It didn’t take Jacob long to extend his hand in conversation. He wrote our first letter three short days after we met at the festival. (Three happens to be my favorite number. TRINITY!!! Just saying.) I was very excited to receive his letter. I have always had a passion for people and testimony. This occasion was no different.
Jacobs story made me incredibly thankful. I was moved with emotion. I felt great compassion for him. I related to his weaknesses and rebellious ways. I admired his honesty, accountability, and vulnerability.
I could clearly see that Jacob was a man choosing to look ahead with determination of a bright future. He holds fast to Gods promise. (Jeremiah 29:11) He may look behind, but only long enough to give praise for what and where God has delivered and redeemed him from. His past is not a dwelling place for him, or a definition of who he is today. That is beautiful.
He has eyes to see abundant blessing in a place many of us would not survive.
I began to think of all the things I had done as a drunken teen that could have landed me in the same fate he was enduring. There were so many.
I had advantages that Jacob didn’t.
His story was powerful. But his witness was what blew my mind and captured my heart. This man, though his body imprisoned, was the most optimistic, free man I had ever met. He was not ashamed; not of who he was, or who’s he was. It was, and still is breathtaking.
He wrote, “I’ve made mistakes in life and I don’t shy away from them. I’ve taken responsibility for them and am working daily to learn from them.” He was a self-proclaimed optimist, “I am definitely an optimist, but when you serve our good God, how can you not be, am I right?”
I recognized instantly that this man was going to teach me a thing or two.
I had spent many years in the prison of shame. Depressed by many life circumstances, I had become a professional suppressor. I read the truth that whom the Son set free was free indeed. (John 8:36) But the truth was, I allowed darkness to linger over the parts of me I wasn’t ready for others to see.
Jacob was a light sent from God.
Though I was totally unwilling to acknowledge him as a potential helpmate, I wanted more of him. He had lessons I wanted to learn. He lived a life I could relate to with circumstances I could never understand. My boldness with this man continued as I stepped out in faith beginning direct communication.
And today I am,
a prisoner’s wife