Back into captivity

There were those times of regret, anger and shame that were overwhelming. I had made bad decisions, done the wrong things and things were not looking hopeful. At least not in my eyes. I had been arrested. I had my rights taken away. I was under someone else’s control.

I had made many wrong decisions. I had hurt many people, caused financial burden on myself and others, and nothing like this was the result. Even what I did to get in here is nothing close to what I had done in the past. How come this happened to me this time? I was doing better than I used to. I had been really trying to be better. This is not fair.

Those were some of my thoughts and struggles the first time I went to jail. I have come to understand the principle behind a judicial system and incarceration. The sad reality is that when a person is not behaving in a fashion that is safe for them or others our government intercedes and attempts to assist. I was that person. I was making decisions and responding with reactions that were not safe for me or those around me, so I had to be dealt with.

Unfortunately, that first sentencing was not my only. I had gone into jail with a victim mentality laced with condemnation of myself that just put a bad perception of myself and others in my mind. I had many days and nights with this new society to think about where I had been, what I had done and how I was going to change.

The sad part about my incarceration was that some my jail visits were all experienced after I had accepted Jesus and became, what I knew, a Christian man. My struggles in the past had been with illegal drugs and participation in inappropriate behavior. I was never arrest or caught while I was in the darkness. It was not until I thought I had straightened myself out and began following Jesus. The mistake I made was that I only read some of the bible and only applied small portions of the wisdom to my life. I picked and chose bible verses to justify my desires.

I quit the illegal drugs and grasped the fact that Jesus’ first miracle was making water into wine. Alcohol must be okay if Jesus condoned it. Of course, I did not want to remind myself of the many warnings about drunkenness. Because really all I needed to do was learn to manage my drinking better. I was not an angry drunk and I sure as heck was not violent. But my thoughts of managing my drinking was just the top of the cake.

Now years later, more of my story is revealed to me. How tragic it was, how I wasted so much energy, money and relationships through a spiral of self-destruction. At a loss of identity, in search of acceptance, approval, and inclusion, brought me into a place with those people, to realize what I had become. The idea has its truth, but the results were actually more condemnation, separation and ostracizing. An internal drive to prove to society and the judicial system that I was not one of those people….

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