Freed While Behind Bars
Living in a Material WorldAlthough my parents provided the material things that most think would make a good life, my family was dysfunctional and torn. At age fifteen I sought to escape my unhappy situation by moving into an apartment of my own.
Following in the rut carved by my upbringing, I focused my energy on making money. Introduced by a friend to drug trafficking, I did my first deal and found the drug lifestyle exciting and lucrative. Hooked on the easy money, I supplemented my drug dealing by occasionally selling weapons and acts of violence.
Fast Life, Big PriceI moved to Houston at age eighteen and immersed myself further in the city night life and club scene. I enjoyed the company of the women who went hand-in-hand with my lifestyle; mostly topless dancers and strippers, they were beautiful, they liked my money, they loved to party, and they were not looking for a commitment. In 1994, I met a beautiful girl and moved in with her two weeks later; she would later become my wife.
The price I paid for my party lifestyle was spending time in and out of jail; ironically, I never did time for dealing drugs or any other major crimes I had committed, only for minor offenses. Shortly after moving in with her, I found myself back in the county jail for a month.
Reasoning Together with GodA Christian inmate - later found innocent-pursued spiritual conversations me, sometimes catching my attention, sometimes not. Pretending to watch television, I would occasionally edge over to listen to the small group Bible study in my cell led by this man.
One day the man shared a Bible verse that was pivotal in my life. In Isaiah 1:18, God says, "Come now, let us reason together….Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." This was amazing: God wanted to come together with me and talk about my life of sin and immorality so that He could forgive me! As I lay in my bunk that night, I knew I had come upon the very thing my soul needed. I asked God if this offer of forgiveness was really true. Deciding to trust God, I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and to be Lord of my life. Waking up the next morning a radically changed man, I set about discovering this God who had cleansed my soul.
Little did I know that God was simultaneously transforming my fiance into a woman experiencing the joy of forgiveness and restoration. We were later married. Today we are blessed to have two children, and we enjoy the journey of growing together in Christ.