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“A New Year… A New Blessing”
By Christina M  01/2015

I woke up in this freezing cold prison cell, socks to my knees, and a rough wool blanket issued to me by the New Mexico Department of Corrections.  I can hear the sound of other female prisoners hollering crude obscenities to one another, cell doors being slammed shut, and a grumpy, round, pink skinned prison guard announcing that it’s time to “eat chow”.  There were no big, shiny balloons.  There weren’t any party whistles being blown.  I didn’t have a sparkling Happy new Year headband on my head.  There was no champagne.  No New Year’s kiss.  When I really think about all that glitz and glam… I can’t help but acknowledge how over rated all that show girl stuff truly is.  God knows I’ve had my fair share of wild festivities!

I saw up on my bunk and looked out the window.  A heavy, thick, ash colored fog hung over the mountains.  “How majestic”, I thought.  Closing my eyes, I began remembering my chaos of 2014.  I had spent much of this past year in my maddening addiction to heroin.  In fact, at this same time last year I was hiding from law enforcement, spending most of my days and nights in dope houses… slowly killing myself each and every time I stuck a needle in my arm.

I didn’t have one ounce of hope.  Faith was an unattainable desire, and peace wasn’t existant in my zombie state of mind.  My family was gone, and my life was a mess.  A mess I so willingly made.

And yet… even with so many sad and painful memories of 2014, it will now and forever be the most empowering year of my life, because 2014 is the year that I was saved.  And it is the year that I submitted my life to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

“We are here only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us.  Our days on earth are like a shadow, gone so soon without a trace.”  1 Chronicles 29:15

After reflecting the memories of the year that has now come to pass, I open up my eyes and I thank the Lord.  In spite of my prison environment, I’m not a spiritual prison and I’m no longer held captive to satan’s lies.  I’m free in so many wonderful, amazing ways and I am blessed to be able to write about the graciousness of God in my life.  As it tells me in His Word, we are only here for a moment.  Even unbelievers know that we are not promised another day.

2015 is here.  I am serving out my prison sentence and say to myself and God “Something good will come out of this.”  I humble ask Him to use me, throughout this institution.  I know for certain that never again will I live for the wicked ways of the world, because I am a child of God… and He has such a beautiful plan for my life.  Submitting my life to Him wasn’t at all easy, however… it was worth it.  A wise person once told me that “anything that comes easy to me should be questioned”.  I pray those reading this will know that satan is a trickster, and has a sneaky way of making things seem “easy”.

I challenge each and every one of you to submit yourselves to God a little bit more.  Don’t put Him at the back of your mind, as if you next waking moment is a guarantee!  I wholeheartedly encourage you women, men, mothers, fathers, widows, wives, husbands, brothers and sisters, pastors, minister, teachers and students to find ways (whether new or old) to serve the Lord!

It is empty to try and live only for ourselves.  We are left hollow when we please only ourselves.  We must keep at the front of our minds our Maker.  Our God.

This year I resolve to see the greatness of God in this new life I’ve been given.  I will embrace each day I’m given, and I will pray UNCEASINGLY that I can make a difference from inside this concrete jungle I live in.

A New Year.  A New Beginning.  All a Blessing from God.

Prayerfully,  Christina

From Jodi:  When Christina wrote me, she said she would love to hear from anyone reading her testimony and writings. while she is in prison.  If you would like to send a note of encouragement to Christina, or let her know how her testimony has impacted you, please email me at jodi (at) tjdenning (dot) com and I will be glad to send your feedback to Christina.