For some reason, the time I was doing prior to sentencing seemed easier than the time after sentencing! As long as I never stood before the judge I seemed to be in peace, not ever requesting to know when my court date was; just let them call was good enough for me. It does not matter how many discussions about sentencing you have with your attorney, regardless of the Presentence Report confirming the time agreed by the prosecutor and your defense, standing in front of the judge and hearing the sentence has very few equals in your life, because it is your life everyone is focusing upon.
I’ve been blessed to have never heard a judge sentence me to multiple years I could not handle. What began as days, then months to several years, I now understand was God giving me a sort of, “time out” to stop the rapid and fateful progression I was headed. In every case, I can honestly say, retrospectively, it was needed although at the time it was very difficult. So, we must consider no matter the time given you, we have to recognize it is not the judge or prosecutor but God who merely uses these people as tools to give us what He wants to use as an opportunity to serve your best interests.
I remember when I was given a six month sentence, how I first struggled. Then another time I was looking at five-to-ten which was later reduced to twenty-six months and my current sentence of three years, I am thankful God has prepared me in increasing doses versus an acquaintance I had who received twenty years for his first experience in the big leagues. As I share with those who listen, the reason why you’re here is simply because God is wanting to save your soul, and whatever time you’re given, no matter if it is ten days or ten years, what is that time compared to eternity? We must stop thinking in terms of what we’re missing as opposed to what we’re gaining because of God’s loving attention to our lives.
The conversations with the men who bunk within my dorm are the forming of relationships which will hopefully last for eternity and they’re beginning as a result of God’s influence upon a man’s judgment during my sentencing. I’m within God’s will and can that be enough for me? For you?