"... I sought a relationship with Jesus Christ"
"God put a stop to my destructive lifestyle"
"Drugs and alcohol became a mask..."
As I stood staring out of my prison cell with tears running down my cheeks I asked myself, how had my life come to this? I was thirty-nine years old and sentenced to fifteen years in the penitentiary. My name is Sophia. I transitioned from Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in November of 2016 to His House Outreach Ministries in Claremore, OK., a second chance faith-based program founded by Rhonda Bear. A program that with the support of this community and many others currently gives about thirty women a safe and spiritual environment to live in and has restored over one hundred and sixty-five children to their mother.
I have not always been a God-fearing woman. As a little girl, I could not understand how the one man who was supposed to protect, love, encourage me to reach my ambitions, dreams and goals be the very man who beat me down, broke me down and shattered everything meaningful in my life. He had stripped me of my innocence, inner beauty, self-worth, confidence, hopes and dreams. I secluded myself from everyone as I tried to keep my shameful secret from being discovered while at the same time hoped someone would hear my silent cry. Nonetheless, no one heard and no one came.
Drugs and alcohol became a mask to cover the shame and betrayal I faced at such a young age. I was pregnant at the age of fifteen. Throughout the years I had encountered myself in abusive and toxic relationships that I found difficult to escape. My daughter spent more time with grandma than with me. I met truck driver that would later become my husband at the age of twenty-three. In this relationship my addiction had only escalated to crack-cocaine. He became an abusive and controlling man and did not permit me to see my family. I somehow managed to leave him when I met another man.
In this new relationship my addiction spiraled out of control as I became addicted to methamphetamine and introduced to drug trafficking. I began to traffic marijuana from Mexico. When I was arrested in Feb 2010 and sentenced to three years Federal probation my drug trafficking from Mexico came to an end. The only dream I had held on to for years was to have a home. A home I could call my own where no one would hurt me, throw me out and I could stay longer than a few days. Holding on to this dream I began to traffic cocaine interstate in hope of making fast enough money to have my own home. I hit rock bottom when I was arrested on the panhandle of Oklahoma for aggravated drug trafficking. God put a stop to my destructive lifestyle. I found myself hundreds of miles from home and family. God took everything away so that I would rely on Him. I did not need the money, drugs or men. I needed Jesus Christ!
Although I faced life in prison this arrest was the best thing that could have happened to me. I realized I could not do it on my own and I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I pled guilty to drug trafficking charges and was sentenced to fifteen years at Mabel Basset Correctional Center. As I arrived to the penitentiary in April of 2012 I was greeted by the fear, depression, darkness and loneliness that surrounded the facility.
The first year was the most difficult as I fought to keep my sanity as I battled the nightmares and emotional attack from all the abuse I had masked with the drugs and alcohol. I began to have emotional healing as I sought after a relationship with Jesus Christ. I made the decision I was not going to leave prison the same woman I walked in. I was blessed with funding to begin my college education and volunteered as Chapel Orderly. It was in prison where God sent my angel, Rhonda Bear. I did not have a safe environment where I could parole and Rhonda invited me to her transitional housing. I paroled November 3, 2016 and destined for Claremore. It has not been easy but through His House Outreach Ministries and Jesus Christ I have overcome many obstacles.
I am general manager of She Brews Coffee House, a place of employment designed for women to acquire job skills and eventually transition into a career opportunity. I have been restored with my daughter and granddaughters and found enough strength to leave the toxic relationships behind me and move forward to the life God has planned for me. I find myself passionate about children being restored to their mothers and women having a safe, healthy and spiritual environment to transition from prison. I am beyond blessed for what God continues to do in my life. I now have purpose, direction and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
Thank you for your continuous support.
She Brews Coffee Houses