Testimony Of An Incarcerated Brother

My testimony is like so many other behind these walls. Some even in society could identify with our testimonies. We all have our weaknesses, challenges & failures. We all have gone astray much like the prodigal son. Though our stories stem from the same source of chaos known as the devil and his lies, our stories are yet unique. Our stories are success stories in a seemingly story of one failure after the next. I write this as a man who has nothing to boast of or to be proud of other then that of God.

I killed a man who was a friend of mine at the age of sixteen. The story is that I was told by a thirty-six year old man to go out and kill someone for gang rank. Though it came out that I was not a gang member, the story I suppose still sticks. Everyone ( including myself) would have never believed that I would shoot someone, My case was an accident. Nevertheless that was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Though I know that I am a new creature in Christ, I still have a hard time forgiving myself for what I have done, the pain I have caused to so many others, The ending of another’s dreams and hopes. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy. Christ had to suffer endless hours of beatings and pain to bring forgiveness to mankind.

As a child I had always prayed and talked with God as if he were right in front of me. Sometime along the path of childhood I found a false sense of independence. I began to think I knew best. The greatest thing I lost in growing up was my sense of dependence on God. Such as when a storm came I would seek God to keep us all safe. When I got older I no longer paid much attention to the storm. As a man I now am relearning to have that dependence on God once again.

I grew up in a military family. We moved constantly. I have no childhood friends because of our constant movement. Each time I would have to readjust, seek ways to fit in. I wanted popularity, acceptance, etc that eventually led to doing drugs, going to crazy parties, stealing cars, all just to fit in, to be held in high esteem by my peers. My parents were both in the medical field, Because of their long hours of work I had a lot of free time I would make bad use of such times, I would throw parties or go out and do whatever, I had never officially been in trouble before with the law, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t do stuff to go to jail before hand. I was a stupid, stupid teenager. I look back in disgust on my past, I had so much promise and threw it all away. But even if I had succeeded and I didn’t know God I was still doomed anyway.

I didn’t immediately come to God after being locked up because I was so resentful at God. When I shot the gun that terrible night I was in a car when I did it. I got out of the car and got into another car with a couple of girls. One of the girls asked” what happened back there, I think someone got shot”. I began to cry, pray and beg that no one would be hurt. I got home and my mother told me that some friends of mine came over and said that a friend of mine just got shot. I was later arrested and while in county jail waiting for trial I begged God for a chance to get out one day or to give me the death penalty, anything but life without parole. I received life without parole. I wanted to die, I began to cuss God and declare my great hate for Him. I begged for death over and over again. I began to learn witchcraft and Alister Crowley’s version of Satanism. ‘persecuted Christians in here. I would call them names and talk about how stupid they were. I began to study evolution so that I could use that to show that God didn’t make us. I would also educate myself in psychotherapy (Sigmund Freud) to challenge these Christians. I hated God so much. Then one day someone told me that I didn’t hate God, I laughed, He said” you would be glad to be hit by a bold of lightening as long as you know God was listening to you”. He further said that I just want to know if God ever heard me or cared for me. When I laid down that night I knew he was right. I was like a child who blamed his parents for every thing that was going wrong in fife and I threw a temper tantrum just the same. The truth was that I wanted God in my life but I was too afraid because I didn’t know if I could depend on Him. If I could trust him. I had to learn to forgive myself and I had to learn to forgive Him. I know that sounds strange but I did. Since then it has been a constantly developing relationship. It’s a love affair. I have fallen in love with Him. I am no longer bitter or extremely resentful toward myself. As I have said I am still in the process of forgiving myself for my crime. I have a sense of purpose and hope in my life. I finally have direction. Where there is lack of vision the people will surely perish. Also I have had to learn to stop being so selfish. I still struggle here, but I was privileged to be able to work on hospice for a long time and give back to life. I watched many men wither away and die in here. It is a sad thing to watch men die in here. But I am grateful to have been able to take care of them before they did die.

