Our Journey with Jason

The woman in the department store stared at me as I was making my purchase. “Have we met before?” she asked.

Nothing about her looked familiar. “I don’t think so,” I responded.

She continued to concentrate on my face and then loudly exclaimed, “I do know you! I saw you on television. Your son committed a murder and you and your husband were interviewed.” By this time a few curious bystanders were tuning in to this unexpected conversation. Now all of them were staring at me, waiting for a response.

“Yes, that was our family on the program,” I admitted.

She continued.  “I saw another program and the father of the deceased was being interviewed and he said he had forgiven your son.”

I mumbled a few words as I completed my purchase and awkwardly left the mall to find my car. My mind raced: Why did I allow myself to feel so humiliated in that store? How many years will it take before I can feel comfortable when someone surprises me in this way?

Honestly, many years into this process, I am still dealing with the harsh truth of my son’s crime and conviction. I am still learning to embrace my own reality.  As I do, it’s been helpful for me to list the changes that have transpired in the eighteen years since Jason’s arrest:

  • Gene and I moved from Michigan to Florida to be closer to our son.
  • I had opportunities to write about our journey in When I Lay My Isaac Down, A New Kind of Normal, and Between a Rock and a Grace Place.
  • We’ve gotten to know many families of inmates, and we have felt a mutual support from those relationships.
  • As news of what happened spread, opportunities to speak about finding hope and faith multiplied.
  • We began the nonprofit organization Speak Up for Hope, offering tangible help to inmates and their families. SpeakUpforHope.org
  • The “Stretcher Bearers,” friends and family members who encouraged us, provided examples of how to reach out to the families of inmates in compassionate, helpful ways.

***

I soon realized that many good changes had taken place in my life during my unwanted foray into the world of jails and prisons. For all of us who face the challenge of incarceration, there is a new reality—what will we do now, with this life we have, with all of its imperfections, embarrassment, and sadness?

Our survival tools are very simple:

  1. Accept the reality that our loved one is in prison—and use our knowledge of the system and the legal process to help others.
  2. Maintain relationships with friends and family members, even when we are busy dealing with our incarcerated loved one.
  3. Make plans for birthday celebrations, family reunions, and vacations, special things that take us away from the demands of incarceration.
  4. Discard guilt! Acknowledge that a meaningful life needs to be a permanent part of our reality.

Following thirteen years at one prison, Jason has recently had a longevity transfer to another facility.  It’s a security measure to move inmates to different prisons, but it’s hard on the families—including ours!  He’s now a three-hour round trip away from us.  If you’d like to write to him, he would welcome your cards and letters:  His address is:

Jason Kent X26713
Desoto Annex Correctional Institution
13617 S. E. Hwy 70
Arcadia, FL  34266

If you’d like to make a donation to Jason’s ministry on the “inside,” go to www.SpeakUpforHope.org.

His Words over You

“Look to me and I will do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine. Allow my power to be at work in you. Live wisely and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious; you will have the right response for everyone.”

Based on Ephesians 3:20 and Colossians 4:5–6

Question:  What “hard thing” are you currently experiencing?  What is God teaching you?  You can order Carol’s 365 page-per-day devotional, He Holds My Hand, on Amazon.

Listen to Carol’s message on Focus on the Family, “Trusting God When the Unthinkable Happens.”

 

 

59 comments to Our Journey with Jason

  • Luana Tolan

    I too have a son in prison and feel your pain and frustrations.
    You have no idea how much you have helped me in reading your blogs and your books. You’ve given me permission to feel some of the things I feel and let me know they are all ok.
    I am not the only mom to go through this. Thank you.
    I pray for you and you son often.
    Hugs.

  • Frances Brown

    Your books, Now I Lay My Isaac Down and the next couple after helped me so much when I moved into this chapter of my life. I’ve now been on this journey for almost 14 years, with a long way to go. But I know that God has my boy…and me….in His hands. And, it is there that I find my strength. Thank you, Carol, for sharing your life so openly. One day, you will have your happy ending. God has promised this.

