Be Joyful

Today I had the pleasure of getting to know another inmate in the Thursday Bible study I am part of.  His name is Shaun C.  His story is very inspirational.

He grew up in a home where both of his parents were drug addicts.  His dad abused him so much that his mom, Shaun, and his 2 sisters left in the middle of the night.  When they settled across the country away from the abusive dad, Shaun’s mom started dating a guy who was also a drug addict and who also abused Shaun and his sisters. 

Unfortunately at age 9, Shaun’s mom abandoned him and his sisters so Shaun had to steal food for him and his sisters.  He got caught and was put in an orphanage.  Needless to say, his childhood was very rough.  As he grew up into his teens, he had a lot of anger issues which got him in trouble with the law.

So while in a jail cell 7 years ago, he started reading the Bible.  He told me how he would read, meditate, and pray for 8 hours a day usually.  One day he was in tears of joy because he finally felt loved by someone.  This someone was the creator of the world.  He shared with me how he felt so at peace after that day that he has continued to study the Bible everyday since then which allows him to be joyful at all times despite being in prison. 

So when you are having a bad day and do not feel joyful, think about how Shaun’s life was and he still was able to be joyful.  In fact, today I was having a tough time being joyful because my compassionate release request to the courts is taking longer than what I want. 

After hearing Shaun’s testimony, I immediately reminded myself how fortunate I am to have my family supporting me, my friends at home supporting me, my safety here in the belly of the beast, my job to help pass the time, my friends here in prison, etc…  Even positive people like I try to be need some encouragement.  Shaun’s inspiring testimony did just that for me today.

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