Tag: jail

Finally Free: A Steven Walker Testimony 


 I took the time to interview my younger brother who I feel has an amazing testimony! I have been there to watch him evolve from an immature boy to a very polished, responsible  and focused man. His challenges as a 2x convicted felon which robbed him of a decade of his life, has now been turned completely around! He gives the Lord Jesus Christ all the credit for where he is today! Be encouraged and share his story with someone who may very well need it!

Steven’s Journey:

As a child growing up in Philadelphia, Times were good and times were bad. My mom was and still is a workaholic. She was there, but not there. My Father, well let’s just say that he’d rather do drugs then get to know his sons or, stepdaughter. 

There isn’t too much that I can say about my dad. But my mom, she always managed to make sure that, every holiday whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or Birthdays, her children had what she could give them. Another good moment is when my sister scared the life out of my brother and I by acting like she was possessed. She painted her face white and wore this all white gown, and came down the steps. When my little brother and I saw her we immediatly started crying and was scared to death! Till this day I still bring that up and we just laugh.


 Two things that I despise about my childhood is, not listening! and not paying attention. By age 14 is when it all started. The streets of Philadelphia  had me in its cluches. I started smoking marijuana, drinking and hanging with the wrong crowd. I began thinking that I was untoucheble. I was into all sorts of illegal activities! My judgement and my sense of self worth was gone. I cared less about  school, authority figures and family members who saw me traveling down the wrong path. I had no care in the world! I did not pay attention or, listen to anyone’s advice. 

My first time being incarcerated came at the age of 18. Yes, I was scared but I still had that “I do not care” attitude. I still had a child’s mentality who thought the world was his! 

It wasn’t until I heard those huge steel gates close behind me and lock, that I realized that what everyone was trying to get me to see is finally a reality. 

I would spent the next 5 years wishing that I would have listened and payed attention. 
Being in prison at a young age made me feel like an animal. I did not like it so I started acting out. That rebellion came out of me again. This was in the 90’s so back then  sentences were like 2.5 to 3 years in length. My sentence was 3.5 to five for robbery. I ended up doing the whole five years when I could have been releases in 3. All because I wanted to act up.

Three years into my sentence I learned that its not all about me! Those streets didn’t care about me! Those clowns I hung with didn’t care about me either! I discovered that I was in jail because I followed instead of leading. I had to take control of my own life and not end up back behind those walls.


 

When I was finally released in the year of 1999 I was happy! 23 years of age now, I told myself I was going to change. During my time in prison I grew to let things go quickly. When released, I had no unresolved anger or, depressive issues. I figured hey, God gave me another chance to do something better with my life so, I have to take it. 

I signed up for G.E.D classes that I failed! I was jumping from job to job. It was hard being an ex-convict. I felt like life was playing a mean joke on me and at some point the punch line would kick in. 
In the fall of 2002, I moved out of Philadelphia, and relocated to Roanoke Virginia. I wasn’t alone! I move down there with a girl I met and her daughter. Most of you know how this story goes, never bring the sand to the beach! That’s what I would hear older guys say but didn’t know what that meant at the time. That joke that I felt life was playing on me only got worse! 

That sand that I bought to the beach changed! She started kicking me out the house, calling the police, being dissrespectful, until I ended up at a place and doing things I know I should not be doing. 

In the fall of 2006 I ended up being convict of unlawful wouding, and sentenced to another 5 year prison stay. This time wasn’t like the last time. I acually tried to change! I listened and payed attention to those who saw me walking the wrong path. This was the act of pure self defense, but no one knew that except for myself.

Now as a two time fellon, I really had my thinking cap on and my priorities straight! I knew what I needed to do.That second time in prison really opened my eyes wide! While incarcerated I managed to finally get that G.E.D under my belt as well as a trade. I told myself that I was going to take charge of my life and STOP acting like the world owes me something. I was released in the year of 2011. That first year was of course hard having to now put down two fellony convictions instead of one on job applications. I kept my head up though! It wasn’t like I did not have a job, I just wanted a better job. So, I took that G.E.D and went to college in 2012.

 By that time I was and still am involved with a beautiful woman! I know she has my best interest at hand and loves me for me. 

I graduated college in 2015 as a Communication Design Major and had a job in the field before I graduted making Magazines, Business Cards and brochures for companies in my Area.

 I also married my beautiful queen who was the right woman for me that same year. Finally God has recently blessed me with a great employment opportunity with full benefits and I am now in training to become a supervisor. Life is good!!!

