If you have never read the three posts listed under the Personal tab on the right at the top of this blog, you may want to before proceeding. It will give you the background info you need.
Five years ago today my life fell apart. It wasn't without warning; I had been expecting it for nearly a month. But on March 21, 2007, a couple of Waycross city police officers stopped by my house and asked me to take a little ride with them. I had no way of knowing that the next 49 days were going to be the most miserable days of my life. I had put myself in a terrible situation through my own actions and sin. And now I had to live with it.
Those 49 days were also the beginning of a spiritual rebirth for me. While in that horrible place I discovered a new understanding of God's love and grace. I have read since that when we walk with Jesus there is nothing wrong with being in a low place- because grace flows downhill. I have written before that after so many years of teaching others about grace, it was not until I hit the bottom during those 49 days that I truly understoodd what grace is. I learned from my family, who responded with unimaginable compassion and grace. I learned it from God, who made it clear that His grace would be enough to get me through. And I learned it - sometimes in bizarre ways - from the people I met on the inside during those 49 days. It was quite an experience.
I was incarcerated for 7 weeks. For the next 7 Wednesdays I am going to share some stories of my time on the inside. Some will be stories of of faith. Some will be humorous. Some will just give you a little insight as to what my life was really like for those 49 days. I hope that these posts will speak to any of you who may be struggling with thinking that your sin is too big or too bad and that grace is not meant for you. It is my prayer that this will remind us all that God's love is not conditional. God is a God of second chances, and Jesus died for ALL of our sins. Amazing Grace indeed...
This blog is now a huge part of the new ministry God is growing in my life, and I hope my openness about my past in no way leads you to believe that I do not know that what I did was wrong and was significant. But as I seek to follow Christ, I am trying to adhere to the first rule of Italian driving as given in the totally forgotten movie Gumball Rally- "What's a behind me is a not important!" Or to use a far better source:
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:13-14
Come with me on this journey and discover the lavish, ridiculous, astounding and amazing grace that is available to all who walk with Jesus. I am so excited to share these stories with you.
Because of Jesus,