We visited Yolanda at the county jail today. She has gained weight and looks healthy, even after her goiter surgery. Better than her health was her attitude. She let many tears flow as she talked of her mistakes and her future. She so desperately wants to make the right choices, especially when she is released. She has the sense that if she fails again, she will have no more chances. This next week she goes to a year-long drug recovery program through the penal system. This is her choice. She could be released from jail in about 5 months, but she has the desire to be made well, to be healed. Although she is not excited about attending group sessions from 7am to 9pm each day, she desires to overcome her addiction even more.
Even more exciting than her desire for recovery is the truth that she is drawing closer to God. She is beginning to pray in preparation for things, rather than as an afterthought. She is turning to God to help her make right choices. She is even beginning to feel compassion for many of the other women in her cell block that have committed heinous crimes. When she first arrived, knowing what these women had done really bothered her. Her heart is melting.
My son was along on the visit. He and my daughter flipped a coin to see who got to go. Only two visitors were allowed. When we pulled in the garage after the visit, he made a perfectly true statement that is profound for a 10 year old.
“It doesn’t matter how you are raised or what your childhood was like. It all comes down to the choices you make, doesn’t it.”