For me, my life before was arrogant, and the end of most dilemmas was violent. I felt that I was alright all the time, and the people around me were the ones not happy. Well, finally my arrogance and violent attitude led me straight to jail, then shortly after that, to prison.
After several occasions fighting that resulted in solitary confinement, the jail facility just labeled me as being a “troublemaker” — always picking fights, nasty mouthing off, and rebellious behavior. So whenever I got into a fight, they never listened to my side, ever. The jailers would just come see me, mace me, grab me, and take me off to my “private condo,” or lockdown — also known as solitary.
Well, on my last trip to lockdown, I met Sonya Smith. She was already in the cell that the jailers always drag me to and put me in. Being in there with Sonya, I started to observe her ways, like when the jailers would literally throw our dinner/lunch trays to us on the floor…an hour late…and cold. I used to cuss them out, but Sonya used to smile at them and say, “Thank you,” and later she would pray for them. And she would tell me, “Aisha, let’s praise God that we even got a dinner tray.”
Watching Sonya’s reactions – always forgiving, no anger — I knew something was wrong with my own heart. So I started asking questions. Every time I asked Sonya a question, God allowed her to find every answer in the Bible immediately. That was exactly what I needed to believe, and I realized that God was taking time out of His busy schedule to be so personal to me through Sonya. Sonya showed me how to stop turning to violent behaviors — with Scriptures to back every word up.
Other inmates would say mean things to Sonya and try mean things with her. I observed her reactions to them…she smiled, didn’t say a word, and was nice to them in return, including the jailers. Now, if that had been me, I would have acted out very nastily, with nasty language and reactions. So I asked her, “How do you get the strength and self control to do that?” Her answer to me: “God and His Son, Jesus… Aisha, please just stay focused on God’s Word you’ll get it!” So I started digging through Scripture day and night.
I have been released from jail since then, but I’ve been running after this Truth and God’s Word ever since, and right to this day, I use the exact same examples Sonya gave me regarding my everyday behavior. I know the changes in me make God smile because I am experiencing such fruit from it – God has blessed me with a beautiful marriage, a wonderful baby, a beautiful fellowship, no drugs, no greed for food, no bad attitudes, no violence…and I love people now, and that’s huge for me.
“The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 13:3-4
Thank you for allowing me to share!!!!!
Written in Spring 2007