The Journey Begins

originally posted 6/2012

I’m a RSO as of April 2012.  Served a year in county jail and now have a felony on my record. I have five years of probation to complete wherein I have have to find a job, stay away from minors including my own kids, parks, and schools.  Not only that, but add to the stress and shame I caused my wife, parents, and my church. I am a Christian man and I am also a sinner.  I disobeyed the LORD and decided my wants and needs were more important than obeying His commandments.  Now I pay the price for my actions.  Not only me but those around me that I love, and the victim and her family.  I spend a lot of time reading sad stories on the internet, about how RSOs are struggling.  How they’ve lost loved ones, their kids, their friends.  How they can’t make ends meet and can’t find jobs.  It makes me worry about what’s going to happen to me, my family, and all those I’ve affected.  Yes, I’m guilty. Yes, I say I’m willing to pay the price, but sometimes it seems like the price is too high to bear. I’m on the internet for all to see – old friends, neighbors, coworkers, vigilantes.  I fear for my parents whom I live with.  I fear for my wife and kids.  I fear for my life as well.  I fear I won’t be able to move forward.

Being a Christian before I messed up and committed my crime, I thought I was immune to sin and its traps, but I was wrong.  But I don’t believe for one second that God has abandoned me.  He has offered us Jesus to atone for our sins if we accept Him as our Savior.  But that’s just the beginning.  For us to be delivered from the unfairness of the law, the mistreatment by society, the embarrassment, shame, and ridicule we must hold on to the LORD and have Him be LORD.  Faith in Jesus and faith to do what He says can deliver us out of the mire we find ourselves in.  For many of us, we did it to ourselves.  For others, they were unfairly convicted.  Nevertheless, we are all in the same position.  Some worse off than others.  But I believe that if you’re a believer in Christ there is hope in Him who is faithful.  Am I saying it’s not a hard road?  No.  It’s the consequences for choosing the paths we did and for being a RSO. But I am saying that God is faithful to pull us through.  Just like He was faithful to pull Jesus through the crucifixion, He is faithful to pull us through our struggles and darkest hours.  We ARE modern day lepers, outcasts of society, objects of scorn, but those are exactly the types of people God lifts up.  He gives grace to the humble and He uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.

I believe the laws are unfair and I believe that we can make changes to the unfairness of RSO laws.  I signed the RSOL statement as a Non-public signatory.  I opted to be informed of activities and volunteered to help organize activities.  If I can be used to help others like me who have to learn to live as an RSO, then I want to be used.

I pray that for all of us we learn to trust in God and His ability to perform miracles, even for us “”lepers”” of society.  I pray for healing for our spirits, souls, and bodies.  I pray for healing for those we have hurt – those close to us, those victims and their families.  I pray for us to have faith in Him who is faithful to see us through.

Please pray Psalm 51 and Ezekiel 18 and accept that we are in need of a God who’s much greater than our sin and our fallen nature.  But also accept that out of the ashes He can raise us up into His glorious light.

God Bless you all,
John

 

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