My First Christmas Inside Prison December 2021

Although I have shared my story before, I ask you to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as I “tell it again”.  Jesus can become even more precious to you this Christmas.

It was December 1984. Since Spring, I had been helping the Protestant Chaplain on Sundays in California Rehabilitation Center at Norco, California. This was the “prison-mission-field” where God led me after my miraculous healing. I loved sharing God’s Word with women. I loved seeing God heal minds and bodies.  The Chaplain knew I led Church and School Programs, and asked if I would come an evening to lead them singing familiar Christmas Carols. He did not realize I was struggling through the worst trial of my life. Holidays were hard. I almost said “No, I can’t do this.”  I ALMOST missed God’s surprise Christmas Gift for me!

The women were waiting in the small CRC Chapel when I arrived. They held copies of a List of Carols from the Chaplain. I remember quietly praying when I sat down to the piano, “Lord, please help these women FEEL Your Presence tonight.”

After singing two songs, I observed their faces, and realized many were crying!       I was shocked! “Oh God, don’t let me look sad! Please give us Your JOY!”                      

I stood up from the piano and said, “If this music makes you feel sad, we can sing other songs tonight.” Immediately someone spoke, “Oh no, don’t stop singing! We love these songs!

 Seeing the puzzled look on my face, a young girl softly explained, “Earlene, we are crying because it is the FIRST time we truly understand what the WORDS mean… JESUS IS OUR SAVIOR NOW!”    

Driving home, I realized JESUS came to give us what we need for each test or trial.  When we are filled with HIS JOY and PEACE, we overcome the difficulties of life so much easier!  Today, no matter what you’re going through, try to speak or sing the words of those old Christmas Carols, and ASK JESUS what YOU NEED TODAY.

Luke 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.