Good morning, peeps!
Lesson #2 From The Joint: You Are Where You Need To Be
On the morning of our first full day in prison, one of the inmates walked past the back…
Before I go any further, let me explain some things. I am a part of the Great Banquet community and one of the things we do is host Great Banquet “weekends”. We do this for correctional centers, as well as for y’all free folks. I am not doing a great job of explaining this so if you want more information, you can click this link and find out more: https://www.lampstand.net/great-banquet/. Here is how the gym is set up in the prison: there are nine long tables for the guests and team members and then a long table in the back for the directors, assistants, spiritual directors, and me. We call ourselves “The Back Table”, or “The Table of Contents”. Got it? Okay, let me continue.
On the morning of our first full day in prison, one of the inmates walked past the back table and said, “Thank you, ladies, for being here! We really appreciate it. We are so happy that you’re here.” One of the team members replied, “We are happy to be here! And we’re happy that you’re here! I mean, we’re not happy that you’re here, but we’re glad that…” The woman, shaking her head, stopped the team member in mid-sentence and said, “I’m glad that I’m here. This is where I need to be.”
“God is a comedian. Don’t let anyone fool you. God’s got jokes.” – Galen
God has a sense of humor. You can see it through the interesting ways He gets us to line up with His plan for us. Some of those ways are fun, while some are very un-funny. There are a lot of people in the prison system who, had they not been locked up, would be dead. Life or death – those were the options. We don’t look at prison and think “Ooooo! Life!”, but I promise you this: a judge’s gavel has been some folks’ saving grace. Not everyone who is incarcerated views their present location/situation as bad. Some of them see it as a blessing, sent from God.
I have a wonderful person in my life who, after hearing me talk about a current situation I’m in, encouraged me to look at it a different way: “Girl. I hear you and I understand – been there, done that – but this is the way I would look at it if I were you: if God’s got you going through a bunch of pain and hell as He is working this stuff out of you, then KNOW that you will be better for it. I know it hurts and you’d rather be ‘anywhere but here’, but you are exactly where you need to be. Stop trying to run from it and sit in it. Say “Okay, God, this is where You have me”, and let it do what it is supposed to do so you can move on to the next step. I really need you to grasp this. Know that whatevuh – hmm – whatevuh God has for you on the other side of this HAS to be greater than what you had or what you are going through. It’s gotta be. ‘Cause that’s just who He is.”
It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re facing the opposite way. I know, I know: I’m deep.
Have a great weekend, peeps.