Today I feel like there are no more jokes being played. I was the only joke and I played myself! God has been a major factor in my life and he was the missing piece of the puzzle. Without Christ none of this would have ever been possible. The funny thing is that, He has been there all along waiting for me to aknowledge His presence.

The advice that I would give to a young men headed in the same direction I walked is, take a really close look at yourself and analyze your situation. Ask yourself two question: Do I know God? and Do I want to know God?

There is nothing wrong with failure if it’s for a good reason. We are bound to make mistakes, but its not the mistake you made or make that hurts you. But its how you handle the Consequences that follow that make you a better person. I can say that, my actions made me a better person today and for years to come.

Stephanie & Steven Walker

#butGod

#allthingsarepossible

#secondchances

Dangerous Thin Lines

Last month I had an opportunity to attend a two-day women’s conference held in a state prison. I have never imagined myself ministering to women who have been incarcerated and was not sure how God would use me in that setting.

When the Ministry team and I arrived, the experience became completely surreal! Being stripped of things I take for granted daily, being ordered around and told what to wear, reminded of what to leave home, being searched and shaken down. We had to walk through heavy metal electronic doors. Hearing that chilling sound of the same slam behind us then lock up, definitely struck a cord or two! The experience surged through my core creating apprehensions that this life for many truly does exist!

The corridor leading to the chapel where the inmates were waiting for us was very dull and gloomy. Although not maximum security, it was clear that the facility was far from modern in every way. Those unfortunate to call this place home are offered no more than the bare necessities to survive. 

To my surprise, when I entered into the chapel the women were already engaged in praise and worship. I was taken aback because of the ignorant perception in my mind of what I thought I would see. The women had their hands raised and eyes closed in reverence of the Lord. They were clearly open and ready to receive! Any mental defenses I had up immediately fell as I silently whispered to my Savior, “Lord, use me in this place!” I was in complete awe of their genuine tender hearts and was willing to serve in any way possible. 

As I took a seat and waited for direction from The Ministry Leaders, I scanned the chapel. It was quaint, warm and inviting. The presence of God was without question in this place! Had it not been for the guards, warden and state uniforms worn by the women, I could have easily felt like I was simply visiting a new church. The atmosphere really helped to ease my preconceived notions I had conjured up in my mind days leading up to the visit.

I then scanned the faces of the prisoners. I was in shock as I considered them. Many looked like me! Normal, non-threatening, sweet, mature, beautiful and loved God. They were mothers, wives, girlfriends, grandmothers and more. What the heck are they all doing here?? I’ve got to be on “Candid Camera” for there is no way ALL of these women are capable of unthinkable acts….

I discovered that I was amongst physical abusers, drug addicts, alcoholics, thieves and yes, even murderers…

As several shared there stories of how they arrived at this place, my heart broke as their tears fell reminiscing on the days they simply made the wrong decision that drastically changed their regular lives forever. It only took a second, a fleeting moment in time that caused them to put dangerous undo pressure on some very thin lines.

I am very familiar with those moments, for I have had several throughout my life. In fact, The last, not that long ago. Outraged beyond reconciliation , responses without thought when I am offended; wanting to plot revenge against one who has hurt me; basking in unforgiveness, hate, cruelty and near insanity! My own thin lines could have very easily placed me exactly where these women are.

Although thankful that my Savior has saved me from myself today, I need Him tomorrow and always to teach me to respond the way He instructs: 

With soft answers that turn away wrath -(Proverbs 15:1)

Love my enemies – (Matthew 5:44 & Luke 6:28)

Leave revenge to The Lord – (Romans 12-19)

Forgive as He has forgiven me – (Colossians 3:13 & Ephesians 4:32)
And so much more…

My prayers remain with those women that have had such an impact on my spirit. As I was there to minister to them, they actually did the same for me. They are currently living through their testimonies and God STILL wants and loves them. I can only pray that I will encounter at least one in the future to see how God turned everything around for their good. (Genesis 50:20 & Romans 8:28)

Are you walking dangerous thin lines today? If so, please stop and consider your future. God has the answers to all that troubles you. Don’t allow the matter to eat away at your soul like acid. If you do, you can easily find yourself in the state of one of these women or worse. No matter how offended, hurt or unfair it all has been, seek God to stabilize your path; He will turn those thin lines into concrete boundaries that only He can sustain.