  • Judy Shinn

    My “hard thing” is the 10th anniversary of my divorce after 35 years of marriage. God has taught me to continue forgiveness, it is an ongoing process. He also shows me His way and if I follow, I find happiness in places I least expect.
    Carol, you and I have very different Isaac’s, but I see your joy and I feel a connection. I’m thankful for you and appreciate your honesty and caring heart. I hope to someday hug your neck , please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

  • Michele

    You are always such an encouragement to me on this wild path of life. God bless you

  • Praying the Lord takes you from strength to strength (Psslm 84:7).

  • Laura Jones

    Thank you for always being so honest about how this affects you. I woke up this morning in tears as i still struggle every day with the incarceration of my Daughter. I honestly don’t know how I am going to make it through her life sentence. However as I sat here crying I came across this blog and I found some comfort knowing that I am not the only one who continues to struggle even after many years of dealing with this. Continues prayers for your family and big hugs sent your way.

  • June Lindner

    May God continue to bless you and your family. I have read your books – you are an instrument of God.

  • Jenny forner

    Carol thanks for doing the hard and allowing God to make beauty from ashes…pain to God’s gain. Praying for you as n this move that makes life even harder.

  • Danielle Caine

    Thank you for your openness and inspiration to those who have suffered and are suffering the consequences of their children’s incarceration. My son’s story is different (he served short stints, 2x’s) stemming from drug addiction. During those times, my sister attended “faith filled women” conference in Salisbury Maryland, bought all your books, and I read them all. Lay My Isaac down was such a positive impact on me, and I still go back to it when I need to “let go”….I had the pleasure of meeting you in Salisbury (in passing) but thoroughly loved your message, thank you for helping so many of us in need of support, especially with our children who “are our heart”

  • Joanna Mills

    Thank you, Carol for this encouraging message. I’m so sorry for your pain. I have paintoo stemming from my children. I pray for our families to be restored soon. My hope is in the Lord. Although, I must admit my hope grows thin these days. Stay strong.❤

  • Jill Gregory

    I love your vulnerability and willingness to share your struggles on your journey! Most importantly, I love how you see God’s hand in and through it all and find the unexpected blessings along the way. Your testimony inspires and encourages me. I am sorry for the long car rides to Jason. It reminds me of your long trips to the Detroit airport when you lived in Michigan. You used that time for prayer or, if you were not driving, catching up on correspondence. I love how you don’t waste a moment! Love you so!!

  • Carol I pray for and your family, This is never easy but our god has been gracious and given you an amazing ministry. I have people at First Baptist Lodi, Ca talking about your time with us two Christmas ago. You touch so many lives with your message of hope. Blessing my friend. Carol Alexander

  • Vickie J Fetterman

    We are joined by being mamas to sons in prison. I have tried unsuccessfully to inquire about the ministry to incarcerated men and families.I truly want to share the hope we have even in tragedy. Can you please guide me where to start. I am in PA

  • Carol you have encouraged me through the years. I lost my son to suicide after he lost his battle with bipolar. A friend gave me your book Now I Lay my Isaac Down. God used it in my life from a woman who has been there. Thanks

  • Cathy Weeks

    Good Morning Carol,

    Thank you for this article on Jason and the work you are doing. I am so excited that you are coming to Waterville Maine in September to speak for the day. I have been trying to tell the ladies that they have no idea how blessed we are to have you coming. Along with cards to Jason can he accept any type of packages or not ? Praying for you and your family.

    Thank you

    Cathy Weeks

  • Jacquelyn Mallard

    My prayers are with you, Gene and Jason.

  • Martha Proctor

    Thank you so much for continuing your journey with Jason. I heard you speak many years ago at Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC and you will never know how much I have thought of your family and Jason during all those years. What a tragic event….and even more tragic that he cannot be released after all these years. But I have a feeling Jason has reached so many inmates while in prison and shared the good news of Jesus Christ with them….I can only think of Paul when I think of Jason. God uses his Saints in so many ways. This has just been a special story to me and I will continue to pray for all of you. I, too, have tragedy to deal with, but through loss of a spouse (2 to be exact)….and I know God is always holding my hand….but it is still hard. You are such an inspiration in your ministry and what a blessing God chose to use you in such a mighty way. Thank you for Jason’s address..I would love to send him a note. This is such a tragic story to me….he was trying to protect innocent children in his heart.

