Little Victories

 

1/27/14

One need not always trust in the 'large' things -  Isaiah 31  King James Version (KJV) 31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

One need not always trust in the ‘large’ things –
Isaiah 31
King James Version (KJV)
31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

I’m reading your letter to be about how you feel imprisoned, somewhat like  I am experiencing, although our prisons are different. No matter what either of us does, we can’t escape. This is God, working on our outer selves, which is essential to allow God’s Spirit to be released. Praise God for how you’ve been able to surrender to this discipline, and for learning patience with our children. I’m so glad to hear the boys are branching out, and aren’t so afraid to do their own things. I’m so proud of their growth amid all of the things they’ve been through. I just pray they see how loved they are by God, and are being taught by Him in so many ways. God is working on Nate so he can learn to discern who his real friends are, and to not feel ashamed for speaking out against injustice at school. God is using my suffering to teach them, to reach others, as well who need to realize the anguish and injustice in their own backyards.

I have to admit, I’ve been under attack now for over a week. I’ve not been happy with what God is allowing to happen in my life. I stay confused and blocked from understanding what is happening to me. I know I have to work through it, and am battling this selfish outer man. You have been so encouraging throughout this whole ordeal, and  know your love for me is real. I just feel so weakened and alone lately, and have to just give it to God…

I’ve noticed my eyes become blurry after reading awhile.  I have to pull the book or paper away from my face to be able to ready clearly. I used to have 20-15 vision, but only God knows what being in isolation has done…

I’m watching 60 minutes and listening to how there is such a shortage of psych0logists and therapists across the nati0n; and stories like what you’ve been through recently with our boys. Then they talked about how there are lack of beds in the institutions for the extreme behavior needs like what we experienced with my two children that led us to end up like this, due to not having adequate care in the mental health fields. If you can google this, maybe you will find some support sites so you have other people to talk to, and can maybe even get some help with our case. Isn’t it amazing how much has to happen before things like this come to the light?

Speaking of lights, this crew tonight is the one that often leaves our lights on until midnight, which was the main reason I wrote the grievance about not having any relief from the lighting. Tonight, though, they went out at 10:38 p.m., which is so wonderful! Even the little things feel like big victories!

 

It’s been two years since I’ve had a piece of chicken…

1/1/14

Lunch today surprised me so much – chicken thigh with the bone in! I haven’t had a real piece of meat in two years! Praise God! We also had apple pie, greens, white rice with gravy and cornbread. The chicken is so great! I saved the leg to eat tonight with my eggs and toast. I saved the apple pie to eat later with my milk.

 I can't believe how much I miss fried chicken, or just real meat...

I can’t believe how much I miss fried chicken, or just real meat…

I pray we go outside tomorrow. I truly need some fresh air, and more space to move around.
In this new room  I only have about 30 or 40 square feet to move around in.

This is for 23 hours a day for five days straight, but as it is too cold for the outside rec with no coats, I am usually in this tiny space for 24 hours for eight to ten days at a time; sometimes longer. I think it has been almost two weeks since it was warm enough to try to go outside.

I’m going to ask for another pair of pants tonight. I’ve had the same pair for two weeks now. They let us change out once a week on Wednesdays, but I don’t want to switch them out until I have to. I was such a proud man and hard on everyone. Yes, your love was always there. Thank God He put you in my life. God has a purpose for all this suffering, Rochelle. We just need to wait patiently for God. This process is all part of God’s plan.

1/2/14
Your visit was so great; I have missed the boys so. They are growing so fast! You looked very happy.
Did I tell you that dad sent me a Christmas card? Everyone in the pictures looked so great. You have been doing such a good job of raising our boys on your own. God has been guiding you well.

1/3/14
I got all the information from the transcripts you requested, and got it ready and sent it on to the lawyer. I also noticed that during the past week, the lights have been staying off in the mornings until 6:00 a.m. with breakfast being served after that. God is so great! Your grievances is being used by God as a way to make change. We have also been served a little more at our meals.

I’ve been reviewing your complaint to CPS, and you’ve covered most everything. You have such a goo memory, there were just a few errors in time, but it’s so hard when we can’t talk on the phone or even face to face, just through glass. I know it is hard to remember things and then run to the car and write them down, or write questions to me on your arm before you come in to visit; and then the visits are only once or twice a month. There’s so much against us, I don’t see how you get anything done.

