For whom would beget my soul I did not know. As my cell room door began to inch open, most would welcome this “freedom’s gate”; however for me there was immunity inside that small box that did not exist for me outside those walls.
The spiritual battle was not yielding out of my trepedation, in fact it was feeding off of it. I had God saying, “do you trust me Lisa”? And at the same time, Satan fueling my anxieties with memory of what landed me in jail in the first place. I had no where to run, or hide. I had been running so hard, and fast. I was heavy laden. A soldier bogged down with ammunition, in my flight for my life. With no rest between, my only hydration point was for the large consumption of alcohol. Hoping it would snatch me from reality as the absorption began. I drank as hard and fast as I ran. Because both for me were a diversion from the ailments of my incarcerated soul. Ironically I was already imprisoned long before the day I was booked. Bitter, envious, self centered, manipulative, hypocrtical, and angry very angry. These were just some of the charges on my life. So even with my release imminent, my love affair with alcohol had me with a life long sentence. The consequences were of life or death. The choosing had always been up to me.
I stood there in watch as the door opened, and fear resonated my whole being. “Oh wait Lord”? “I can feel you”. Her voice so warm, and inviting, “Lisa Ortize(my married name), it is time for you to go before the judge”. This very large black woman, with a smile from ear to ear, had come for me. She was a gaurd, and she wore the gun in holster on her hip. To me she looked like an angel, and I found safety stepping out with her. My bunkmate slept away non the different. We all lined up single file, no words spoken. She gave instruction on what was about to happen. All the while in my three times bigger than me blue jumpsuit, my head never looked up. Tears began to well, and soak my face in disgrace. How did I become what I was in that moment. It was not a question, a mere statment of shame from within.
God always had the upper hand, he always had a hedge of protection over me. I just chose to disregard His claim on my life. He extended me multiple life lines, as I once walked so intimately hand in hand with Him. He had not left or forsaken me. I spat in His face, and He still lifted my chin to be enveloped in His light. His grace was being made abundantly clear, as we walked to the room that sat our judge. The judge that held our fate.
We had to go in one at a time, I was last in line. I assumed it was because I did not come from the general populous holding cells. As it was my turn to enter, the guard softly grabbed my hand. Impeding for a moment with these words, “oh honey you don’t belong here”. My eyes pooled with tears, as I was so taken back by her gentle demeanor. She placed her hand over mine, and not knowing a single thing of me she began to pray aloud. She prayed for my safety, for the judge to find favor, she prayed for my broken spirit to be lifted. She prayed for whatever was to come upon my release. She saw what no one had seen in me, and she prayed that God would enter with me in the room. She prayed that he would sit with me, and give me a peace that surpassed all understanding in the moment of my disgrace.
As she ended her prayer she placed her hand on my back with a gentle embrace, and opened the door for me. Stating, “God has you child”.
I walked slowly into a room filled with other inmates. With one empty seat waiting on me to begin. I turned with one last glance at the woman whom seemed like a dear friend. She peered through the glass, and nodded her head. As she turned to leave the light that came from her was more tranquil than any of my findings from that in the bottle.
So I sat facing my judge, and I knew God was with me. I was sober, of clear mind, and so at peace. For I was with Jesus, I was at His feet.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And all peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.