  • Dianne L

    Thank you for acknowledging the continuing struggle… And thank you for the change of address for Jason. I do write to him now and then and pray for him. The note he wrote back to me years ago is a permanent fixture inside my Bible! Also, for anybody reading this, there is an amazing ministry called Kairos Outside that provides a FREE retreat weekend to women with an incarcerated loved one. They have chapters all over the world.

  • Nancy Bascus

    Thank you for your email it is an encouragement and I will pray for your son and I’m reading your book the new normal it’s been 10 months since my sons been arrested I have not able to see my grandchildren they took my grandchildren who I cannot speak to them or see them so I’m going to one court for my son and one cord for my grandchildren I am also been torn apart but I know that God is able to restore and I walk in faith I cry out to the Lord daily and I also want to go see my son at the prison I also left up all the inmates and their families and the victims family as well I know that God will restore and there will be forgiveness so thank you for having the courage to speak when it’s so hard to even have words to speak about the tragedies in our life but thank God we have a mighty God that is unmovable Unshakable unstoppable he can do anything so I wait for my miracle and know that God will use tragedy and change your for his honor and glory God bless you

  • Jane

    I listen to you on “Focus on the Family” this morning while driving to work.I am going through a difficult time with my son. Although the circumstances are different, your love for your son and your faith in Jesus inspired me! Thank you!

  • Gail Zittel

    Dear Carol,
    I attended your presentation a couple years ago at Bahia Vista Church, and was moved by your and Jason’s story. I often think of all of you, and your new reality, and pray for you. I am encouraged by your adjustment to your life, and see all the positive things that have come from this long journey. You do inspire others, and God is truly at your side.
    My somewhat recent journey was the end of a 40 year marriage, which is not what I saw in my life’s plan. However the all powerful God has been with me through this transition, and continues to love and comfort me. As I adjust, I see my walk with God becoming stronger, and maybe someday I will be able to comfort others in this situation. God has and continues to bless me, and He is the best “husband” ever.
    I will continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers, and may God continue to bless all 3 of you in this ministry.
    Love,
    Gail Zittel

  • Olga Lawrence

    Carol,
    I heard your story many years ago and I can honestly say that although I had small children at the time my heart could so feel your pain. It stayed with me for years as I thought and prayed for you.

    As I have faced difficult situations in my life I’ve thought about your story and it encourages me to know how you put your complete trust in God to see you through. He is so faithful.

    My son is at West Point so I understand in a small way that outside communication is welcome. I will take time to write to Jason.

    I will pray for you Carol. That God continue to give you strength and peace.

    Be blessed,

    Olga Lawrence

  • Ralaine Fagone

    Carol, I too know the shame and embarrassment of a son’s involvement in a crime. During my son’s high-profile trial, I had to stop and do some grocery shopping. The clerk looked at the check, saw our last name and exclaimed, “Oh, that’s the same name of the young man on trial for murder. Are you related?” I couldn’t get away from the attention. I felt shaken but said, “Yes, that is my son.” The clerks face flushed with embarrassment. Clearly, she did not expect my answer and I think she wished she would’ve kept her mouth shut. But what she said and did next surprised me. She came from behind the cashier box, reached out to embrace me and tenderly said, “I’ve been praying for him. I’ve known from the beginning he was a good kid that got used by that woman (the co-defendant).” The clerk had the grace to turn the situation around. I wish that had been your experience that day on your shopping trip.
    I’m on the eve of publishing my own story. Many times I’ve felt it has already been on the pages of your book. But, still, I continued. I hope to attend your Speak Up training conference next year. I have a message in my heart and I want to share it with excellence, should the opportunity arise. Carol, the pearls of wisdom you share with those walking a hard road are wonderful and practical. I hope many will learn from you. Bless you, Woman of God.

  • sharon craven

    Thank you for providing a supportive voice to all families who have a loved one incarcerated.

