Humiliation and Help
I only have one more day before I must surrender to federal prison. I’ll feel the pain when walking away from my wife Georgia, my two young boys Asher and Miles, and of course, the rest of my family. Each day that I’m away, I’ll work hard to prove worthy of the love they’ve given me.
For those of you who are just getting to know me, I have taught youth ministry for longer than 20 years. I’ve even preached several Sunday mornings over the years. One of my passions is connecting the Old Testament to the New Testament, aiming to grow more like Christ.
Last evening my wife, who has been crying almost non-stop, felt calm enough to ask me, “Have you ever thought about being a Chaplain?:
Georgia mentioned how amazed she felt that seven of my friends called me up the past few days to comfort me. They told me stories of their past when they had to do time in prison.
I have known these friends for years and never knew about their time in prison. Quite frankly, they did not feel comfortable sharing their stories. Now that they know I will be “one of the boys,” we shared a common experience that made it easier for them to speak with me about their previous challenges with the law.
Like these seven friends of mine, I felt the same. For the longest time, I did not want to discuss anything about my court case. I wanted to act as if nothing was going on because I felt confident things would just go away. In reality, I did not cause any financial loss to the banks.
After my friends read the news about my situation, they all asked the same question: “Why didn’t you tell me? I would have been by your side the whole time. I would have testified about your great character. I could have helped you.”
In response, I could only express my regret and apologize, telling them how sorry I felt about the entire predicament.
As I reflect on how I moved through the past couple of years, I know that I wish I would have shared more about the challenges our family went through. I would like apologize publicly for not telling Scott, Jerry, Sid, Alice, Greg, Mitzie, Holly, Nate, Matt, Derrick, Kevin, Seth, Richard, Duane, and Jason. If I forgot to mention others, I ask forgiveness as I work through the stress that comes with knowing that I’ll soon be leaving my family and friends behind.
For others going through an investigation, about to be sentenced, or about to report to prison, I recommend openness and honest. Although, I know the pain, and the feelings flat-out suck.
Still, I advise those facing similar challenges not to hide from friends or family. Please, please, please—do not hide problems from them. They will want to be there by your side when the going gets tough.
We all need each other. I am here for others and promise not to judge anyone.
Feel free to write me while I am in prison. Depending upon access to resources, I promise to write back. Since I’ve learned that we do not have the same access to mail or phone calls, I’ll use this website to make regular contributions.
I’ll share more about how I’m using time inside to contribute to the lives of others.