Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Tommy,

Dear Tommy,

I met with our girls again today. The Wednesday bunch. The PWHDs (Princess Warriors in Human Disguise). Goodness, everytime I go I learn something... and I leave wishing I could and wanting to do more. Of course, I see doors opening all around me, and my new ADOC's (AL Dept of Corrections) guy keeps pushing me fast through each one before I have a clue as to what I am doing. Tis interesting to say the least. And often, a whole lot sad. But what we're hoping to do is quite promising. And I do dearly love the hope in futuristic things! ("For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..")

Today there was a somberness in the group. A sadness. A mourning. An aggravation.......

Lauren had been so excited last week. Her parole hearing was on Tuesday. She was looking forward for her release date. Eleven and a half years living locked up is a very long time. She was past ready to get out and go home. She had her 'home plan' ready. A job lined up. Her medicine taken care of. A place to go. Lauren's a redhead, with soft loose curls haloing her head. Her eyes are a blue that's almost too beautiful to be fair. She's just plain out cute, pretty, beautiful, GORGEOUS... all wrapped into one.

She was the one that should be so sad. And she was! Though she talked very positive. She held back her tears. She had cried buckets of those last night in her bed. She found out yesterday that her parole was denied. Not only that, she won't have a possibility of parole again. She'll have to stay until her EOS (End of Sentence), which is sometime late in the year of 2014.

She reminded us that God has a plan, that He has a reason, that He has a purpose, and that she believes that and will have to trust Him in it.

Is she hurt? Yes. Disappointed? Horribly. Devastated? Tremendously. But life does goes on..... even in prison, even sometimes when you don't want for it to.

Then, Tommy, it was time to leave. She was giving me more of her details. Trying to encourage herself as she tried to encourage me. And then mid-sentence she stopped, totally change the subject, and said, "How's Tommy?"

And then, "Tell Tommy that since I have 4 1/2 more years left in here, that he can't wait. He has to find a way. He has to come."

So there, Tommy, dear friend. Your girls in the prison need you. They need your encouragement. They believe in you, because they believe that you believe in them. They have a wonderful picture of Jesus in you! Oh my, I hope that one day God will make it work and that you really will be able to visit them. It's not me asking you to this time, it's those behind bars that are asking. :)

When I think of you, Tommy, and I think of them, because of all that you've said to me, this is the scripture that reminds me of you two: "When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we [the captives] were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we were filled with joy" (Ps 126:103).

For those who don't know him... meet Tommy:


  1. Reply from Tommy:

    I don't know what to say exactly. I am a little speechless. I was wondering how it was going with the girls? It sounds like the doors are opening faster than you expected. I am not sure exactly what I can bring to these girls except a lot of tears! I cry sometimes at TV commercials! I think since my accident I am part woman! And I know their situation would break my heart! I have a friend who has MS and is in a nursing home that is bedridden. I consider in prison for her and it is so hard to visit her sometimes. I truly love so much that the girls would ask about me. Should I consider trying to come seriously?

  2. Response from me (You sooo have to LOVE this guy. He's got such a sweet heart!):

    Tommy, IF you'll consider it.... I will talk with the secretary to the Commissioner (which is the guy that is trying to drag me into all of this stuff) and ask him what ropes we need to jump through to get you there. I know it won't be overnight. But the girls would absolutely LOVE a man that can relate to them that is part-girl and cries when they do! I'll bring boxes of tissues and we'll have a bawl together!

    p.s. I'm sorry about your bed-ridden MS friend. I know you love her!

  3. Again.. from Tommy:

    Sharon it breaks my heart for the girl who is expected to be going home! I bet it is so hard to leave there sometimes! You know I would help you any way I could. I am always praying for ways and avenues to serve the Lord. I don't have much experience and I am quite the peon when it comes to witnessing what I have a feeling with these girls it would be quite easy. I was wondering if you really thought I should try to make it over there sometime. You have to tell me how much they have you up to and what all they are starting to get you involved with. It is all of this going through your church where you have lots of help or is all of this right on your shoulders? Sometimes you sound overwhelmed! I can only imagine.

  4. And again.. from me back to him:

    You know, Tommy, I'm a peon too!!! I'm clueless! So the new-kid on the block. But I'm learning a tiny-bit at a time, and so I'm mostly going with a passionate heart. Truthfully, that's what they need more than any other thing. Seriously, I'm sure I don't know much more than you do. But this I do know, they totally LOVE YOU already and so very much would listen to you!!!! They know that you can relate more than I ever could!!!!!!!!!

    I know there are churches somewhere that is getting more involved with this, but it's going to take a whole lot more!!! I wish I had the money, I would love to open a home for these girls when they get out. But, being that I don't, I'm being steered toward trying to working on that... who knows how and when and who, but God..... the comforting thought is that HE knows!

    I will start praying about you more. I really would love for you to come! You usually have to go through a training class that only takes place two times a year and have a criminal background check done first. I'll ask Dr. L. if we can get around some of this. I would love to work with you while you come to visit and talk with them. I do know that you have a voice, because of your heart... but also because of the "chair" that God has given you to speak in. Tommy, I've told you so many times before, people will listen to you simply because of where all you've been. They will listen to you more than most. I sooooo hope that one day we'll get this thing to work out and you'll get to come and meet your girls!!!!!!!

  5. I ran into this old post again today. It's been so long since I've heard from Tommy... and I so very much miss my friend! Not hearing from him makes me wonder if something has happened to him. He had been battling pneumonia last time we talked. I wonder if he walks and runs now without his chair. I wonder if God's moved him already to Heaven to live eternally with Him. I so can't wait to catch up with him there.