I just want...normal
This morning I was struggling to find the right blog topic. I had lots of ideas, but they mostly centered on attacking why we have some of the problems we do in society. Those kinds of blog and social media posts have historically gotten me in trouble. So, I was balking at those half dozen ideas. Then Tammy said, "Hey, listen to this email I just got from Jude". "Jude" is our organization's volunteer coordinator and our good friend, Judy VanMeter. Here is her email to Tammy...
While in the jail the other day, I asked the ladies if they had any prayer requests, concerns, or things they wanted to share. One very sad woman spoke up. “I just want a normal life. I want to be able to wear normal clothes. I just want to live in a normal house and drive a car. I just want a normal family.”
I was so taken back by this simple, but profound prayer request. After composing myself I said, Susan, ( not real name) that is why we are here. We are here to give you the tools you need to obtain a normal life. What we bring in the way of teaching gives you wisdom and guidance to learn to have that successful, normal life.
It is so sad to me to ponder the unnatural state of existence these women are in. The abnormal living situation in the jail is so different from God’s plan for our lives. The “false” reality of addiction is completely contrary to the truth of living a successful, “normal” life.
My prayer for these women is that they will hear the truth and be set free to live a normal, peaceful, successful life, in all areas.
I am honored to be a part of the LITE (living in transition effectively) ministry. I hope to be able to help them learn to help themselves in succeeding in having a normal life.
I half-jokingly say to my guys inside, "Whatever normal is". What I mean by that is none of us is perfect and none of us has a perfect life. But this woman's prayer request to Judy has moved me to quit saying that. "Normal" to her, and perhaps her fellow inmates, means anything other than what they have now and where they were just prior to what put them where they are now. I am blessed to live in the chaos I live in daily. In fact, my problems and workload and expectations and worries and joys are this woman's prayer!
Our Jail Chaplain, Jarod Osborn, left this note for Judy and Tammy in the jail earlier this week... Collaboration like this is wonderful and it's why we say, "collaboration is multiplication!"