Sometimes, I’m struck with inspiration when at the jail ministry that surprises even me. There are those women who challenge us — they don’t want to drop the facade or let anyone in.
One of the things I tell them is that maybe, just maybe, their circumstances, while not ideal (nobody wants to be in jail) may actually be saving their lives. Many heroin addictions are finally ended in the morgue. These women may still be able to get help by going to jail instead of losing their lives to addiction.
You see, I’m just naive enough to believe Romans 8:28, that God will work all things to our good if we trust HIm and Jeremiah 29:11 — that regardless of the trials we endure, God has plans to prosper us and give us a future! Yes, I’m really just that naive. Even a stay in jail can become a pivotal event that turns one’s life around.
It’s possible God loves them enough to bring them there to get their attention. One lady challenged my position tonight.
She (respectfully, but with conviction) said, “I don’t mean to be a smart alec, really I don’t, but it will sound that way. I don’t believe God had anything to do with bringing me here. I believe it was my own stupid choices that landed me here. Not God.”
I told her I actually admire her for assuming the responsibility for her poor choices, but explained that I do still believe in the hand of Providence.
I continued, “Maybe you’re right. But YOUR choices didn’t bring ME here.”
She just smiled.
You see, I know darn well that God sent me there and who knows but that it was for JUST a time as this? I hope that when she gets out I will have a chance to help her turn her life around. I hope that some day, she says, “well, if I didn’t go to jail, I wouldn’t have met Stacy.”
And I hope she sees that as a good thing!