Many of our clients come to us having suffered immensely in their lives both before and during their incarceration. One of our strengths is helping them discover, or in some cases come back to, their faith in God. In this testimonial, one of our clients shares how her time in prison was the wakeup call that ultimately brought her back to her relationship with a forgiving Lord. Here is her story.
My name is Maria*, and I am currently a resident of Riverside House. I am a 34-year-old African American woman and proud mother of two beautiful children; a 14-year-old daughter and two-year-old son. I’m currently employed at a popular restaurant in Miami, FL, and patiently saving my money in order to move into my own two-bedroom apartment with my children upon my release from Riverside House later this year.
As I speak about my past, I want to begin by saying that I am a convicted felon of a white-collar crime. I was sentenced to 48 months in prison for identity theft and conspiracy to defraud the government. At the time of my crime, I was not deeply involved in church, despite the fact that I was born and raised in a church setting. Unfortunately, due to temptation and negative people around me as I grew up, I became an exotic dancer at a gentleman’s club for over ten years. The atmosphere there was not positive, but I feel as though God was good to me because I could have died a long time ago. He saved me by giving me a second chance at life and I believe that He truly favors me.
Going to prison was oddly the best thing that happened to me and the biggest wakeup call in my life. I depended on the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul throughout my experience, and He brought me through all of my struggles. It wasn’t easy at all, but the terrible feelings I had during my ordeal are feelings I never want to feel or go through. At this point in my life, I am grateful for the help that I have received, and I am praying that God blesses me in spite of, and not because of, my past wrongs.
Thank you, Riverside House, for helping me see the beauty in God’s work.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of our clients.