Growing up, I did not have a father figure to direct me. That led me to being in the streets hanging with the wrong crowd. At home it caused me to be disrespectful and not listen to my mom. I ended up making bad choices that led me to being in jail.
I’ve realized I don’t like being told when to wake up, when to sleep and walk around. I spent time thinking about the people I was harming and chose to change my life. I bought my mother a Cowboy blanket for Christmas, it made her smile and that made me happy. I showed my mom the certificates I got in jail and told her I was in a program/group called BRIDGES.
I changed my attitude and started acting mature and positive. I promised my family that I was not gone put myself in a position where I’ll end up dead. As a child, I saw my father in and out of jail. I want to tell my younger siblings that jail is not the place to be, you’ll end up dead in the future.
We moved around a lot. I’ve been to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Mississippi. I never really had friends or a home but I’m okay with that because I got to meet new people every time I did move.
I was tired of Memphis, all the deaths, gangs – I was tired of it all, I just wanted to leave. So, I started break into houses, stealing cars, and robbing people – look where it got me, locked up.
When I got to Jail East, I didn’t believe in God until Marquez told me God is real and that God can make a chair and make it walk if he wanted to. I didn’t believe him, he said “Stone, you got to stop playing with God’s name, stop saying his name in vain. If you do God will say ‘flee from me you wicked man,’ instead of ‘well done my good and faithful servant. You may enter.’”
He told me to pray to God and I did, but God didn’t answer my prayers. So, I asked Marquez why he didn’t answer my prayers, he said “I will not hear because your hands are filled with blood shed until your cleanse your heart and wash your hands clean and I may hear your prayers.” He told me there are two things that must be understood before a anyone can be a man of worth, of faith and of power.
Three days after he told me this, it stormed all night and there was a blackout. It was thundering, and my heart started to beat really fast, so I put my head under the covers and prayed. I prayed to God that he’ll forgive me for what I have done and for the hurt I have caused people – my mother, my family and the people in my community.
God said, “You cannot be forgiven if you do not forgive.” So, I forgave a lot. My mother and my father. Proverbs 19:8 says, “He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will find good.”
So I changed my ways, my words and my whole way of life.