I’m wrapped up in four sheets and three waffle blankets. If we could have a quilt or cover it would make a big difference. The cement is so cold when it’s cold outside. We still do not have warm air through the vents.

They just threw my grievance back in my cell from the charge on 12/13, saying that they would refund the cost of this med call. But, only one follow up is allowed per fourteen days of a visit. Well, my first sick call was in July, and the others were due to the lack of care post-op.

I got my shower a little while ago and traded for some more coffee. I feel a little warmer, and can try again to write my story to CPS. It is harder to do than I thought it would be, to relive all of the injustice that happened to our family.

Allow God to break the outer self

 Psalm 136  King James Version (KJV) 136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.


Psalm 136
King James Version (KJV)
136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

12/30/13

 

Dear Rochelle,

God is love. That is what God wants all men and women to know. As God’s children, we search for love, but often don’t know where to look. It’s hard for us to understand His love because it comes freely. We think there is always a price for love. Why? Well, we often equate sex for love. Sex should only be a by-product of our love as man and wife, not what comes first. We have replaced God’s love with empty words. We want to find satisfaction and we think sex is the answer, but we can never be fulfilled in this way.

From partner to partner we look, but our answers cannot be found in ‘man’. This is one way God breaks the outer self, to show us that we are not in control. Time after time He shows us. It is only in knowing God that our emptiness subsides. When our outer self is broken, then we receive great joy, a feeling beyond the flesh, beyond explanation. It is the one ture love that we should seek first, and then we will be equally yoked with a partner.

Now, don’t think that it isn’t that I don’t desire you, Rochelle. You are never far from my thoughts. My wanting you burns deep, wanting once again to be intimate with you. I now know that my love for you is pure, as it has moved beyond the simple physical. Intimacy as husband and wife is a pouring out of God’s love; His spirit being in them both to become one before God. There is no shame in God’s eyes so why should be ashamed in front of each other? Our society has become so corrupt that we no longer live for God. His love then becomes bound inside us, and cannot be released.

The outer self has to be disciplined and broken to pieces in order for God’s spirit to be released. We need to allow God to be the blacksmith, and bend us in His fire to be made anew.  We have to lay ourselves before God, and give ourselves up, seeking Him intimately. Only then will you find the true love that you seek.

The prison has never addressed my pain post-op

12/27/13 I received your letter, with the grievance and the emails from Congressman Howard Coble, and as well as the Senator Trudy Wade. Your grievance to the Guilford County CPS/DSS was remarkable.

How much pain it must have been to relive our time with them. God must truly be behind this path, for Him to help you endure that torture again, remembering each detail.

I hope you will feel better soon. I continue to pray for your health to improve. For myself, I want so badly to feel whole again. I attempted to exercise Monday, and paid for it, dearly. I began standing toe touches, slowly working down to my toes, only doing 26 at a time.  Along with standing bicycles, with my elbows bending to touch my knees, 25. Also, side bends, with 50 in a set. Then 25 pushups in a set. I ended up with 100 toe touches, 100 standing bicycles, as many push ups and 2oo side bends. Now remember, before this surgery I was doing 1,000 pushups. This morning, I couldn’t even get out of bed without dragging myself along, as my right side hurt so bad. I took ibuprofen all day long. It didn’t stop for three days! So, I am nothing near ‘normal’ for me. The prison has never addressed my issue with pain post-op, and there is still something wrong with my intestines. There seems to be a lump  I can feel with the toe touches.

Your short letter brought me so much joy that you mailed with the second prison complaint follow-up from November. I wept to think how much I mean to you that you would put yourself in front of all these state people for me. Even as you face so much adversity, you continue to encourage me to try harder in here to be heard.

Only God can know my heart, Rochelle. I was never good at words to tell you how much you mean to me.

12/28/13

They woke me up at 6:25 a.m. to tell me I had to pack up, and am moving to D-wing. I only got two hours of sleep from the door slamming, and am exhausted and grouchy. In the new cell, the light is directly overhead, but

the air is not facing me when I sleep! Praise God, it is barely moving in the vent! I will not have to wear all of the extra clothes. There is also a seat now, whereas I had to write while hunched on the edge of my sleep ledge before. I did lose my extra mat to lie on. We sleep on what looks like a kindergarten mat, no mattress.

