WHY "LIVING HOPE"
I find myself sitting on this hard bed in my 8X10 cell questioning the future and thinking back on how I got to such a place in my life that I could be sitting here. So many feelings rush through my mind: anger, betrayal, pain, numbness, shame, guilt, confusion, fear. My thoughts revert back.
My step-dad was always coming home drunk and found one reason or another to take his frustrations out on me. He would beat me for not making good grades, for looking at him wrong, or for just being there. Momma couldn't help; she had her own issues. The physical, mental and emotional abuse was more pain than I could deal with as a young girl. I wanted this pain to go away. For self-protection I had learned how to not feel. One night a friend introduced me to marijuana and for the first time I was able to laugh. My addiction began that night. Soon I found I was giving myself away to guys, I guess because I so desperately wanted to feel loved. Drugs and alcohol were not enough to cover the pain of my home life so at 16 I left. I thought running away would help me escape my aching soul. Soon I was pregnant. Realizing I couldn't care for this child, I gave him up for adoption. The anguish was all consuming and over the next several years my addictions grew worse. One night like most nights, high and with another guy, by chance I found myself participating in a robbery. How had it come to this? It's been eight years. I have now served my time and soon will be released from this place. Where will I go? What will I do? I don't want to go back to where I came from. The Lord had used this 8X10 room to bring me to my knees and I've found the love of my life, the One who forgives, heals and satisfies, JESUS. "Jesus help me, I'm scared."
This is a typical story of a woman in need of hope "Living Hope". Oklahoma has the highest incarceration rate of women in the country. The statistics are staggering and, without others to come along side them when they are released, many women will likely return to the old familiar patterns and lifestyle leading back to prison. Living Hope Women's Ministry was founded for the purpose of offering new hope, through a committed walk with Jesus Christ and the support of a Christian community, to women who are re-entering society from prison and desire healthy change and support for their lives. Living Hope's desire is to break the recidivism cycle one woman at a time.