Sentenced to17 years in Prison to be served at the Ohio Reformatory for Women.
It’s a day I will never forget. The first year Iived in misery. Full of anger, self hatred and shame. Then the old saying, ‘misery loves company’ echoed into my mind, causing me to stop and think, “There has to be a reason why I am here?”
I was with my ex-husband 17 years. Spent many of those years on the bathroom floor praying for a way out. Praying for strength to leave. And now I am here sentenced to 17 years. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Opening my eyes to realize this is more than just a punishment. This is my second chance. A second chance to become Felicia again.
I don’t know what second chance means to you, but to me it means another chance to try again at something I failed at. Society doesn’t believe convicted felons deserve 3 hots and a cot, let alone a second chance. Some of us even have to register following our release. With that being said, do inmates really get a second chance?
For those of you out there who think or feel like I once did about the incarcerated, let me help bring things into perspective. Second chances aren’t necessarily in the way or timing that we want them.
“He will never leave nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Remember god is in control. He does things on his time and in ways that he sees fit. It has taken me many years to accept this. But once I did, I was able to see the light in this darkness.
My second chances are given to me in more ways than one every day. With every breath I take. Being able to open my eyes every morning. Not seeing my name on a headstone after having overdosed. The beat in my heart after having cut myself because I just couldn’t take it anymore.
Hearing “I love you mommy” from my children on the phone after all these years of incarceration, leaving them to grow up without me. Graduating as an adult after having dropped out of school as a teenager. Yearly anniversaries of celebrating my sobriety after several years of drug and alcohol abuse. Walking into God’s arms after years of disbelief and shunning him.
But the best and most important is knowing I will be walking into the gates of Heaven after having lived a life of sin thanks to Jesus Christ.
We are all human. We all make mistakes. Some of us worse than others. Some of us get caught while the dirt others do has yet to come to light. Those who are caught and are sent to prison. Are we really worse than the ones who haven’t been caught?
My answer is no. We are the ones that God thought needed some time to take self inventory, recognize our wrongs, heal from our scars, wounds, and cut the umbilical cord to our vices. But most importantly a second chance to change and walk our journey through life in a godly way.
“I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Felicia S 103547
Felicia is an ongoing contributor to lettersfromchristopher.com. Read more of her posts by searching “Felicia” using the search function at the top of the page.