Fighting Their Battles Alone
Fighting Their Battles Alone
Buckle Up, It’s A Long Rant!
A common theme reported by Vanguard News, along with Blameless’ observation, our California incarcerated residents feel as though they are having to “fight their battles alone,” and feeling as though they “can’t ask for help” as a result of mental health teams being understaffed and overwhelmed, with “no clear resolution in sight for either side.”
Regarding our incarcerated men, that makes the burden even harder in reaching them because of the stigma that men do not generally reach out for emotional support.
Society's expectations and traditional gender roles play a significant role in why men are less likely to discuss or even seek help for their mental health issues due to stigma and shame. Seeking help is viewed as a weakness in societal standards, much less when you’re incarcerated.
This is dangerous, not only for the incarcerated and our communities, but for our future generations.
The Cycle Continues
Friends, we’re all shackled by something in our lives. As believers, we are called and anointed to bring freedom and deliverance to all those who have been enslaved and held captive by the enemy so they may meet our Beautiful Jesus and be set free. That’s called deliverance.
I beg you to look at how dark society is becoming and also chew on the fact that our incarcerated residents have had significant trauma and adverse experiences and environments in their own lives. And because they never received healing or had an environment with loving, supportive, “present” fathers, their hearts hardened while their needs went unmet, foregoing the generational curses.
When we’re not loved by a present and healthy role model, one where we can receive attachment with, we’re going to end up in gangs because acceptance is easily gained with other immature and unhealthy individuals gravitating to one another; we’re going to do/sell drugs to make us appear larger than life; and we’re going to engage in further criminal conduct where our feet lead and plant us as accepted and belonging.
Our feet follow our thoughts, and our thoughts flow from the condition of our hearts!
We’ve also left an entry point wide open for the enemy to occupy. Deliverance by Jesus is required to crush the demonic forces under our feet. Not even my red cowgirl boots could do damage there. I‘d like to think they could, but…
Our triggers, the identification of them, are not being taught to our residents to be utilized as a scapegoat; quite the contrary. It’s to bring awareness to their unhealed traumas that has turned their conduct into unhealthy behaviors. This is part of the healing-centered engagement process. This is where we get to revisit the unhealed wounds and declare healing and peace over that period in time that releases the torment.
“You’re never persuasive when you’re abrasive.” -Rick Warren
The Lord has been sharing how demons gain or get access to believers. In general, when an area is not submitted to God and it’s left unattended, like a deep traumatic wound or pride, that’s the enemy’s invitation to walk through the door and establish residency in our house (our hearts and minds).
And one of the easiest ways that the enemy infiltrates us is through unforgiveness and bitterness. Think about it, when we’re consumed with unforgiveness and bitterness, that bitter root grows and takes on its own torment because we’ve come into agreement with the lies and the power from the assaults.
What keeps us in the same state of anger, and keeps us in the emotion of anger, is agreement. We’ve come into the agreement with the thoughts that I’m angry right now, I’m angry when I go to bed, I wake up and I’m fuming, and this battleground infects everyone in our path. We have just come into agreement with the lie; we’re angry and we’ll stay angry.
And that lie makes us reach out for substances to quiet the torture, increases rage that infects everyone who dares to care, and that itsy-bitsy-teeny-weenie lie is now an all-consuming abomination. And the enemy celebrates because he has gained access.
Don’t give the devil a foothold. Don’t give him access because of what you’re coming into agreement with. The Bible is clear, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed” (Amos 3:3)?
Be angry, be passionate, but at the end of the day, take captive of that thought, examine and process how you really feel because anger is not the root, it’s just the emotion.
Demons can also gain access through generational openings, better known as generational dysfunction or curses. That word “dysfunction” has so many people crawling up the walls. We’re going to start calling it “generational openings” so it doesn’t automatically shut down our hearts when hearing the word “dysfunction.”
Generational openings are just that, areas we have left open. It opens up something in the family that when it’s not healed, not checked, not dealt with, it just continues in the bloodline.
And scripture exhorts us in Psalm 11:3 for good reason, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” This isn’t talking to “unbelievers,” this is talking to “believers.”
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
There’s nothing wrong with saying you need help and need community to surround you. In fact, that says a lot about your character. Please hear me in this rant, Jesus does and will love you to eternity and back, enriching your life with peace, filled with relationally rich relationships and fulfillment. That belonging you crave is just a simple prayer away.
When there is a spirit of pride, there is often an identity crisis or controlling or manipulative behavior. Where there is pride, you are not yourself at all and a part of the worst class of people. And the worst part of pride, why it’s so dangerous and volatile, it has a masterful way of hiding itself in you.
And then the shame starts attaching…
Then you isolate. And we all know what isolation does: Look at what is happening in our culture and society because we’ve come into agreement with the enemy’s lies during COVID!
We’re all in prisons of affliction, oppression, and captivity. Jesus’ revealed mission was to bring freedom and deliverance to all those who had been enslaved and held captive by the enemy. It is time to see lives and families redeemed and restored with healed bodies.
Please read the excerpt below with grace. This is what we’re up against inside our prisons, but what Jesus is so graciously delivering.
Their lives matter…
Incarcerated resident, Ray Sanchez, humbly shares: “I had come into the prison system a scared youth, unsure and unassuming, and put on the sociopathic mental armor necessary to endure prison’s hardships. I became so accustomed to the meager comforts and possessions I was allowed that I became willing to defend what little I had with resounding violence. My life had changed, and I was forced to change with it.
Would the person I was when I first came to prison even be able to recognize the man I have been forced to become, or would he simply stare, horrified at the myriad of tattoos and scars that now cover my body like the contoured roadmap of a hard life? Would my younger self feel that there is something sad about a man who no longer flinches, or feels embarrassed about the strip searches that he is forced to undergo for the sake of “prison security”?
I cannot answer for I no longer know anymore, having worn this mask too long to be able to take it off, too afraid at what I might find if I looked underneath it.”
Our incarcerated may be overlooked by society, but my Jesus has handpicked them Himself to deliver change, and Blameless is blessed to be a part of it.
The letter below is what Redemptive Power looks like…
Before People Can Trust Jesus, People Need To Trust You & Me!
Everyday we are given a choice: Are we willing to be the person God uses to impact the future destiny of others? Many of us are silent Christians simply letting the status quo reign while we sit quietly by watching inside the comforts of the four walls of our congregations.
Who knows that you were created for such a time as this to be that catalyst that stands in the gap for some situation in your community. Be faithful to your calling!
I pray you enjoyed the amazing “Appreciation Letter” to Jesus that one of our incarcerated residents wrote as part of his lesson work at Folsom State Prison. I know I’m eternally grateful for grace and redemptive power.
Until next time…