Wednesday, June 30, 2010
My New Found Christmas - 1989
In July of 1988 I was arrested for selling LSD. I rededicated my life to the Lord just a few short days after and was baptized 5 days before going to jail. On December 8, 1988 I was sentenced to prison for drug trafficking. I spent 6 days in the county jail, and then was transferred to the women’s prison. At this point I was in “Admissions” for the first 4 weeks, or a place where I would wait to see where they would put me within the prison population. There were approximately 110 women in Admissions. Except for meals plus 15 minutes after and 1.5 hours after the evening meal I was locked in a 9X5 cell with 1 roommate. We all got just one phone call per month – mine was scheduled after Christmas. I would sit under the covers during the day with my coat on, with one hand out reading the Bible or writing letters due to the temperature in the cell. I read and studied the whole New Testament in that month, some chapters over and over again. A couple of days before Christmas they gave us a little bag with a candy cane and a couple of cookies in it, which was donated by some church. Christmas day was a day that started out like any other. I could really see no visible difference, or so I thought. They did allow us to be out of our rooms most of the afternoon after lunch. Everything was going about the same as any other day though, women playing cards and drawing. But this afternoon, they did have a special Christmas service in the chapel. Nearly everyone attended that day, which was very unusual. Crammed cheek to cheek in that tiny chapel we sang Christmas carols and the Chaplain gave a powerful sermon. As the tears started flowing around me, the Chaplain gave the call for those who wanted to, to raise their hands and repeat the sinner’s prayer to receive Jesus into their hearts. With head bowed, I peeked and looked around the chapel and saw that nearly every hand was raised. Two of my closest friends, one sitting on either side of me were sobbing as they repeated the prayer and you know it…I was sobbing right along with them. Not tears of sorrow because I was locked away from my family, but tears of joy because I had new sisters sitting all around me. After we returned to Admissions the whole mood had changed. Everyone was singing Christmas carols and other favorite hymns. God was truly there touching every one of us. It was the best Christmas I ever had! It’s not the presents or even family and a big dinner, it’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ Birthday -- the best gift of all!