How long has it been since you left prison?
Describe your life today.
When I came out of prison, I was on all kinds of medication for neuropathy and I was in a wheelchair. Since my release, I have gone through physical therapy and two back surgeries. Today, I am no longer in a wheelchair and I have lost over 100 pounds. I’m also no longer on medication or in pain. My good health blows my mind!
To make a living, I operate a trucking company with four trucks. I own all the trucks, but I don’t drive anymore.
I’m very active in the recovery community. I chair Narcotic Anonymous (NA) meetings five nights a week — two of those nights I lead a Celebrate Recovery meeting before the NA meeting, and another night I teach a parenting class.
I also voluntarily give rides so people can attend drug court in Titus County, and I stand in court with them every other Thursday. I am a mentor to three husband-and-wife couples that have current CPS cases, and I also stand in court with them in Morris County.
On Sundays, I attend church in New Boston. Since being released, I have earned my Christian counseling license, and I am an ordained minister. I just purchased a building that will be made into a church, as well as a meeting place for NA meetings, parenting classes and anger management classes.
Since my incarceration, I started a nonprofit organization called Passion for Prisoners because I wanted to go back into the prisons — and through the front gate this time. Running a prison ministry keeps me way busy and I’m sacrificing a lot, but I feel this is my calling.
Life is too short to not be doing what you were always meant to do. Recreate the life you want one step at a time. Nothing is certain, but the one thing I know: Until you do what you are meant to do, everything else will be hollow.
What class did you take with Truth Be Told and what did you gain from it?
I took Truth Be Told’s Talk to Me Writing while at the Lane Murray Unit. I learned that I don’t have to be ashamed of my past. I give all my love and thanks for this great class. It was more than a class to me. Talk to Me showed me that deep down, healing was possible for me.
Were there any unforeseen consequences of being incarcerated?
I lost seven family members while I was in prison. I couldn’t attend their funerals. Then, when I had been out of prison only a few months, I lost another loved one. It was the first time since my release from prison that I wanted to use (drugs), but I reached out to my Truth Be Told community instead. They have a weekly conference call for graduates called Keep On Talking.
Do you have a life motto?
I walk in faith and not by sight.
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