Photo by Tracey Lewis

Photo by Tracey Lewis

Her hands were clinging to mine as we prayed; the contrast in skin color was a treat to see. After the word amen was spoken she didn’t let go; I looked up at her sweet face and tears dropped from her eyes. It was like we never wanted to stop talking to the Lord; it was a comfortable place to be. She had been waiting a long time to have the kind of peace Jesus was giving her at this moment. She confessed to me the obsession she had with men, and how her whole life has consisted of taking control of every situation. Her first experience was when she was 10 years old and being a mom to her little brother while her mom was passed out. How was she now going to relinquish control to Jesus Christ? It hasn’t been an easy road for her, she admits to messing up while out on the streets, but this time in jail has made a difference. She was asking for prayer and trusting God for a chance to prove God is doing it this time. I am really proud of her.

Sometimes I wonder why these ladies ask to talk if they don’t have some kind of major catastrophe going on, but the next lady blew my mind. All she did for 40 minutes is praise the Lord. Everything that came out of her mouth was praise somehow to God. She is facing potential life in prison and she gets news that her lawyer is no longer working for her; she says,” God will provide one when He is ready. I am not worried about it.” She was so caught up in telling me how good the Lord is to her, she told me again about the day she got saved. She wasn’t looking for God, but He spoke to her while she was in isolation and she believed Him. She has not been the same since then.

Once you have been in and out of jail a few times as an offender, you tend to know the ropes. This next lady was just this person. She is no stranger to jail and the life it provides on the inside. She told me, through tears that she keeps to herself these days so she doesn’t get wrapped up in the drama. She told me she had been crying because right before I came to get her, she was listening to Jason Crabb and the Crabb Family. “I just love him, he makes me cry tears of joy, “she said. Tammy Strader joins us about this time and she reveals to the both of us how good her husband has been to her after all she has put him through. She used to be so determined to get high, she would wait until he went to the bathroom or went to lie down, and she would sneak out and be gone for days. One time she opened the car door as they were driving down the highway and jumped out as soon as he slowed down. She ran across the median and put out her thumb and got a ride with a trucker who was heading toward Nashville. He later found out where she was and brought her home. To hear her tell it, he would do it again if he had to. He says to her, “you are my wife and I will always stick by you.” She sits in jail today and he is faithful to visit and bring her things she needs. What a precious picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and His love for us. She is going to do things differently when she gets out and she tells us in detail what they will be. It’s about trusting Jesus and knowing we can’t do it. We were never designed to live the Christian life. Because Christ is the only one who can. He lives in us and He lives His life through us as we express him.

Carla, Tammy and I spoke of the same theme throughout the night. Joyce said, as well, come to me (Jesus) all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. He is going to trade with you; like He did on the cross. He took our sin and gave us His righteousness. The picture God gave Joyce about the yoke was being handcuffed to another person and having to go everywhere they go but we are the ones with the other handcuff in our hand.

It always amazes me that none of us talk to each other during the week; yet, we come together in the name of the Lord, and speak the same Word, three different ways with three different people. That proves God is real and He is up to something.

Written by Tracey


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