So, everything you’re writing to these people is starting to get to them here. I trust God will keep improving conditions through you!

I wrote to my case manager, and he answered back saying that my review date for seg has been moved forward to January, instead of waiting until February. There is a chance I may get out of seg by the end of January. Even moving to the close ops would be an improvement!

I know that this false charge has been a way for us to be put in a place to stay still and seek Him for our strength.

Thank you for allowing God to build a better relationship with us, and Him. We have grown so much closer in the past four months, and my own strength and belief is much stronger now.  I miss you so much!

I am reading Wednesday’s paper that I got on Friday today, as I draw each one out so they last through the weekend. this helps me to have some distraction in this new place. I’ve finished the bible study correspondence you sent. I wish I had a longer, harder one. In this new area, I’ve noticed that there are many in here to talk to themselves, even to the point of answering. So, this is where the ones go that have to stay long periods. I was in a revolving door wing, for those with only 40 days or so time.

This is no way to exist. No wonder they crack. God help us all. I now don’t feel alone in my distress.

I simply thought I was weak.

The torture is not something one can fight; it is administered on us day after day.

I am now in a room with very little space to move. The handicap room had 20 more square feet of space.

That is tremendous loss of space! But, I can see the sun through the windows now, and it warms my wall! Praise Him for the small things, always. I don’t have to wear all of those layers, and …I won! I won, I won, 30 stamps! So far no losses with 15 games .

I’ve been trying to clean. Obviously the last one here had some disagreements with the staff of Marion Correctional ICON.

I can’t remember the last night I slept more than two hours. That psychologist needs to stay in here for a few weeks with only two hours of sleep and see if she still calls it ‘normal’. Or maybe more like four months like this.

Now, I can hear a t.v. Can’t see it, but it is such a blessing to at least hear something normal, anything. I can hear the news, and I may be able to even hear the Super Bowl! If I’m still back here, of course.

God has been working through you in such great ways. Rest and follow God’s instructions. I so long to hold you in my arms. You are such an unselfish woman who has allowed her outer self to be broken so that God’s spirit may truly shine for the world to see. Through all of our trials and suffering God breaks the ‘outer self’ so He might shine through on the earth. As we embrace the suffering, and accept the need to surrender, then true work is done!

(Battle of Carchemish) Jeremiah 46 ~ 10 For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord God of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates. 11 “Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; In vain you will use many medicines; You shall not be cured.

Even if  I have to  be like Jeremiah and proclaim God’s word for 40 years, so be it! You should see me dancing around my room.

I won!

They say 2 hours of sleep is normal if you don’t exercise (111 days in isolation)

I have started to scare myself with how much joy I have now for God.
You are such a harbor me; through all of these trials you’ve never wavered.
I feel our hearts are together always, even through these walls of cement.

They came today for the sick call I wrote ten days ago.
They also answered my request forms saying they won’t give me copies of my medical records.
I have to write to Raleigh’s Department of Corrections, so if you can do that, maybe they will give them to you. They took my blood work on November 19th. I can’t get through to them how much pain this is, and they will do nothing but just tell me to expect pain, to work out, like I haven’t been trying. No one actually does anything. But, I will try to hang on in faith, and give God my burdens.

Praise God! He is moving mountains through you, Rochelle! On our limited canteen list it was now offering for us to purchase multi-vitamins and glucosamine! We were never allowed to get vitamins until now! He is working mightily through you. I wrote to the unit manager giving thanks and asking if they could please allow us to get fish oil.

12/20/13

I was the psychologist today for about 15 minutes. I explained about the sleep deprivation and the lighting, and the extreme cold and she said that 2 hours of sleep at a time was normal without any strenuous activity. Even after I explained my depression, bouts of crying and hopelessness, she said that she couldn’t help and that it didn’t warrant a full psychological evaluation.

She said that things would be better once I’m out of isolation. REALLY? I only have about 90 more days.

The only way to get any version of ‘help’ is if I try to hurt myself or others. Great.

We went outside this morning. IT was so great to finally get outside. I could smell wood burning! It was so homey and reminded me of the fires we would burn sometimes. The leaves and wood smelled so real! I’ve not smelled that in three years now.

12/22/13

I see the importance of celebrating the birth of our Lord now. Before it was more selfish in nature, but this is much bigger; it’s about showing love to others to spread God’s unending love to all. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may His love fill your hearts as He has mine.

