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*Travis and I correspond almost daily. He feeds my spirit. I have his permission to publish this post for the obvious reasons if you read it.

This is the time of year that is the hardest for men in here. Many times you see so many sad lonely faces this time of year. I can walk by the guys bunks as they are alone in their cell, hunched over staring into the floor. These men look shattered and empty like broken shells. When I see guys like this it crushes my heart because I know exactly what they are going through.

It’s hard to believe, and even write that this will be my 12th holiday season away from family and friends. I always loved the get together, and all the love felt during these times. I have so many memories that I will cherish the rest of my life. And I also look forward to the times in the future when I do make it out of here.

I’ve been doing this prison time for quite a while compared to most of the guys in here. And even though its much easier for me to handle today, there are still many times I find myself lonely, and sad, that I can’t be there with those I love and miss. And at times it really feels there is no end in sight. But I don’t let those feelings keep me down long. In fact I’m often asked “how do you stay so happy during these times”? And I love to tell them how I do it.

I will tell guys that I hate certain actions that have brought me to this place, but that it has been the best thing that has happened to me spiritually. It’s not the kind of words that usually come from someone in my position. It’s because of God, His Love, Grace, Mercy, and Strength I’ve obtained by drawing close to Him instead of away, that I’m able to wake up and make the best of every day, and every opportunity that’s given to me. It doesn’t take away the fact that I will still miss being there. But I’m at peace where I am today.

Another way I deal with these blues on a daily basis is Praise. I praise and thank God for His unfailing love and mercy. It keeps me always focused on His goodness rather than negative circumstances. I’ve come to realize that there will always be something I can worry about, but I also realize there is something I can praise God for. On Sunday nights after church I come back so spiritually high. Praise really stirs joy within me. It’s an awesome feeling. There will always be things that will try to steal Our joy. But I choose to praise God in spite of my circumstances. I’ve also found that when I focus on Gods goodness instead of worrying in the midst of trouble, I am able to receive Him more with Praise and Thanksgiving.

When I’m sad or alone I think of all God has done for me already. He has showered me with Hope. A brand new life, and He has healed my broken heart, with Love. He carries all my cares, and walks with me. Jesus has set me free.

I pray you all may have a blessed holiday season with Family and Friends… To God be the Glory… Travis