Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What's Beer Got To Do With It?

I've always been an anniversary girl... I remember dates very well...

On this day, 9 years ago, I started my 1 year sentence in jail.  I remember the details of that first day like they were yesterday...  the first strip search and shower, the first meal they refused me cause I got there a little too late, the first time I heard the metal door slam behind me, the bars, the smells, the cement toilet that was out in the open so they could watch me, the metal bed I had to sleep on the first 5 days before they let me out of maximum security and into the general population, and late that first night... a guy on the other side of max singing.... "Day-O, Day-ay-ay-O, Daylight comin' me wanna go home"

Boy, did I ever....

It only got worse from there.  Jail was not a place I fit in.  I felt like that guy in the movies that when asked what are you in for, he replies "I'm innocent" - except I wasn't innocent, but I sure had to put on my game face to be there without falling apart... I suppose I'm probably not the only one who does that.  But after time it started to wear on me... the environment and the way of life... and before too long, I was fitting in more than I would have liked.  I remember this young 19 year old used to get on the phone everyday and scream and cry and BEG her parents to come bail her out...  I actually found myself yelling at her one day telling her to shut up.  My mind couldn't take it anymore.  I wanted out too and it wasn't a possibility for me.  I was wearing a green jumper, instead of orange, which meant I was already sentenced and no matter who I begged, nobody was going to come pick me up.

I'm convinced if I didn't find out I was pregnant with Desirae when I did (about 2-3 weeks after I got there) I would have probably killed myself, especially after the day when we saw another girl 'attempt' just that.  She snuck her razor into the bathroom (you had to sign them out for showers) and by the time we found her, she was unresponsive and the bathroom covered in blood... And since they never told us what happened and she never came back, we'll never know if she made it.  I doubt it.  Shortly after I got out of jail, the girl I bunked next to got out and hung herself.  She was only 20 and had a little girl.  I would say that probably 90% or more of the people sitting in jail are there because of drugs and alcohol.

The reality of the pain and darkness that comes with addiction to drugs and alcohol is hard to put into words.  All I know is that it could have been me.  My life was a mess when I was drinking and drugging, but the real problem was on the inside.  The damage it did to my soul.  The failed attempts to fill a hole that could only be filled by God.  The pain of the aftermath, for me and my family was long lasting.  I needed God and I had no idea.

And so today, I'm thanking God that He rescued me and saved me from myself.  I am thanking Him that He has POWER over anything that may be a stumbling block for His children.  Thanking Him that He is stronger than any power of hell or scheme of man...and that now that I am His, NOTHING can pluck me from His hands.

But on this day, I would also like to remind everyone that we have no clue what struggles someone around us might be having.  We have no way to know the paths they have walked (unless of course you're me and put it on the Internet!) but just because someone is sitting in church, is married with children,  is involved in ministry and seems to (or really does) "have it all together" does not mean a thing.  I can't tell you how many people were TOTALLY surprised when I shared my testimony the first time in church... cause why?  Cause I don't look like a druggy that has been in jail.  Wanna know another secret?  I've been married before.  See what I mean?  You never know.... email me if you want that story....

My purpose here is not to point out that none of us are perfect and we all have a past, I think we all know that...my purpose is to point out that we need to be paying attention to the needs of others, even if it doesn't make sense to us.  I wish I could explain more about where this is coming from...but I can't, I was asked "not to blog this" after I confronted someone on a situation recently - all I can say is that God wants us to be aware of where other people hurt and struggle and then to support them and to not be a stumbling block for them - Regardless of what the rest of the world does or thinks is appropriate...Regardless of how the world handles certain situations, like bringing beer on construction sites (is that cheating?) ... Regardless of what reasons or excuses you have to do it.  Regardless if it seems like no big deal to you.  God is clear on this one.  He calls us to be aware of others.  And that doesn't only mean be aware if they might fall because of a choice you make, but even if just because someone might be offended - I know, "offended" is considered a negative word, that is only because nobody likes to hear it if they offend you.  So they say you're the bad guy and question your character for being offended instead of caring that they hurt you in the first place.... OK, as you can see, I'm getting myself going so I'm going to stop now...I could get into all sorts of topics on that one last line.  I think you get my point. 

Psalm 116
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.  The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.  Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!"  The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.  The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.  Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.  For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.  I believed; therefore I said, "I am greatly afflicted."  And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars." How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?  I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.  I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.  O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.  I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.  I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD-- in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.


  1. I love this post. We have just heard so much bad news in the past 24 hours of family members going through unthinkable things and yet you would have never known it was that bad until the "crap hit the fan". Obviously life didn't look perfect, but when does it ever for any of us(rarely). I was thinking of it even as I walked into a doctor's office tonight. As I left I realized that unless they had been me today, they would never understand the pain I am feeling inside tonight. Sometimes we can be impatient or short with people because they "look" off, but we have no idea the pain they are holding inside from circumstances that are overwhelming them.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your story with us. It is such a blessing to remember the power of Christ in us. To see where any one of us has come from and to is a miracle in and of itself.

    Hope you have a great night! Love and prayers,

  2. Stacy,
    I love how you are so real, and honest and true. :) I am glad I can call you friend, you teach me and challenge me alot :)

  3. I also love this post! I love that you are REAL no matter what! Yes - please do share sometime the story of your other marriage! ;)
    It's amazing to read this story - to read of how deep you were in the mire when God rescued you! You continue to be an inspiration - in SO many ways! I never know what I'm gonna get when I log on to read about Stacy! =) I love that too!
    Your heart is such a blessing & I'm so grateful that one day I stumbled upon your blog!! =) I thank you for your testimony, your servant's heart & your willingness to 'let it all hang out!' You rock, lady!!!
    With Love,

  4. You are an amazing person! I look forward each day to logging onto your blog to see what you have to say. You are so right, on the outside a person may seem to have it all together, everything going for them BUT on the inside it might not be what it seems. We don't know what others go through, but God does. Would love to hear about your first marriage sometime. God's Blessings on your and your family.

  5. God's love is powerful. So is your love for your children, all 6 of them.


  6. Oh that good old metaphorical phrase, "Never judge a book by it's cover." You never know what the inside story is all about. I also thought of the verses in Matthew 7 about judging others. We all have ghosts in our closets and boy am I glad God loves me and has forgiven me for my past.I am also glad He allowed me to find your blog and you as a friend. Thanks again for another touching blog. <3

  7. Stacy you are helping me so much! I am convinced Rachel brought me to this page.
    Somehow you influence me...you make me realize no matter how difficult life is the Lord is still there.


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes