April 16, 2012
This is an honest response to my feelings over the last few days. Maybe I should go back to last week to explain better.
Last week, I again felt God speaking to me. He knows the number of hairs on my head so why would I think He doesn’t know my personality & how I will react to situations? There is NO doubt He knows me & knows that my stubborn self will need nudging (that is putting it nicely)! For some strange reason I started feeling like God was working on me. “Me again, God?” This was my honest first thoughts. But I’m already adopting kids with special needs & raising money – not to mention the normal routine. I’m tired! Can’t you find someone else for this one I argued to God. And God, you know this is nothing I know about so I’m sure there is someone else better for this mission! I tried to ignore Him, but He just wouldn’t leave me alone about this.
Finally, Friday night on a date with my husband, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. Maybe if I verbalized what I thought God wanted with me then it was just a test & He would find someone else. Yes, I argue, fuss, & try to bargain with God. No, it’s not right to question Him, but I am human. As we were heading back from a walk downtown, I looked at Phil & said “I know you no longer think I’m crazy & that you know it so let me just tell you what I think God wants from me now.” Phil cautiously but in a caring voice says o.k. what is it? I said “God now wants me to go to the jails to minister!” Phil says o.k. that’s not bad. The following is my long explanation as to why this is not for me & my internal battle.
You know I know nothing about jailhouse ministry! It makes me no better or worse, but I don’t even know anyone that has been prisoned! The most I know about prison is when I was a High School Senior & our class took a trip to Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman). The only other time I’ve even been to the jail is when I got my licenses renewed or fingerprinted for the adoption. That doesn’t even count so why would He want me to do this? I know I’ve been telling Him that I’m His & for Him to show me His will & I’d do it, but I don’t even know where to start! And I’m definitely not a “preacher” to go in & preach to these women! I’m sure there are other people that are way better for this mission!!! Yes, I’ve been telling Him to direct me to the need & yes, I know that we are all His children! I believe they deserve His love & to know His way as much as anyone else. I love them even if I don’t love their crimes! I’m not afraid of these people & have no problem about going into the jails, but I don’t have time for this & the adoption!
As Phil patiently waits for me to stop my run-on sentence rant, he says that he thinks it is a great idea & that he could go to the men to witness while I go to the women to witness. He said we will pray about this & if God wants us to do this, then He will show us the way! He continues to say “Niki, you’ve always been the one to support the underdogs. If there was ever a stray, you will take them in & nurse them.” (Please don’t think my husband was referring to the prisoners as strays as this was not what he meant. His meaning was that if someone was down, I always ran to try & help regardless who they were!) He reminds me “We don’t have to ‘preach’ to them; we can be a witness without preaching. We can talk to these people & let them know they are important and that others care for them. We can give them pamplets & talk to them when they want to talk about Christ. Witnessing is being Christ like by loving your neighbor as yourself. I think we can make a difference in someone’s life by going.”
I knew he was right, but I just wasn’t as sure as He was. I’m thankful to have a supportive Christian husband that loves others & Christ so much! On Sunday, I saw something on Facebook about a guy that does jailhouse ministry & I’ve never seen anything like this before come through my feed. I kind of rolled my eyes & said “Okay, God you’ve got me! Just lead the way, give me the knowledge, energy, & time.’
Well, God likes to show out!!!! I got a call today saying Bro. Rice & his wife , Linda, are in town from a person unknowing about our plans of starting a prison ministry. Most of you do not know them but they are from Texas & have
"Hope For Hurting Hearts Ministry”
Yeah, how did you guess, it’s a prison ministry.
We know NOTHING about prison ministry but are just following God’s lead! I have no idea where this journey may take us, but I’m God’s to do with as He needs. I’m thankful & humbled that He would use a sinner as me! Please pray for us as we begin this journey! If you are interested in helping or have any first hand knowledge on prison ministry, please let us know. Thank you for your continued support & prayers!!! God loves you!