I’ve been asking for a pen now for a week…

They called for our weekly rec, outside time, at 6:30 a.m.

It was 20 degrees. If I had ever been given my thermals,

I would have gone out, anyway, but without them, in the dark with no sunshine, no way.

The prison does this because they know that no one has any way to keep warm to go outside.

I will send another request form to the nurse, asking about the sick call request I sent in over a week ago about still having pain, and I asked for psyllium fiber, as we only get starches to eat, with very little vegetables or near enough fiber to have healthy bowels. On Nov. 26, the lead nurse said I would be getting an assessment for a specialized diet, but none has been done, two weeks later. I did get a not from another nurse who said that this week I was scheduled for an assessment, which is then sent to Raleigh. But, no assessment. See, I cry my eyes out but no one hears my cries but Jesus. God will prevail. My head hurts from all of the crying and thinking so much, and the effects of being stuck in this cell all of the time.

I stood at the door for over an hour, waiting for an officer to come and get this form for a psychological interview.  Two CO’s later someone finally takes it on. The fiber pills just don’t work at all, and they are 625 mg, but the stuff I bought in canteen worked fine. (He doesn’t realize the effects of post-surgery bowel issues, and without proper diet and exericise is having great difficulty) I am under great stress from this extra pain and complication, and it also makes me feel very tired. If I want to talk to another guy, I have to stand at my door and yell, which is difficult to keep up for any length of time.

12/15/13

A nurse came in today and brought me two small pills, but didn’t even tell me what they were. My temp is still not normal, but it is better, at 98.3, and she said the pills may help, but it looks like the psyllium may not be enough right now. The next option is some sort of liquid. I hate when they don’t tell me things. I had asked to take these things before surgery to help me through the post-op, but they refused to give me anything. I know my body better than them, but they act like we cannot make any decisions on our own.

I was able to eat better today, so when they served a burger patty, 1/2 c of rice, another 1/2 c of lima beans, and then a cookie and corn bread for later. But, the nurse never did come back. The doctor, the few times I have seen him, avoids eye contact, so I know I can’t trust what he tells me. But, what am I to do?

I hope to hear from the psychologist soon. I really need relief. The emptiness of this place is so consuming. Your letters are so full of light in this dreadful place, and full of God’s word.

It’s so cold tonight, and the air never stops pelting my face and hands. I traded with a friend for a regular pen and it writes so good compared to the seg pen. I’ve been asking for a pen now for a week. The Co’s just say, “I just gave out the last one”; like that’s funny to them.

It’s hard for me to remember when I read, “Bless them that hurt you, and pray for them that despitefully use you,” that it was more targeted for our family and close ones over our enemies. Family members have become an enemy to me in many ways by not helping to take care of the children, but I will send them love, regardless.

One stone can change the world

12/12/13
david-and-goliath

Someone must be reading my grievances; yesterday I noticed that the air was warmer while still blowing with so much force. They must have raised the temp just a few degrees, which makes a big difference for us.

God spoke to me while I was listening to a preacher speak about David and Goliath, and it came to me that often-heard story is meant as to explain the coming of Christ; that Jesus was the stone in David’s sling that would defeat sin. David didn’t worry about manmade armor or a large weapon; his only concern was the protection of his people against an enemy. Even as Saul’s men trembled, David went to the stream bed and picked out a perfect assortment of rocks. They laughed at this young man, standing confident with no armor or expensive gear; just a simple peasant. But, David’s faith was so strong that he let God lead his arm, so that the stone brought him down, and David cut of Goliath’s head with his own sword.

See how this is Christ coming to change the world? He came to do away with sin that has separated us from our heavenly Father. God was showing the world that one stone can change the world.

Don’t be afraid to praise God! Rejoice in the Lord and proclaim His work to all. Yes, we all fail at times, but draw on the strength of God. My heart was hardened with so many years of abuse, but in His light, you always shined! God knew it would take a strong woman to break me down for Him to begin working on me! Praise God! Let others know that it is Jesus’ love for them; to have hope – many have suffered but you are not alone! We have to take it on faith! Even in such a place as this I can love the Lord! I feel secure in God’s hands, something I’ve never felt before. He will never make us come to Him.
I just want to convey my joy in God to be released from bondage that I alone had put myself in, as sin no longer controls me. Know the Lord is with you! With faith are we made free!