There is a part of me that is looking to touch the world with the same knowledge that has been so freely given to me. Inside of me there lies all the potential of possibility, far greater than anything I could ever have imagined. I once walked around a prison yard not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, not even knowing what led me to prison in the first place. At the same time, I always sensed that God touched me with a depth of realness that sometimes scares me. I went to juvenile prison at the tender age of 15, scared and ready to do battle with all the demons found in prison. I had to become a fighter to survive that hell hole. I needed to do whatever it took to maintain some sort of respectability in the harsh reality of being away from Mom, Dad, and the family that I was missing. In those very moments of self-examination, I had to become what I thought a man should be.
One of the things about coming home from prison I had to realize was that all the effort to change would be up to me at first, because I had burned so many bridges in the past. I could not expect people I love to trust me enough to give me the support I need to make a solid reentry into society. I knew that people would have a “wait and see” attitude concerning my change, because I had shared my story of transformation, after four other incarcerations, many times. This being my fifth release, the people I love must have thought “Why is this release any different?” For me it was different because I was different. I saw incarceration differently for the first time in my inmate career, which spanned over twenty-five years, starting at the age of twelve years old and ending with my last incarceration at the age of thirty-five. I became more focused on what I needed to do as a recovering addict to transform my life and reach my full potential as a man, father, ex-offender, and member of society. The one thing that made a lot of sense to me during my last incarceration was that God re-introduced himself to me, and I found a new understanding of the Bible and Jesus. I needed to have better self-discipline and self-control. So, as I read the Bible, I found that the Ten Commandments gave me a foundation to base my transformation and changes on.
As you reflect on the daily devotional message, use the lines that follow to capture your thoughts for that day. Reflect back on your thinking and personal growth as you move through the days.