By: Mary Giraldo
The day I had longed for was quickly arriving. February 10th, 2015. This was a day that had been etched in my brain for several years. This was the day that had been set for my Dad to be released from prison. This day would have marked 8 and ½ years spent in prison. On occasion during our weekly phone calls we would talk about how this day would be; what his first meal would be, his first night sleeping in his own bed and the vision of his beautiful reunion with his wife of 38 years (my mom) who waited patiently for him to return home. As the 1 month mark approached, we received the devastating news that he would not be able to return to the home that he and my mom had shared for 25 years. At that moment I felt once again that the world was crashing all around me.
My pleads to God began, why?…Lord, he has been so faithful in clinging to you and furthering your kingdom behind prison walls, why can’t he come back to his house? The questions flooded our minds. But Dad wasn’t as concerned, his outlook remained the same – anywhere is better than here. Because of the nature of Dad’s crime finding a place for him to live was challenging. The prison system requests that an address be secured weeks before release date. We had nothing; day after day we hit road block after road block. I had the prison calling me threatening to list Dad as homeless if we couldn’t find anything. Dad remained unshaken – anywhere is better than here he continued to say, God is faithful, He’ll make a way.
I’ve often shared with others the idea of having what I call “life anthems” – worship songs that you hold onto and run to when your world is shaken and you can’t even utter words to speak in prayer. I’d flood the air around me and soak in these words of worship. Some of my songs include: Great is Thy Faithfulness, Praise you in the Storm, and most recently, Overwhelmed and The Rock Won’t Move. When my mind was overtaken by the enemies scowls of defeat I would hold onto the lyrics of The Rock Won’t Move by Vertical Church Band:
And I hear the sound of crashing waves
All my world is washing out to sea
I’m hidden safe in the God who never moves
Holding fast to the promise of the truth
That You are holding tighter still to me”
Those last three lines were my promise. This song became my battle cry. God was my rock and He remains my rock. The song continues, “On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand, but THE ROCK WONT MOVE!” Even though we felt alone and defeated, God was reminding me of His truths; I was not alone. Psalm 18:1-2 says, I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Almost 11 years ago in 2004 when Dad was arrested I met Christ, I came into what would be the most beautiful relationship I’ve ever experienced – I learned of His faithfulness then. Dad was sentenced to prison in 2006 – we clung to God’s promises of faithfulness, even when the outcome was not what we expected. For 8 ½ years Dad served time in prison and by the grace of God used this time to share the love of Christ with others and experienced the supernatural protection of God – God’s faithfulness never wavered.
In the eleventh hour, 3 days before Dad’s release date, a judge overturned Dad’s restriction to return to his home. On February 10th, 2015 we experienced the fullness of God as we witnessed Dad walk from behind the barbed fences of prison into physical freedom. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we’d expect, but one thing remains unchanging, God’s faithfulness;
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8