Who is your unexpected friend?
Who has God put in your life that needs you?
Who are you not noticing, unintentionally?
If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I have a friend named “Sunshine.” (If you don’t know, then go back and read….”I went to jail tonight”)
Sunshine is a sweet, sweet girl that I met in jail. No, not because I spent time in jail (as a prisoner), but because I spend time in jail as a “church lady.” haha! That’s what they call us. But honestly, I’m not going to jail to be a church lady…I’m going to jail to love on these ladies! Several months ago God put Sunshine in my life. Over the past NINE months, we have formed such an amazing friendship. Both of us look forward to Monday nights when we get to visit. The last time I blogged about her, I told y’all that she was supposed to be getting out…and she wanted to come to church with me. Well, here’s a quick update: Her court date didn’t go as expected. She was convicted and was sentenced to 2 years in prison. She’ll only have to serve half of that, which is 12 months, and because she’s already spent 9 months in jail, she only has 3 months to serve in prison!
So….I went to the jail this past Monday night and I had no idea if she’d still be there or not. We went into the pod and nobody was in there….which was really odd! We soon learned that the whole pod was on lockdown and we wouldn’t be able to stay in there. As I was leaving the pod I heard someone call my name. I looked towards the closed doors, but I didn’t see anyone. Then, all of the sudden I heard my name again. And even though I couldn’t see a face, I heard this…..”Tonya, it’s Sunshine!” Ahhhhh…..I almost died. And I almost cried. She was shut out. Behind closed doors. And I wasn’t going to be able to see her.
We went to another pod and spent time with some other prisoners. During that time, some of the girls that I had seen before came up to me. They told me that Sunshine’s birthday was Friday (yesterday). I asked if I could surprise her with a visitation, and they said yes. They helped me get the necessary information, and I was able to schedule a FaceTime visitation. The coolest part about it was that Sunshine wouldn’t know who scheduled the visitation. She would just know to be in front of the screen at a certain time.
As the countdown began, the excitement grew. The kids and I had gone to Kroger earlier that morning and made this birthday arrangement for her:
The kids were just as excited as I was. They’ve heard me talk about Sunshine, and they can’t wait until the day that she gets to go to church with us!
So…..at the scheduled time, Sunshine picked up the phone….the video turned on….and we were both there, looking face to face. She started to scream. I started to tear up. She started to tear up. And we both had the biggest smiles on our faces. For the next 15 minutes, we talked about her future. We talked about prayer concerns. The kids got to talk to her. And we talked about how the next 3 months will fly by. If things go as planned, she should be out by Christmas (or the first of the year).
Why do I tell yall all this?
Because she is an unexpected friend.
Did I expect to become friends with someone in jail. Someone that I didn’t know. Someone that’s bound to bars? No.
But y’all…..she has been the biggest blessing to me. God is using her in my life just as much as He’s using me in hers. If I hadn’t been obedient to God’s calling in my life, I would’ve missed out on this special friendship.
I look forward to the day that she gets out of prison and we can worship God together! What a sweet, sweet day that’ll be!
Don’t miss out on unexpected friendships. They’re the biggest blessings!