Timothy’s thinking got him into trouble—24 years’ worth of it.
A toxic mix of low self-esteem and lack of discernment led Timothy down a dark road that spiraled into criminal thinking.
“That was the kind of message I received growing up,” he says, “… that was a big part of my criminal thinking—my low self-esteem.”
TURNING THE MIND AROUND
Prison changed everything for Timothy once he was forced to examine his ways of thinking.
“I’ve had a lot of mental health treatment,” Timothy says. He goes on to explain that mental health programs are always changing. “I’m very different from when I first came in.”
Everything started to turn around when Timothy discovered the root of his learning problems. Timothy has dyslexia, which means he has a hard time connecting letters and words he reads with their sounds.
“I’m really, pretty smart. When I discovered that, it changed my ways of thinking about myself—who I am, what I am, [and] what I can do.”
Equipped with a new way of thinking, Timothy was ready to move forward. Then he found the Prison Fellowship Academy™, a holistic life-transformation program. He realized he was capable of stepping up to the rigorous curriculum.
Caring staff and volunteers at the Academy helped Timothy move past his educational roadblocks and start thinking about the spiritual ones he still faced.
“I was a Christian on the outside,” he says. “I separated my Christianity and the rest of my life. But I’ve really grown a lot spiritually in here.”
Changing his thinking has been Timothy’s greatest learning experience behind bars.
“It’s all about looking at your thinking,” he explains. “We were talking today in our class about rational thinking. And we were talking about all the irrational ways that we think and how that affects our emotions, and how that then affects our behavior.”
FROM EFFECTED TO EFFECTIVE
Timothy grew up believing he wasn’t good enough. His toxic thoughts shaped his toxic worldview—which led to a life of crime and sin. Now he has been reborn and has received a new heart and mind.
In his passionate search for God, Timothy reads his Bible every day. He tries to teach the other men about the things he is learning.
“I believe the Holy Spirit has given me the gift of teaching,” he says. “My real goal is to know God better. That's what I really want.”