I am a prisoner, held captive by an ex-husband, a court document, and a divorce I never wanted.
75 miles. Of the approximately 197,000,000 square miles on this earth, I am confined to a 75 mile radius.
I have written and rewritten this post trying to get the message right. I want you to know how hard I’ve tried to find a job and how, after almost five years, some days I am still so tired that I just want to lay down and cry.
I want you to know that I am not unwilling to work but, that in other parts of the country, my qualifications are in demand and my children and I would be living a much easier life. Here, I am forced to work long hours and live in a location with few opportunities.
I am chained to the pin on a map, by a man who shows up two hours a week and a court system that feels it’s important to keep any parent in a child’s life regardless of what the parent actually is.
Like millions of women and children in America, I am held prisoner, tethered to one lifestyle by a court system that favors the deserting parent.
And, although you cannot see the bars on my walls, I am a prisoner.
I am not belittling the suffering of those in real barred cells, unjustly held or unmercifully treated.
I cannot compare my minor inconveniences to their experiences,
But by even using the word “prison,” I did.
I made this all about me,
Which means I better turn to God.
The Bible has several examples of people imprisoned, but I’m fond of Joseph. Maybe it’s because in Joseph, I find a man of integrity, a man who refuses to sleep with a woman who is not “his.”
And he is thrown into prison for it.
And prison couldn’t have been easy.
Okay, there is the little part about Joseph being successful in all he does and God making him head jailer. That probably made life easier, but head jailer or not, prison couldn’t have felt good – especially when he was innocent and his accuser remained a free, wealthy woman.
I cannot imagine the real horrors he must have witnessed in that prison; he must have cried out to God on occasion, but we don’t hear about Joseph complaining.
Joseph handled imprisonment with Grace,
Very differently from how I handle my confinement,
which isn’t really imprisonment at all.
And later, we discover God had a purpose for Joseph’s imprisonment.
Even though life can be difficult, God has the ability to turn our time in darkness to light,
There may be a good reason we are locked in this position.
We need to find the good here and now, where we are,
and we must wait for God to reveal His purpose.
Whatever that purpose is, the Bible tells us to “consider it all joy,” and that is something I need to work on today.
When have you felt imprisoned against your will? Have you seen a positive outcome at a later time, a purpose for your struggle? I appreciate you sharing your experience.