Words for My Girls on the Inside – part 1

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When passing through doorways as steel doors open, the random yet reassuring thought runs through my brain, In another hour or two I get to leave. This is freedom.

Yet, behind bars the girls I talk to can be free on the inside when they accept the Savior, Jesus Christ.

We hear much about jailhouse conversions not being real. But think of it this way: In jail they’re clean and sober, with no (legal) access to the drugs and alcohol that led them there. And they’re thinking straight. Yeah, they see the stupidity and the destruction; they feel deeply the heartache of losing their jobs, of disappointing family and being separated from their spouse and kiddos. And they want to do right, to find God (again, sometimes), to make better choices and head down a new path.

But as soon as they walk away, old friends knock on their door bringing gifts – to enslave them once more. Too many of these girls were introduced to this life by a sibling or parent. As challenging as it is for you and me on some days to swim upstream against the current of a Godless culture, it’s a thousand times harder for them to do it.

They need connection with believers on the outside – a support system. I write to challenge and encourage them and to let them know someone really does care.

(In the letters below, names and some details have been changed to protect privacy.)

Hi, Madalyn,

It’s been good to get to know you at our Sunday night services – I’m thrilled to see you coming and being receptive to this ministry.  I want you to know I’m praying for you, for your future, for your dad, and for reconciliation in your relationship with him.

I looked for the book you told me about, but couldn’t find it. So sorry. Let me know if there’s another book you’re interested in, and I can talk to the staff about it.

Thanks for sharing pieces of your story with me. You’re blessed to have such a loyal friend who supports and encourages you. That is a huge gift!

I see strength in you, as well as intelligence, beauty, sensitivity and compassion. God wants so much to grow these qualities in you and to enrich your life in relationship with Him. Stay strong in your faith by spending time in the Bible, in prayer and with His people, seeking first His Kingdom. He promises when we come close to Him, He will come close to us.

I do care about you and hope to hear good things in the months and years ahead. Even if you go to prison, God can use it for good in your life. Wherever you go, please keep in touch.

Psalm 84 – For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory;

No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

love-2382348_640Dear Nicole,

Just want you to know I’m praying for you. I don’t know what led you to the place where you are now, but I know that God can use even this difficult time to draw you closer to Him. I found this passage in Psalms and thought of you:

For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust…

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

 – Psalm 103

Keep looking up. He promises when we trust Him, we won’t be disappointed.

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Dear Allison,

I’m glad you’re coming to church services on Sunday nights, and I hope you’re starting to find some of that strength and peace you’re desiring from God. I care about you and I pray for you, dear girl. You are so young and you have so much potential. God can bring victory from defeat and beauty out of the ashes of a broken life, if you’re willing to draw close to Him and walk away from the past. He can heal and mend and restore in unbelievable ways.

Do you know that Jesus, the Savior, is the way, the truth and the life? He is the bridge to a relationship with the Father and our Creator, to forgiveness of sin, and to life eternal in His presence. Please let me know if you want to talk more about His gift of salvation.

The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. – Psalm 145:17-19

For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. – Isaiah 64:4-5

I’m here for you, and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

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Dear Kayla,

It was good to meet you this week at church. I hope you’ll come again.

I’m sorry to hear you have no one to go home to and no place to go when you get out. And I’m so sorry it was your own family that introduced you to drugs, so sorry to know how unstable your childhood was. But how exciting to hear you say, you want out of this lifestyle!

There isn’t a transitional home in our community, and I don’t have a solution to offer you right now. But God knows all things. He is very much aware of your situation. We can pray together and ask Him to open an opportunity for you and to show you His plan for your future.

The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. – Psalm 145:17-19

God wants to be your Father and has provided the way to meet every need you have through a relationship with Him. I hope you’ll continue to think about the verses we looked at this week. You can ask your bunk-mate any questions you have about faith and the Bible. She accepted Jesus as her Savior a few months ago and does a Bible study with some of the girls there.

And we can talk more next time I see you.

Remember John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but will have everlasting life.

I care about you and pray for you, sweet girl – for all of you.

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To be continued…