He is making perfect sense out of a perfectly senseless, messed up life!

Friday, January 7, 2011

UNFORGIVENESS/FORGIVENESS

*Deuteronomy 3:22 “You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.”

I learned countless lessons while in prison for 16 months. This is an account of just one of them. I’d first like to give you a small explanation of why I have not shared this in the past. I saw this as such an extreme explanation that I didn’t want anyone to take it the wrong way. I feared that people would think that if you offer up forgiveness to someone therefore releasing them into God’s hands that God would just get ‘em! Then I believe the Lord, this morning, reminded me of different instances in the Bible when God’s wrath was so much worse than this that I am about to share, but there are times where nothing is explained or it does no more than render us forgiven (although extremely necessary). *Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

I worked in the cafeteria for several months while I was there. I had a job working in what they called the butcher shop. It was merely called that because it was a room where we were allowed to have knives due to preparation of salads, potatoes, etc… Since most of what we prepared was cold dishes, this room was also the only air conditioned room in the entire prison. I so saw this as a gift from God, especially in the heat of the summer when relief from the heat was found nowhere but there. But, you can also imagine that some jealousy was also aroused by this fact, too. The other lady who regularly worked in there with me was a self professing lesbian (do not know if this actually pertains to the happenings but in being honest I felt I should reveal it.).

After several months of working in there, I heard a rumor of some kind of lie being spread about me, coincidently, by my co-worker’s partner. (This many years later, I don’t remember what the lie was about, but it was something significant that could get me taken off of this job as she wanted to be in the butcher shop). It was then growing near the end of summer and I was offered a position as the assistant cook (which was the 2nd to the highest inmate job in the prison). The cook was a friend of mine who had put in a good word for me to get the assistant cook’s position so I took it. The lady who was trying so hard to win my position in the butcher shop was then offered my position. Of course, this was hard on me at first and it took quite a bit of praying to move me into forgiveness. But I did learn to forgive her.

It just so happened that at this time a rumor was also going around that one of the male corrections officers was attempting to molest some of the women. He had actually tried once to speak to me about sexual things but I just believe that the Lord showed me to ignore him and act like I didn’t hear him to stop his advances. That gave a little time for something else to happen to stop it altogether before he had the chance to make more advances (This happened when being taken down to the basement storeroom to get supplies.) But, after I left the butcher shop position and the new lady was installed in this position, she ended up being raped by this officer. Much harassment ensued and she was subsequently removed from the butcher shop. I know the officer lost his job but my memory fails me as to all that happened with that being more than 20 years ago.

You can well imagine that there were many times while I was in prison that I learned lessons about forgiveness. This was the most extreme account. I’ve seen time and again when people refuse to forgive someone else, it does so much more to the person who is harboring the unforgiveness than it does to the person needing to be forgiven. Many times that person will have no clue what happened. It very much, at times, will have to do with our perception of a situation. Talk to God about it and He’ll listen!

May God bless you through my writing. If He has especially touched you in any way, please leave a comment below. This is so very encouraging to me to help me to keep writing. I pray you will keep coming back. I totally believe that my writing is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so if I am writing, there is someone that needs to read it! Maybe it’s you? Please be sure to share any questions you might have with me and if you would like to keep them personal (just between you and me) please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at juliana.pace@gmail.com. If I don’t know how to answer you, I will find someone to refer to you for more information. Thanks and may God bless your days!