“Five Years: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun”
Five years ago today, at 11:55 AM CST, I ground my last cigarette under my foot in the parking lot of the Federal Correctional Institution at Oakdale, LA. With understandable trepidation, I walked through the front door saying goodbye to a life I was anxious to leave behind.
While the trepidation I felt was real, so was the hope I felt in my heart. A hope that I believe was put there by God as I embarked on a journey not of imprisonment, but freedom.
Yes. I walked into prison to become truly free for the first time in my life, and the past 5 years have been the most wonderful years of my life, I have never felt freer, and, yes, I spent 4 years and 2 months of that 5 years in federal prison.
It was the most negative of circumstances that predicated my imprisonment, but building a relationship with God gave me the strength, courage, and determination to allow God to produce the most positive of outcomes. I do not want to go back, but I am eternally grateful to God that I went.
God is indescribably amazing in the things He can do in us and for us if we only see our way clear to trust Him no matter what we may be facing. For more evidence of God’s work in my life, please check out The After-Oakdale Chronicles.
I miss the men I left behind, and I pray each one of them connects with God in a truly profound way and leans heavily upon Him when it is their turn to walk through the gates of the prison. Perhaps they will get a chance to read these words of “Thanks, guys!” for those things they provided me with while I was there. Prison is not the best place to make friends, but I made the best of friends there.
Thank you, God, for giving me new life to serve you, praise you, and to glorify your Holy name.
May God bless you all and keep you and yours safe from harm.