It was another blessed day, and during the chapel service I led at the Fraser Valley Institution, God gave me the privilege of sharing one on one with a woman who's currently serving time in the segregation unit. The songs we sang and the message I had written were all just for her today, and only God could have engineered that. Instead of standing and preaching to her, I sat down across from her and shared some of the highlights of my message. It was based on Daniel 3, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and applied pretty nicely to her circumstances. I asked her to share a time when she had experienced a miraculous rescue that she knew could only have been God, and she told me about a terrifying hostage taking where she was the hostage and was sure that she would be killed because based on the past actions of her captors. She was released, but not unharmed. She showed me the knife scars on her neck, which she will carry for the rest of her life, and told me that she knew even then that it had to have been God who preserved her life.
She's serving a life sentence at FVI, and she cried when she told me that it's a miracle she's even alive - not just because of the hostage incident, but many other things she's experienced in her life as well. She said she doesn't understand why God would preserve her life, and I told her that, even though she may not be able to see it now, God has a plan for her life; and also, that with God all things are possible and if it's God's will, she may one day receive a pardon and be given her freedom.
One of the songs she requested during the service today is "Freedom", a song written by Mike Larson from Abbotsford. She loves to sing that song, and at the end of our time together I reminded her of the lyrics and said her that even if she never does walk free from the penitentiary, she can still find freedom even inside its walls. It's a kind of freedom that she can't even imagine right now, but it's far better than the freedom of being on the outside. I pray that she will come to know that freedom. I ended our time together by praying Paul's prayer for the fullness of the knowledge of God in Ephesians 3 over her.
Since she's in a federal prison I don't feel that I can share her real name, but would you join me in praying for this young woman? I'll call her Stacy. God will know who you mean, I'm sure.
Thanks to those of you who prayed prayer for me. I was able to play guitar without too many nerves and fumbled fewer chords today. But most of all I was able to feel a confidence and strength I haven't felt before in there. God was with me.
Blessings and love from your sister in Christ...
If you're tired and thirsty, there is freedom...