I have learned in my few years in life that dependence on God is the greatest of gifts we receive, where we have a daddy who is so intimate, so caring that He wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives. We become like children who before we do anything we look to make sure daddy is there to protect us and watch over us, to provide us with all that we need. He has taken good care of me since my incarceration. A sixteen year old in prison has no chance. He has protected me from men who have tried to kill me and much, much more. Then He gave me a great gift in being able to play music for Him. I have always loved music. I used to play a little when I was a kid, but smoking pot caused me to stop. Loving God caused me to play. God is a blessing and He loves to bless. I am still growing in Him, I’m sure it’s a lifetime process. What I find ironic is that it is actually a fun process. I conclude by saying thank you God for second and third chances, for never giving up on me and loving me even when I didn’t love myself.

12 thoughts on “Testimony Of An Incarcerated Brother

  1. You have a beautiful story. You’ve gone through a lot of pain, anger, rebellion and confusion, but Jesus has redeemed your story and your life. I thought of Paul the apostle as I read your words. Thank you for sharing! Would you explain your thought process for forgiving God? I’m interested in hearing it.

    1. Thank you for your comment! This is actually a testimony of one of the men that is incarcerated at the facility that I serve at. There are many other great testimonies from men behind bars that society has condemned.

      Could you please elaborate on your question about the process for forgiving God

      1. It’s my belief that for forgiveness to take place, someone else first did something wrong towards the individual able to give forgiveness. This wrong isn’t just an offense, but it’s a sin… by biblical standards. God is perfect and hasn’t sinned, thus no one is able (or needs) to forgive God. He’s never done wrong.

        I wonder at other people’s belief that they can forgive God. My guess is it’s more of letting go of resentment toward God that they’re speaking of. One can be resentful against someone who’s done no wrong, and that is an emotion that should be rid of as soon as possible… though I do find it understandable that people sometimes feel this way.

        1. Thank you for your comment! I would agree completely. I believe what the guy in this testimony was struggling with ultimately was resenting God. He blamed God for all the bad in his life and resented Him for allowing it. But God never has, cannot, and never will sin against us. Nothing He does is wrong or misguided or ill-informed or unwise or unloving. That doesn’t mean we will always see it that way! We often think that God has missed a step or failed us in some way, but He hasn’t. I realize that people who are deeply hurting and are immersed in confusion such as this man was, can easily fall into the trap of thinking that God has wronged them, which is wrong. We as Christians need to grow and deepen in our belief that God is worthy of our trust, even when life is falling apart, that God is good and can never do us wrong even when everyone else seems to take advantage of us.

  2. Like you I have been there, done that. I spent 15 years of my life in prison. However, by the grace of God, I got out and have been free for the past 14 years now without so much as even having a traffic ticket. I spent most of my incarcerated life studying the bible and letting God teach and show me where I went wrong and how to fix it. God told me just before I got out – “I will restore unto you the years that the cankerworm hath eaten.” – Joel 2:25 I hung on to that verse, and God has kept HIS promise! He has literally restored back to me everything I have lost and then some, and He is still restoring back to me to this day! I just wanted to let you know that You Are Not Alone! Great post!

    1. Thank you for your comment. This is the testimony of a current incarcerated brother inside the correctional facility that I serve as a Chaplain. I have actually never been incarcerated. I am encouraged by your testimony and how God has worked in your life.

      1. Being a Chaplain in a correctional facility is a tough job. I know all the challenges you have faced and the things you have been through. I admire your courage and faith. Rest assured that if a prisoner truly seeks God in there, that God will turn his or her life around. I am living proof of it. I have said it time and time again, that if a prisoner will pick up a bible and find out who they are, what they have, and what they can do in Christ and then ACT on it, God will change their lives in ways they never thought possible. When they get tired of being tired, they need to seek out their Chaplan, let him lead them to Christ, and pick up a bible and let God show them how he now sees them. It works 100% of the time. God bless you!

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