Locked Up... Part 4: I Figured Out Why!
I was raised to believe everything happens for a reason... even though I didn't quite understand what that truly meant until I got older. So I knew although I did nothing wrong, there was a reason why God put me in this position. But I couldn't figure out why. I was too busy being a victim to my circumstance.
By this time Joyce paid the lawyer, a request for another bond hearing was accepted and scheduled for that coming Thursday. Great... another few days of waiting. Something I could not grow use to while in there. Something that I've always struggled with... patience... and still struggle to this day. How could I be patient? I wanted OUT! I was tired of the sleepless nights... tired of someone telling me when to shit or when to sleep. I almost lost my mind when I was told I would be moved into a cell with an inmate who was obviously mentally unstable. The other inmates begged the CO not to put me in a cell with her because she had thrown urine and feces all over the walls at one point. I started CRYING and begged not to go. But the CO told me gather my stuff and ignored the pleas of the other inmates. As we walked towards the cell... the CO looked through the cell window, turned around and told me to head back to my bunk. I'm not sure what she saw, but I didn't stand around to ask why... I took off!! THANK YOU GOD!!
During the course of one of our group conversations, the young lady I spoke of in part 3 mentioned learning the true meaning of patience in the Bible. I’ve tried to remember the verse she had me read for the purpose of this story but for the life of me I can't remember the book nor the verse. But what I do remember is what I got from the passage and that was... I was there for God to teach me the very thing I lacked... patience! Nothing happens by chance! My first thought was this happened because I ignored my gut instinct but I can say since this experience, I no longer ignore that voice... even if it doesn't make sense at the time.
By the time Thursday rolled around, I started reading the Bible even more. It's typical when we end up in bad situations for us to turn to God... but little did I know this would be the start of my personal spiritual journey that is still evolving to this day. I was told to read Psalms that asked for my protection yet wished bad on those who wished bad for me. Some how that didn't sit right with me. I knew there were folks out there rejoicing at my downfall... but I couldn't wish bad on anyone. So I struggled with reading these verses. But what I didn't struggle with was realizing that it was time to HUMBLE myself.
When I decided to do my party in Philly, I had the attitude "they can't stop me." What I learned was the WORSE thing you can do to yourself is trying to prove anything to anyone. Although the officer who took me to lock up the night of my party told me they received repeated calls about my party that week... it wasn't the person/persons who got my party shut down that stopped me... it was God! Just like it was God who put me in here to sit because this was where He wanted to reach me. He didn’t get through to me the first time it happened with my party. I was only there overnight. So now I was back for two weeks. Consequences of lessons unlearned!
My court date finally came and Leah had her hearing that day too. They woke us up at the crack of dawn to transport us to the court house. This time I would get to see the judge and would have an attorney present. We were taken downstairs only to be placed in a cell... to sit and wait. My personal Bible study over the past few days popped into my head. "Be still Ida" is what I kept telling myself as the minutes turned into an hour. When they finally came and got us... we were given baloney sandiwches and shuttled like cattle on the bus and taken to the court house. We were in the back of a van and I couldn't see a thing. I wanted so desperately to look out the window because something as simple as a tree would have been a welcomed sight at that point.
When we arrived at the courthouse, we were taken into what felt like the belly of the building. It was freezing and really dark and I quickly figured we must be underground by at least two levels. All of the females were placed in a cell and we sat there as the guards would come and retrieve each inmate for their court appearance. As the cell started to empty I wondered when my turn would arrive. "Be Still Ida." Normally I would have been climbing the walls of the cell but it was at this point I realize I was being tested by God. As hours went by, Leah could no longer contain her frustration. How could she? Even I wondered how much longer would we have to wait. We had no idea what time it was but we knew it had to be well into the afternoon. Eventually, we heard the sound of someone coming... only to be told we were being taken back to the jail. Wait.... WHAT??? I found myself in a state of confusion... yet again. What do you mean we're going back. We didn't see the judge yet. The officer informed us our case had been called and now it's time to go back to the jail. I asked her about the outcome of my case, she stated she didn't know and would tell me once we got back to the jail. I was being tested by God to see if I really understood the lesson I needed to learn. I told myself if I pass this test... I will be free. So I waited.
When we arrived at the jail and got out of the van, I asked the officer again about the outcome of my hearing only to be told "the paper is in the van." I felt the air leave my chest. She did that on purpose, I told myself. As the tears started to form I heard that voice "Be Still" and a sense of calm immediately returned. We were taken back to the holding cells we were placed in earlier that morning... to SIT once again. Everything that could happen to test me, was happening! I was DYING to call Joyce but couldn't until we got back upstairs. I hadn't eaten anything all day but I had grown accustomed to it. I kept telling myself this was all apart of the test and I refused to fail.