"I get it".
Did you ever think that you and I would ever share such a similar story? As I stood in the rain, outside the jail, waiting to see you, all I could do was think of the many lines I had stood in over the years. This by far was the most important line I had ever chosen to stand in. While waiting for access, I realized that all the pain, suffering and crap that I went through in my life were the very reason I was able to stand in that line. Access was granted and through the hard plexiglas window our eyes met, I could hear you loud and clearly without you even uttering a sound. Shame seemed to be the expression written on your face and as our eyes locked, the words “I get it” rolled off my lips.
My friend, though the world could not see my bars they were their. I understand the guilt, shame, denial and the chaos that comes like a freight train when we are forced to look at ourselves. As permanent as those bars may seem at this very moment you must believe that they are the very thing that is protecting you from yourself. In praying today, the Lord reminded me of what Jesus had once said. “You must loose your life in order to save it.” It does not say how you must loose it, just that it must be lost in order to save it. You my friend, have been given an opportunity to do just that.
When I was in your position, sitting in my stuff, hundreds of miles away from my home, family and friends, I did not see hope, I did not see a new life being restored. I felt defeated, rejected and downright broken. I had no hope for my future but I knew deep down I could not return to my past, not if I wanted to live. I had to make a decision to believe and hope in those who had gone before me, those who had recovered from life, as they knew it.
Allow me to represent that hope you can have. My friend, you are not alone and you will never be alone. It is your choice though, to reach out, reach in, and find the strength that comes from believing in the gift of the Cross. The Cross-destroys guilt and shame. The Cross-is where restoration and recovery happens. The Cross was meant for people like you and me, whom the world considers foolish will be the very ones the Lord uses. The battle is in the mind and works its way to the flesh. That is why I urge you to make sure you start bathing yourself in the truth. Without the cross, our mistakes are paid through punishment but through the Cross, our life is walked out in consequences.
It is your choice, punishment or consequence. A punishment is a penalty that is imposed on somebody for wrongdoing but a consequence is something that follows as a result. Can you believe it? You are not penalized for what you have done in the eyes of the Lord, and you are not guilty! Remember, you are not what you did. You are a child of the King of King and you my friend have an inheritance just waiting to be grabbed. When I looked at you, I did not see a criminal, I saw a child of God with value, a person who was made in the image of our Creator and that is who you are.
I am finding that the greatest men in His Kingdom are the ones who have fallen the farthest and hardest. I know that God has big plans for you because He does not have favorites, so what He has given me, He wants to give to you. Plans of a hope and a future, plans to prosper you and not to bring you harm. I want you to remember this, when you find yourself scared and wanting to go back to what you know. Every word of God proves true, every. He defends all who come to Him for protection. He will take care of you. He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make His Kingdom your primary concern. He hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. He is close to the brokenhearted and He rescues those who are crushed in spirit. I will continue to pray for you and lift you up as God brings you through the fire and the ashes of your past so that you can dance with your future. I love you my friend to the sky and back.Praying for you daily