Note: Welcome back to our newest series of posts, where once a week we hear from one of our friends in maximum security prison. They are part of the Lipscomb LIFE program, an educational program that enables women who are admitted to earn an associate of arts degree in seven years. Today, we’d like to share some of Tabitha’s story.
I have a wonderful and devoted family. I am the only child of my mother and father. My father has an older daughter and she has a son. My sister never got to know my dad. She has a lot of resentment towards me, as my father was not allowed to see her. Her mom’s parents didn’t like the fact that my dad was from the projects, so they told him to stay away and moved so my dad couldn’t find them. My sister found us twelve years ago. I try to communicate with her and my nephew, but it’s touch and go. I love them though.
My parents are retired and come visit me every other weekend. When I was a child I was a daddy’s girl, but as I got older, I became a momma’s girl. I think that made my daddy a little jealous. The older I got, the more me and my dad bumped heads because we were a lot alike. He was a tough love kind of dad. He was there financially but not emotionally, but he was there, even when I didn’t want him to be. He was very strict. I didn’t feel I had his love or approval. So I ended up looking for that in a lot of boys and even men.
I came to prison but after a time I won my appeal and went home. I felt closer to my dad and he started going to church with my mom and me–something he hadn’t done since I was a little girl. The three of us joined the same church and I got a chance to watch my dad get baptized for the first time in his life. After that, he was always ready to go on Sunday mornings, and we were always on time…
That is until the courts made me come back, reversed the appeal. Dad has never returned to church since then – around Father’s Day six years ago. I believe my dad became angry with God when I returned to TPW. I pray for him to get back to church. My mom even slacked off and just goes when she feels like it. I just need for us to start getting close to God again.
I know God is good. He sent me home in the middle of a life sentence and I got to spend 13 months with my family. That was a blessing to me, and I am still hopeful that it will happen again. I just have to keep trusting and believing in the Lord. I do know I am strong, and all of what I’ve been going through… I feel like behind every storm there is a blessing.