Grayson and I returned Thursday night from a 6-day mission trip to West Virginia. We went to a federal women's prison birthing center, where women go to serve up to 18 months of their sentence so they can spend time with their child. I must say God changed my perception of many things while we were gone.
I thought I had no preconceived notions regarding these women. They were felons- all related to drugs- but I knew in my heart that God had saved me from situations as bad or worse. We all need forgiveness and someone to show us the love of Christ. Honestly, I did believe that before I met them.
After spending the first day with them, talking and trying to get to know them, I could see how easy it might be to get caught up in that lifestyle. Each one had a different story, but each one was similar. I realized I did prejudge! In my heart I had assumed they were not good moms - that somehow I was doing something really good by spending time with these babies. Even going so far as to think "if I could just bring them home with me, things would be okay"! God quickly showed me that I'm no better than these women - only different now because of Him. Some of these women have actually been saved since coming to the birthing center, and some grew up in Christian homes, but went astray for a while. Only God knows what we need to go through to turn to Him. If you knew some of the things He's had to bring me through, you would cringe!
I realized the biggest need was friendship. They are friends with eachother, but like sisters sharing the same space, in need of outside friends. Most have families that support them, but they live so far away, they can't see them often. Most also have older children at home they are away from. I have 16 new friends!
I really enjoyed the late night talks with Grayson about life and how Satan makes things look good at first, then we get tangled up in sin. She's twelve now, so she's really got her own thoughts and opinions on things and I'm so proud of how God used her on this trip. This was definitely and eye-opening experience. Mostly God opened my eyes regarding myself...
I was in prison and you visited me...Matthew 25:36