Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guest Blogger - Joy

Joy speaking at book signing March 31, 2011.
 For those of you who don't know me, my name is Joy. My story is also in Linda's book The Women of Block 12: Voices from a Jail Ministry. When Linda asked me to speak at her book signing, I thought, "I can't do that! I would be too nervous." But then, I thought, "This isn't about me. . . this is about a woman who took the time to love and encourage me to be who I am today." So, I decided to do it.

I met Linda about nine years ago. I was in jail and she facilitated a creative writing group every Wednesday. The only reason I went to her group was because the other girls in the block told me, "Linda gives us a free pad of paper and a pencil." In jail, that's a big deal! At the time, I was so lost - addicted to drugs, men, living a selfish lifestyle. I was looking for something to fill the void in my life. I had no hope of changing because I didn't know how. I had been in treatment many times, but couldn't find sobriety.

Anyway, as I got to know Linda, I knew there was something special about her because no matter how many times I fell on my face, she was there to pick me up and encourage me. Don't get me wrong. . . she didn't pull any punches and baby me. She always said it like it was and she never gave up. I knew about God and Jesus dying for my sins, but I thought he was just a fictional character and he couldn't possibly love or forgive me for all that I had done in my life. I was wrong! God uses people to reveal his love for us and he used Linda with me.

When I first met Linda, she stayed in contact with me when I went to prison. I used to think, "What does this lady want with me?" because she was always there, right on time, when I needed her. But she didn't want anything from me. She just wanted me to see the good things about myself that I didn't see and to know that I was worthy of having a good life, no matter what I'd done in my past.

So Linda, I want to thank you for never judging or criticizing me and letting my story be told in this book. I want you to know that I don't give up because you don't give up. And, although I am not where I want to be in my life. . . yet. . . I am definitely not where I used to be thanks to you and this ministry.


  1. That was very good to read. I can remember my brother calling and begging for money for a pad of paper, pencil and stamps...many times.

    Thanks Linda from me for taking the time to show these women that someone does care!

  2. I also work in the prison ministry in corresponding with inmates and have for 15 years. It is a great delight to 'walk' with them in their incarceration and let them know others care, would love to read your book and thank u for all you do also
    kendraco22 at yahoo dot com