I was watching a show last night about women in jail who are pregnant. There is one particular jail who has a program for pregnant women, Wee Ones I believe it’s called. The women selected for this program get to keep their babies in jail with them and look after them, with the help of prison staff and “nannies” (long-term inmates). The others who are not chosen for this program have to give their babies up within 24 hours of giving birth. Some of them have relatives to care for the babies until the mothers get out, some of them have to give them over to complete strangers.
I watched it with sadness, disbelief and shock. How could these women do that to these children? How could they think bringing them up in jail would give them the best start? How could they not want the best for these new lives? Why did they commit a crime in the first place to end up in jail while they were pregnant? All these questions, and more, I asked myself while watching.
It dawned on me that some of these mothers probably commit a crime specifically to get into the program as they don’t have anything on the outside. They have no home, no family, no income so they would be left stranded.
In jail they (if selected for the program) get drug programs, counselling, help and most importantly, a safe, secure environment in which to care for and nurture their babies. They have a roof over their heads, food in their bellies and they can’t be tempted by drug dealers and the like.
I had mixed emotions while watching the show, but in the end, I thought it was a great program. I mean, most people would not want to bring up their baby for the first year or so of life in jail, but this program offers them the chance to bond with their babies, and get the help they need to care for themselves and their babies on the outside.
It’s not the ideal situation, but compared to what they would have to face on the outside, I think it’s a much better option.
I had to stop watching as it was getting towards midnight and I am never up that late usually.
When I got to bed and started my nightly prayers, I burst into tears of sheer sadness, relief and thanks to my Lord and Saviour.
Why? Why was I crying like a baby after this show?
It made me realise that my wonderful Father had kept me from a life of crime and horror.
I had a very different upbringing. First of all, I lived with my Dad, not both my parents. It was an unstable home as there were different women in our lives and we moved around a lot. Within the first 12 years of my life I went to no less than 5 schools and lived in no less than 7 homes in different parts of the state.
Every school holidays I was shipped off to my Nanna’s place because “she had more patience”. I won’t go into every detail of my childhood, but as you can see, I didn’t get the best start.
I started drinking and going out partying when I was 17 and that was my life for a long, long time. I was such a big drinker that I could have drank a lot of men under the table almost. My life used to revolve around alcohol. I would crave it and long for it.
If I had a rough day, off to the nearest booze retailer. If I had a great day, off to the nearest beer shop. If I had a bad break up I would drink myself into oblivion. I wouldn’t just have two or three, I would drink until I was drunk, and I don’t just mean happy drunk either.
All social activities revolved around drinking. It was a fruitless existence. I was not living, I was existing.
I knew it was bad for me but I was powerless to stop the cravings. No matter what I did, I always craved booze.
Now, after His intervention in my life, I no longer crave alcohol like I did. I do get the odd pangs, especially when I’m in certain situations like when I used to drink, but I try to avoid those as much as I can. I still have the very occasional drink, about 4 times a year, but I don’t get drunk and I don’t drink for the same reasons I used to.
While watching this program and seeing that a lot of these women, young and old, came from similar backgrounds, it really got me thinking. How I didn’t end up like them is a pure miracle that I can only thank God for.
Nothing I ever say or do will make up for what He has done for me. He let me know, through this tv show, just what He’s done for me and now I see it as my duty to do whatever I can for Him.
Whether that be the blog, the page or something completely different. I don’t know what He has in store for me, but I am going to take each day as it comes and hope that when the time comes, I’m counted worthy to be with Him in heaven for all eternity.
Words simply cannot express how I feel and I will never truly understand how or why He did it for me, but I will be forever thankful and grateful.
Thank you Lord. 🙂
I am also grateful for the way I’ve been brought up as it has given so me much life experience and some of those experiences money could never buy. I have had some amazing times, like living in the bush in a hot climate with no fresh running water and no electricity, but it was great. One of the best times of my life.
I also shared an outside toilet/show with snakes, wasps. frogs and spiders. I would never trade that time of my life for all the money in the world.
I also love my Dad and don’t get angry or bitter at him about how I was raised. He has sacrificed so much for me over the years and it’s only as I’ve grown and had my own children that I’ve realised just what he’s done for me. But it’s only a fraction of what my Father in heaven has done for me and you, and all of mankind.
Has He been working in your life? Take a look back over your life and really look. Look at the circumstances you’ve been in and had an outcome that could not have happened had God not had His hand on you. Was there a time you were in a car accident and there was no way you should have survived? Were you ever addicted to drugs or alcohol and were able to stop of your own accord? Maybe that was Him with His hand on you but you just don’t know it.
Have you ever done something so wrong that you should have been severely punished for but haven’t? Maybe that was Him keeping you out of trouble so you could go on to a better life.
There are so many ways He could have helped you in your life without you knowing. I bet there is. All I ask is that you have a think about it and maybe, ask Him to show you where He has helped you along the way. What harm can it do? Go on, I dare you. 😉