Tim is soft-spoken as he shares his story. It's a story of loneliness and trauma, but Tim's voice never cracks as he talks about his childhood and the crime that sent him to prison.
It's a story about a nobody who had no future and no hope. But it's also a story of the power of God's love.
When Tim was a child, his mother told him that he was a mistake and that "I should never have been born," he remembers. He came from a volatile family. His mother often used Tim as a manipulative tool against his father.
"[My father] later disappeared," Tim says. "For all I understand, he passed away."
With no grandparents and no siblings to lean on, just a mother who would never support him, Tim became a loner.
He wouldn't find the support and family he longed for until he went to prison.
Tim doesn't remember what happened the night his roommate died.
He told the police he didn't remember the night before or how his roommate died, but "they thought I was running game." Charged with first-degree murder, Tim wound up in prison.
Prison was a traumatic experience for Tim. He had no one in his life who cared about him, no one to miss him on the outside. His loneliness had shaped him into an angry person, ruled by his rage and bitterness. Yet in the midst of the darkness, Tim found himself drawn to the prison chapel. There he could engage in various activities and Bible study groups.
"In the crossroads, [I could] continue to act on … the things that ruled my life and decision-making process," Tim explains. "Or I could choose the new alternative, which was Christ. And so, I decided at that point I was going to submit to God and give my life to him."
FROM NOBODY TO SOMEBODY
God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing. (Psalm 68:6)
Tim was released from prison two years ago. Since then, God has provided for him and helped him establish himself as a somebody rather than the nobody he once thought he was. He is active in prison ministry as well.
"I go back in and … pay it forward ... to other people that have lost hope," he says. He knows what those incarcerated are struggling with, having been in the same position himself. By sharing his story with prisoners, he hopes to encourage them that life on the outside is hard but not impossible.
"Yes, it's difficult to get a good job that you want. It's difficult to get good housing. But it's not impossible." Tim says. "God has brought me up, and raised me up in a minimum of two years to where I'm highly successful."
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