmation from him. I later found out why this is my nature. I’ll explain that at a later time. I would then go on to have several other dreams where I would be out shopping and realize that I was late for my parole appointment. One time, I was shopping and received a call saying I was late but told them no I was told to come on another day. they told me I was correct. This went on for quite a while. Finally, one night I went to bed and had the most profound dream I’ve ever had to this day. I was somewhere (don’t know where) and I was trying to buy an island. I had already paid a certain amount for it. I asked how much more I owed, and I was told I owed $.14. I only remembered this part of the dream, but it turned out to be the most important part. I woke up and prayed to the Lord to please reveal to me what this was supposed to mean. The day went on and I kept thinking about this crazy dream. Finally, like a lightning bolt I received a revelation. An Island is isolation. Remember John was on the Island of Patmos when God revealed the book of Revelation to him. He was incarcerated on this island. The next thing I thought about was that I owed, $.14. Owing is a debt. I decided to get out my calendar to see out of curiosity how much time I had remaining until my min date. My min date was 6/1/22. You could have blown me over with a feather when I counted it out and it was exactly 14 weeks from that date until my min date. So, by this point I had received numerous messages from the Lord that I was being paroled. As my time came to have my one on one, I knew I was physically prepared. I started preparing for this day from day 1 when I arrived. I started a file, keeping track of classes, my work records, I also completed a freedom plan, a mental health plan and any other item I felt was relevant. I even typed up a new resume and had my re-entry plan laid out for them to see that I was serious about going home and NOT coming back. I attended re-entry classes and had the agent leading the class read my inmate version statement to see if she recommended any changes. When you write this statement, they are comparing it to the one you gave when you first arrived as well as court statements. it was obvious that I was taking complete responsibility for my actions. I went in and wasn’t nervous. I treated it like a job interview. I spoke articulately and professionally. Yes Sir, no sir. He asked me what happened, and I told him exactly as I had written in my statement. We talked for a while and then he asked if I had anything I wanted to include to give to the board. (See this is why this step is important. It’s your time to show how much you have thought about what happened and how you plan to move forward). I gave them my freedom/re-entry plan, my inmate version, my resume, my mental health plan, I had a total of 24 certificates from various classes that I took. These were not only classes offered in house, but I also took correspondence courses. I used my time wisely while I was there. I had a complete listed of resources available to me once I was home, and I had 3 home plans. The only thing I could do then was wait until my appointment came to actually see the board. The waiting was hard.

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