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Dana has written several “letters to God” – you can see them here

Dear God,

Thank you for another beautiful day in such an ugly place.  How ironic that I had to come to the “concrete jungle” of chaos and noise to find joy and inner peace.  Because it’s true, O Lord, I’m happier than I’ve been in a long while in one of the most unhappy places on earth.  For I laugh more than I have in years.  I smile almost constantly, and I wake up without guilt or sadness from the turmoil of my once lethal life.  Don’t misunderstand me Lord Jesus.  I know why I’m here and I haven’t forgotten my journey or just how many miles I need to go on my road trip to eternal life.  I just mean that finding You, the peace of the Holy Spirit, and accepting You as my Lord and Savior has done wonders for my soul and has made it easier to enjoy the simple things, see the big things and know what’s important.  So even though I’m fully aware that I’m incarcerated facing 40+ years, housed with other women deemed dangers to society just like me, I can appreciate that I’m happily sober, relieved to be safe and alive and sometimes overwhelmed with the beauty of Your love and enduring forgiveness for sinners like me.  So as my pod-mate says, “Lord, you really do have a sense of humor, and You work in mysterious ways.”  Praise God!

Lord Jesus, there’s still something that despite my ever growing faith and spirituality that weighs heave on my mind and heart.  That no matter how much I learn about forgiveness, I still can’t bear to truly face this demon.  For I am still troubled and carry the heavy chains of guilt and pain for the inexcusable hurt I’ve caused my children.  Lord, one thing about sobriety is the amazing ability to remember things and think about things I haven’t thought about in years.  It’s the bittersweet reward of a clear mind because although I remember a lot of precious memories of my family and past life, I also recall a lot of ugly memories and things I’m not so proud of.  It’s those memories and thoughts Lord Jesus that haunt me.  It’s these things that I so desperately want to rid my heart of, along with the shockingly bitter sting.  The stink I get every time one of these treacherous memories decides to creep across my mind like a theif in the night, stealing all my inner joy and condemning me all over again.  It’s a sting that when I feel it, I crave the familiarity of an opiate induced past that in its own dark twisted way is comforting for me.  When I feel this sting of regret and shame, I want to run and hide and call on my “black knight” that can surely make all those uncomfortable feelings (as well as every other feeling, both pleasant and unpleasant) just disappear.  It tempts me into reverting back into the miserable heroin slave who worked tirelessly for the dark spirit and lost it all; because in my guilty mind at least I didn’t feel the pain of my three beautiful boys whom I never meant to hurt.

Lord, I trust Your word in the aspect that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  But I just don’t think I deserve to be forgiven for hurting someone so innocent.  I don’t think I can bring myself to admit the things I’ve done in regard to the three beautiful creatures You Yourself created and blessed me with.  Each day my Lord, the weight of my burden of guilt seems to get heavier and heavier.  So I come to You now Lord, with arms extended up to You, heart open, on my knees, begging for You to take the pain from me and heal me.  Heal my boys and our hearts.  I confess to You sweet Jesus that the image I see when I close my eyes is that of three tear-stained faces emblazed into my mind and the sound I hear echoing through my ears are the cries of these confused little boys who just couldn’t understand.  They couldn’t understand why I needed my “medicine” every day or I became a sick monster.  They didn’t know why we couldn’t do “normal” things anymore like we used to.  They didn’t know why we couldn’t be gone too long from home because I had to be able to “shoot up” every 2-3 hours just to stay regular, just to maintain my sanity, which to a normal person must have seemed like absolute insanity and complete madness.  My boys couldn’t grasp why I had become so painfully thin or why my arms were so bruised and ugly.  They couldn’t get why I was disappearing before their very eyes.  My boys grew frustrated with the fact that I spent most of my time locked away in the bathroom, obviously sheltering them from nothing, trying to hide my visible, noticeable, murderous addiction.  I blame myself for putting too much responsibility on a 12 year old “man” who just wanted to play like the other kids.  I blame myself for neglecting my 10 year old because it is easy to miss perfection in a world of disaster when all he wanted was my time and attention.  And I blame myself most of all for putting my needs over that of my precious baby boy whose only crime was being born into a home with a junkie as a parent.  I hate and am disgusted with myself for not having or finding the patience to be tender and gentle to him when he cried simply for me to hold him.  I hate myself for being so selfish with the three wonderful lives and for putting them through what no child should have to endure, for making them travel through the evil vortex of my addiction with me.

I despise that even though they themselves were not addicts, that they too suffered the consequences of my disgusting habit.  That although the needle full of the devil’s venom may have pierced my veins, it also pierced their hearts.  That while heroin was stealing and raping my soul, it was also stealing their joy and raping them of their childhood freedoms.  I was killing their spirit while I was killing mine, and I was too high to see it.  I was too high to notice the light leaving their eyes because the light from mine was already gone.  For I am guilty of 4 counts of attempted murder.  The murder of my spirit and theirs.  Even though that is not why I am incarcerated.

I regret being so careless with their hearts dear Lord, and I cry out for Your forgiveness.  I beg You O merciful Lord to heal me and take it all from me.  I know Lord that I neither deserve or am entitles to Your forgiveness but I pray that You will take mercy on me and show me the wonders of Your love, even though no part of my life merits such.  “For You Lord are good and ready to forgive and are abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You” (Psalm 86:5)  Well, I call upon You now Lord, who is my Christ and my Savior, to convict me and forgive me and make me whole again.  I call to You my Lord and ask You to put forgiveness in the hearts of my boys, that they may too one day forgive me, and that they may know that through all of my mistakes that I love them more than anything.  The pain I’ve caused them is definitely, without the shadow of a doubt, my biggest regret.  Please send Your Holy Spirit to protect them and guide them and make them whole again as well.  Please remind them that they are loved and that no amount of concrete can ever separate them from my heart.

Thank You Lord for all Your wonderful love and all the unselfish gifts that You readily bestow on me.  I know Lord with You and in You all things are possible.  I know that each day I become a better person because of You and for that I am truly amazed.  In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

All my soul,