Yes, that's a mugshot........when I was jailed for a crime that I didn't commit. As I look at this mugshot photo it reminds me that they didn't take the photo as soon as I entered the jail they took it when I was about to be released from jail (hmm... makes me wonder!). There are things that I use to regret and feel extreme guilt about in my life and one of them was when I went to jail and my child was put in Foster Care. Before the devil tries to expose (disqualify) me before people I will tell my truth and gain victory!
I am the oldest of three siblings So, I am the Big Sister that is protective, loving and caring and had the pressures of taking care of my siblings when there was chaos going on in our childhood years. We were brought up being taught we are all we have and to be there for one another no matter what, which is what I carried into adulthood. This brings me to the beginning of one of my spiritual battles up close and personal and how it happened.
It was a cold Winter season in which I was in a spiritual battle and didn't even realize it because I was not woke; I was just existing. I spontaneously took a trip with my then 3 year old son to my hometown of Chicago (because I was at spiritual warfare at home). While I was there my sister was going through a spiritual battle that she had many times before (more experienced than me) and it was unbeknownst to me that she was going through this. I was spiritually asleep and didn't know that I was about to be awakened. So, being the Big Sister I decided to bring her and her daughter back home with my son and me, with the hopes of helping her change her path, but when it was all said and done my path was the one that was changed. We ventured out on a spiritual life journey and my life was forever changed.
Everything was going well at first. I was no longer in a relationship with my son's father, my sister and I had secured an apartment on our own. I was tutoring elementary school kids and she was in culinary school studying to be a chef and everything seemed to be calm again, hence where we had come from. Then both of our lives were rocked; my sister knowing it was about to be rocked and me being unaware. We had secured a new apartment on a street that had our surname (maternal last name) which was creepy but I was trying not to feed into it not knowing that I had already stepped into the spiritual realm with my sister. We had moved into an apartment where one person had committed suicide and one tried to commit suicide (two separate tenants) and we were unaware when moving into the apartment that this had occurred.
There were many spiritual levels and tests that I was exposed to; like being tempted by the devil and almost being tricked into my soul being willingly given over to an evil entity. I had one foot on spiritual ground and one foot in reality not knowing if I would ever be sane again. It seemed like we had been in a spiritual battle for months but all this occurred over a 3 days. Everything collided on one day and the Devil thought he had both of us entangled so deep that we couldn't get out but the one scripture that comes to mind just now is Hebrews 12:1-2. The scripture says "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily best us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us". "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God". I wasn't even spiritually awakened let alone prepared with the Armor of God (even though I surrendered my life to Christ at 12 years old) and the enemy was playing advanced tricks on us in his playground because we were not equipped.
Let me paint the picture for you of that day. As we were in a spiritual battle with the enemy; I prayed in my head every day for God to save us all from the enemy's grip. This particular day my niece was at school and my Sister, Son, and I were at home; me not knowing how to handle spiritual warfare because I had been doing my own thing in life and had not built a strong connection with God. I didn't know if God would save us from this cage that the devil had trapped both my Sister and me in with his lies and truths intertwined. I wasn't seeing physically because at that time I had taken my contacts out of my eyes and couldn't see anything clearly (hence, later I found out I had an infection in both my eyes), or spiritually. There was spiritual warfare that occurred between all three of us in that house that neither one of us was prepared for. It ended with the police being called, me being tasered twice, thrown to the ground, taken to the hospital to be further evaluated, taken to jail resulting in both our kids being taken into Foster Care.
When Jesus says "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16) this rings true for me. I entered that jail with peace and love; listening to the women all around me of the cases and the jail time they faced. We had bible study, we exercised and formed what you would say were survival friendships. I encouraged women, I gave a specific word to them from God individually and I gave them hope so they wouldn't give up. I did not look the same physically (hair was strewn all over my head, a glaze in my eyes) as when I entered the jail. I left that jail with a totally different appearance (hair braided and eyes clear) because the glow was apparent and I didn't look like what I had been through (praise God). When it was time for me (after 7 days of being locked up) to be released the guards asked me several times are you sure you are the person you are claiming to be; they checked their records and talked with other officers and stared in amazement of the transformation.
After all that we had gone through at the end, I was awarded custody of my son back to me (after parenting classes, drug tests, psychological evaluation and counseling sessions); I was given probation for two years but only had to do 1 year and 3 months and my record was cleared. Yes, this was an extremely hard time in my life because, after that, there was guilt, shame and regret. After much counseling and spiritual guidance I can to talk about this in hopes that I can save someone who may be in a battle (with their kids present or just by yourself) or just trying to understand the battle. It is still so much more to this story but this is a blog, not a book; so as I dig deeper my stories will formulate on paper as my book(s) become reality.
With all this being said "Dig Deeper than you ever have before"
Thank you for your comments!