By Amber S. Jackson
Lucky Lifer 

Religion and Sunday Morning in Prison

Finding Jesus alone made the prison trip worth it

 

March 11, 2021

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Speaker on drug addiction at the Charlotte Rescue Mission

Since I had my first job at age 17, I always prefer to have Sundays and Mondays as my days off from work. It's a calm day so far. No prison staff vexing the population. Most guards prefer to do their jobs by simply being present and allowing the prison population to run itself, which it does, unless something unusual happens. So, officers do not like when they are made to unnecessarily search or do sweeps with no clear valid reasoning.

The best way to pass time in prison, whether you're a guard or a prisoner, is just to leave people alone.

The prison finally approved religious services again. I did sign up. I have not been yet. However, just being able to sign up and know I'll get to church brings me hope!! Group worship is needed in this place and in my life. I'm no bible toting Christian. But, I since I did not believe in God when I came to prison, I'm especially appreciative of how unlikely it is that I have Jesus. Finding him alone makes my prison trip worth it. I'll leave it at that.

So, I'm looking forward to the Prince Harry And Megan Markle interview with Oprah tonight at 8pm. Broadcast for all of us to enjoy! Nothing is getting in my way for this! Finally something quality to watch. I have my own 15" TV in my room. I'm simply not a TV watcher. So, this is a treat for all of us both in and out of prison. Get your popcorn!!

I spent my time yesterday and today catching up on my assignments from my many classes. I'm in a class called poetic justice. I'm a poet as some of you may know. This class got me back writing for the first time in years. I'm now able to let go of my perfectionism, which stalled my writing totally. I now know how to let words flow and not be so hard on myself. I'm harder on myself than anybody knows. So, doing this class, via Jpay emails, is good for me.

I'm also in an email class called "healing and restorative writing." This class really does help!! So my last prompt for this restorative writing was to list 5 people I have forgiven. At first thought I did not think I had 5. But when I began writing, it was like the assignment wrote itself. I had forgiven the 5 most necessary people! I did not even know that until I did that inventory. Wow! You see what I mean? Even taking classes alone, in my cell, on this tablet is yielding results!!

I'm also beginning my drug treatment program. We are on paper packets from now until we are 60 days covid free. I can't wait to go face to face with my fellow classmates. I'm going to get all I can out of the program! This is my first time doing a drug treatment. I asked to be in it. I'm proud to do it. Additionally, I'll get about 3-6 months off for finish the one year program. The most important part for me is to develop my relapse prevention plan for my release. Yes, I have a lot of clean time. But I want tools for when I'm free and under life's pressures. I feel I can always be better. So, I'll take anything and every program the prison offers to help me to leave and never some back. I sign up for everything. As soon as a class or program becomes available I sign up. And so far I have a pile of class completion certificates!! To show the parole board how I spend my pandemic time. I am at my desk all day like I have 9-5. All day working on correspondence courses. I love it!! I challenge any other prisoner to do more with their time than me during this pandemic than Amber!! Idle time is the devil's workshop! I want the parole commissioners to see that I know how to spend my free time! So, they will know they can trust me with my own freedom.

Inside Out Prison Ministry

I am a whole new person. Over these last 3 yeas I have totally transformed. I'm focused and ferocious when it comes to doing all things the parole board expects!! I've become the product of these classes. No longer the product of my environment or the product of trauma and abuse!! I'm healed and it shows from the inside out!!

I'm thinking of taking electronics vocational training. I don't think I'm smart enough. I think I just might challenge myself!? I'm terrified to do it. But, maybe I need this class to grow and gain skills?? I think I just might do it...

As you know, I have a fiance to come home to. I know what rings I want for both me and him! So, my plate is full and I'm the luckiest girl in the world! As always, I'll keep you posted!!

 

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