Lisa aka Trophy of Grace, said... "How has love changed your life?":
My heart’s desire is to let you know that you are not alone in your circumstances. Many others around the world and maybe even next door to you are going through or have gone through similar situations. I have been through so many different trials in my own personal life. Looking at me now you would never know.
Today, I'm actively involved in prison ministry, and I write the blog http://www.consecratedtohim.com/, as well as a counselor and the founder of http://www.weused2bu.com/ .
This is my story (the short version). I hope that it helps someone.
For the most part I had a good early childhood. My parents always seemed very loving and affectionate towards one other. I don’t really remember seeing them fighting. I used to play the keyboard very well and I was always a straight ‘A’ student. At the time I had just one sister who is a year younger than me.
My parents separated when I was eleven years old. This was very difficult for me because I was very close to my dad. I blamed my mother and resented her for their divorce. I began running away from home often. When I was just twelve years old I stole a car with a “friend” and drove to New York. That was just the first time that I stole a car and ran away. I thought I was so grown. It was hard to relate to the other girls my age because I felt like I was so much more “mature”. I hung out with gangs but not by choice. My mother’s family incorporated a gang called “Sangre” back in the early 90’s. I saw several initiations along with other gang activities. I did not have many boyfriends because they were scared of my uncles and cousins. I learned to keep my relations with guys on the low.
My mother died when I was sixteen years old. That was it for me. I went down so low in my life that I never thought I would ever come out of that pit. I began selling and doing drugs. Just months after my mother died I got busted by the police and charged with drug trafficking. They put me on probation for five years.
Within a year I meet my first husband. I was pregnant and married six months later. A month before my daughter’s 1st birthday he left us without any warning. I was heartbroken and lonely. I did not have a mother to go running home to and my father did not want my bad influence around my little brother. I was just nineteen years old and homeless. I had no choice but to leave my daughter with my in-laws who were pastors. By this time I had violated my probation for the third time. On my second violation the judge promised that he would send me to prison if I violated again. Months later I was arrested for assault with a vehicle. Even then the judge still had mercy on me and sentenced me to a six month drug rehab center. Just three months into the program I violated again.
While I was waiting to be taken back to jail from the center, a group of Christian women came in. They planned a big tea party event. It was beautiful. I had never been to anything like that. That is when I met my mentor. She is a godly woman who would impact the rest of my life. She began writing me. I loved reading her letters because they were always so encouraging and full of scriptures from the bible. I did not have anyone showing me that kind of love, the God kind.
Over the years that I had been in and out of jail I had prayed many times, especially when I was in jail. I remember every time I violated my probation I would get extradited back to the West Palm Beach County jail and there was always the same older woman coming in and teaching a bible study. She was so sweet and she spoke of freedom in Jesus. I was not sure what that really meant at the time, but I knew that I needed it. I asked Jesus to come into my heart on one of those trips. I did not see a change in me, but looking back I know that God had a plan all along. He allowed me to continue in my rebellious and selfish ways a little longer before He allowed me to be set aside in prison.
I was sent from the rehab back to the judge. He sentenced me to five years in prison but because of the guidelines back then I only had to serve eighteen months. From the time that I met Sonia I really began to seek God. By the time I was sentenced to prison I knew that God had a plan for me and I was not scared. I was ready to face my consequences and move on with my life.
God did not allow prison or my past experiences to destroy me. He took what the devil meant to destroy me and turned it around for my good. He blessed me with a beautiful family. Everything that I lost God gave me back and more. I have a wonderful husband who puts our family first. I have children who love God and that are constantly praising Him.
He can do the same for you, if you will let Him. I am not proud of what I have done in my past, but if I had to go through it all over again so that I could better understand someone else’s sorrow then I would. I am who I am today because of God’s grace. I am His Trophy of Grace.
Please keep me in your prayers as I have set myself to fulfill God's will in my life and I am determined to finish the race.
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17