Eternal Impact - The Work Of Transformation
Please celebrate with us the new eternal life of a Lifeblood participant who accepted Christ this week during our Lifeblood women’s group inside the Shakopee women’s prison! We are grateful for our amazing volunteer group facilitator Tabatha Perry. Tabatha is a consistent positive influence for these women who are putting in the time and effort to change their lives while incarcerated.
The following article is an example of the kinds of discussion we have with men and women inside jails and prisons through our Lifeblood curriculum. Like all of our curriculum, Lifeblood is built on stories of shared experience. We simply capture and share stories of transformation to help people explore their own lives. Our mission is to use story to bring hope and healing for those in need of change. We thank God that he has used Lifeblood and Tabatha to help bring one more person into his family for eternity!
A Vital Question: Who Am I?
If we want serious change in our lives, there is one serious question we need to address: Who am I?
Why do we need to answer this question? Because if we answer it honestly, we will have a good idea if we are on the right track to a better, healthier life.
Maybe we have allowed others to define who we were with terms like ‘convict,’ ‘drug addict,’ ‘absent father,’ ‘prostitute’ and so on. Or maybe we try to be like someone else or affiliate ourselves with the environment we grew up in or the types of people we associate with, like a gang.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 (ESV)
How Do I See Myself?
If we want to change, we first need to view ourselves accurately.
It’s so easy to focus on the wrong things. Most of us allow our past or our circumstances to define the way we see ourselves. It’s important to face the past and deal with the damage we’ve done (or that’s been done to us). But our vision isn’t always accurate in the way we see our past or our circumstances. Where our vision is flawed, God’s is perfect. God sees you as His adored child. Rely on God’s vision to help you see yourself accurately.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Seek Input From Others
One helpful goal is to find a few trusted advisors who can help you understand yourself and to talk through the decisions of life. If you think back on your life you’ll see that who you are today is, in part as result of who you have been influenced by in the past. Most of us who have stumbled in life have allowed other people to influence us in negative ways, to lead us down the road to poor choices. Choose to surround yourself with a few people who will help to influence you sown roads to healthier choices. The right people can help you see yourself accurately too.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)
Work Towards Becoming Who You Choose To Be
Sometimes it’s hard to see the progress we are making in life. Take some time every day to reflect on the choices you’ve made and the people you’ve interacted with. Change requires time, but it also requires intentionality. Each of us makes choices every day that will either lead us closer to who we intend to be (and to who God intends us to be), or away from that life. Understand that all of us have days when we move the wrong direction. We need to understand that perfection is not a realistic goal to set for ourselves. No one is perfect, but we need to see ourselves as the goal. God has a plan for each of our lives and that is what we need to focus on. When we make a mistake, we need to get up and keep going.
“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.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Are You Ready To Step In?
We have ongoing opportunities for volunteers to join us as we reach men and women in jails and prisons. If you’d like to learn more about the Lifeblood curriculum or how you can be part of this rewarding ministry, reach out to [email protected]