6 Years
Still Going Strong

Today marks 6 years.  Six years of freedom.  Six years of healing and growth.  Six years of feeling sunlight on my skin and engaging in healthy new relationships and being present for my loved ones.  Six years of new life.

On July 20, 2014 I was released from prison; not from a typical prison cell, but from isolation.  A place where you come out for 1 hour a day 5 days a week and get 3 showers at 10 minutes each. That's 20 hours a month outside of your isolation cell.  The only contact you get with another human is when the officers place cold handcuffs on your wrist to take you outside to get your hour in the yard.  I spent over 5 years 6 months in this environment.  The agony of being alone was beyond inhumane for someone who would have severe panic attacks and not be allowed proper treatment.

The life I lived before never helped me nor prepared me for that harsh, empty environment.  Not the time my brothers hit me and told me I'd have to be tough to survive out here when all I wanted to do was play with G.I.Joes.  Not the time my dad yelled at my sister and I to fix his truck because it wouldn't start and he had to take us to school, so I ran him over in humiliation because I was 7 and not a mechanic. Not the time I watched a lady get stabbed in the throat in our kitchen.  Not the time I walked downstairs to find my step dad was hanging from a rope in our kitchen.  Nothing prepared me for the isolation of that 5 years and 6 months in solitary.

And nothing can perfectly prepare someone for being released back into the community.  Prisoners awaiting release don't know what barriers they will face or hurdles they must jump to achieve a safe and successful re-entry.  I didn't anticipate that there would be an erroneous outstanding warrant awaiting me that triggered me to want to run the first day I saw my probation officer, nor did I anticipate that my work in a vegetable garden would result in a group of local police descending on me to question my motives.  No one knows what each homies will encounter that may throw off their re-entry plan - but I do know that equipping these marginalized men with the support of someone who has been there and has made it through can assist them in forming a stable a new life.

The other day my wife asked me, "Why are you writing a 6 year anniversary letter?  Shouldn't you just do one of your first year, your 5 years, and your 10 years?"  I chuckled.  When I got released from prison, I jogged by the DOC probation department every day of my first year of release just to remind myself and them that I am not going nowhere.  Through the power and the grace of God I will continue to celebrate this day not as the day i was released, but as the day I was born.

I am grateful for the love and support you show to me and to the homies we walk beside.  May the grace of God reach deep into your soul and give you the strength to live life as though you have been born afresh in Jesus.

Go to
Copyright © 2020 Second Chance Outreach, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp