I was still looking for a way out. I had walked into this beautiful garden that flourished with life. In it I found tremendous joy and purpose. But it seemed nearly too good to be true. Maybe I was dreaming. Some others believed I was creating a fantasy out of the heart of a wounded girl with low self-esteem.
But I loved being in the garden.
Immediately outside the garden gates was a darkness that I despised. I grew to despise the outside long before I had discovered the garden inside. The outside was known as the American prison system.
I graduated college with an Associates in Applied Science. My focus was criminal justice. Instead of applying for academy I turned away from the field, disgusted after having taken my police ethics class. I did not turn away because I believed I lacked morale to be an ethical officer, but because the system I would be giving my allegiance to defend seemed corrupt.
I had to quench my thirst for a better understanding of the complexities involved in the entire system. I wanted to dig toward the roots, which I believed was people and society. I began working on my second Associates with a focus in Sociology. It was around the same time that I graduated that I gave my life over to Christ.
I had been in the church for nearly two years, but I wanted to get in Christ.
I being the lover of books and writing decided to record my journey in a journal. It was on the very first page of that journal, dated March 4, 2010, that I committed myself to two personal and career goals. Those goals were to diligently seek God and criminal justice reform.
My heart was completely sold out for God and the people made in His image.
Living in the sin filled world we begin to see people as their sins, forgetting each and EVERY individual was wrought by the Maker, in His image with great purpose.
My heart was adamant, my efforts were short…except with God. He had my all. It was Him and my family. I lost sight of my goal of reform for a few years, until my own brother became a product of the system I believed to be failing.
His path coincided with mine, leading straight to the garden.
I grew in the garden. I loved in the garden. It was not a place I wanted to leave, yet it was a place I feared. My fear was that maybe I had taken the path to temptation, and not the path of God. Even with the scriptural and life confirmations, I looked for a way out. Though I had already said yes to receive this man who comprised my garden to and before God, I was face down in the dirt, making mud with my tears, to be sure it was His will and not my own. Thinking that maybe since it wasn’t yet made legal He would show me a path out. My faith knew He was certainly able to close a door He didn’t open.
Light and life, that’s who He is. Light and life was (is) my garden.
He never took me out of the garden because it was where He wanted me. And I wanted to be there. So when the day before my legal wedding arrived I rejoiced.
God revealed that for the first time in my life the focus of my wedding was not on the celebration, the location, the dress, the rings, or any of the material incorporations that make up a traditional wedding, but on the heart of a man I adored, admired, cherished, treasured…A man I Loved with the love of Christ.
He so happened to be my two goals in one.
I love my garden. I love my husband. Most of all, I love my God. I believe with all my heart that He has purposed this marriage to increase the light from our garden to the outside surroundings. To turn the darkness into light. As long as we remain diligent and focused on Him, our flame will become a torch and life through love will be brought back to a system of people in need of real justice, real reform.