  • Jewel Huegerich

    I heard you speaking on the “Focus on the Family” radio program today. I was sobbing as you spoke about seeing your son in jail for the first time, because it took me back to the day I went through the same thing with my oldest son. I will never forget having to put my belongings in a small locker, get patted down, and then sent to a little booth of bullet proof glass. Then my son walked out – orange jumpsuit, long dirty stringy hair hanging over his face. But when he looked up at me, I saw the eyes of my little boy. I tried to smile and be strong for him. He tried to be tough, but I could see the fear in his eyes. It was over 20 years ago now, but that image is etched in my mind. I don’t live far from Arcadia FL (I am in Port Charlotte), and I will be praying for you, your family and your son, Jason. May God bless you all.

  • Kasey

    I saw you at a woman’s conference once and my heart breaks for you and I’m also inspired by your strength and Faith in God!! My son was in county jail for 4 months and that was hard but he came out a grown man as he had to rely completely on God during this time.
    Maybe this will make you feel a little better about your new trip time, I drive that to work 5 days a week. It’s about an hour and 25-30 minutes one way.

  • I heard part of your interview on the way to work this morning. My youngest son was recently shot and killed by LAPD he was 32 yrs old. My older son died 20 years ago he was 21 years old. Law enforcement was involved but it was a different situation. I have one daughter who is 36 years old and has 6 children. They live with me. The oldest granddaughter just turned 13. Everyday there is fighting and no peace. Please keep us in prayer. I’m had cancer 5 years ago. However, my body has no rest, peace or joy. Please keep us in your prayers. I always said if my son was in jail at least I could visit him and tell him I love him. As long as there if breath there is hope. Thank you for sharing your story it did remind me that the Lord is there even when we don’t feel like he is with us. God Bless you and your family.

  • Cheryl N.

    I recently saw you at the Women’s Retreat with the Salvation Army. You have such a powerful testimony and I know this is a very hard road to travel. I pray that God will continue to heal you and your husband during this difficult time. I believe you will see your son released.

    Isaiah 61:1.The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

  • Jill Fase

    I think of you often. When I do I say a prayer for you,Jason and your family. You are such an inspiration and encouragement to those who are dealing with difficult family issues. I have 17 grandkids and one is in prison and will be for many years. 3 others are dealing with drug issues. My daughter has custody of one of my great grand babies and another passed away last summer in a tragic pool accident. Your journey has been I huge help in dealing with all this. Thank you for sharing. I know it not been easy and will always be difficult. We have an awesome God to carry us through
    Gods blessings on you ,
    Jill Fase

  • Maureen Clarke

    The Kent family is such an inspiration to so many. I am so blessed by their transparency in the midst of such great pain. God bless you!!!

  • Geniene Clark

    “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

    Sweet Carol, I can’t imagine what you have suffered and how it would feel. Nevertheless, be encouraged. As you know, you and your family, like Paul, are some of God’s chosen vessels to bear *His* name, those yours may be sullied. Keep your chin up, standing firm with your breastplate of righteousness in place, as you exalt the one who has saved you and your family. Thank you for courageously serving Him, allowing the scrutiny by the vulnerability you have offered… and touching so many lives for the kingdom of God!

  • Raquel

    Dear Carol,
    My heart goes out to you,Jason and family!
    Only our Heavenly Father will get you and
    family through anything… Prayers are powerful!
    I send you hugs
    Praying for you all

    Blessings,
    Raquel

  • Ginger Lawrence

    Thank you Carol, your openness about your situation brings hope to me. My son killed a man in his schizophrenia and will be incarcerated for 25 years to life. I also relocated to another state to be near him.

    I am heartbroken. But God is near to the heartbroken and I cling to that hope. Thank you for your ministry, it has brought me comfort.

    God bless,
    Ginger Lawrence

  • Gloria J Quinn

    Hi Carol,
    I met you at Radiant Church in Surprise, Az… and I just want to let you know that I pray for you and your husband on a daily basis and of course for Jason. I am the one that has twin sons that are now 34 years old and they both have done prison time but are doing well now. I just want to let you know how you encourage so many others and I’m hoping to do the same I’m starting to work with prison ministry here in Arizona and I hope that I can be an inspiration to others like you are to me keep up the good work have a very blessed day Gloria Quinn

  • Shelly

    Hi Carol.

    God is so awesome to use the horrible, unspeakable, unthinkable and the unwanted to His glory. Thank you for allowing Him the space (even when the space is shared with your fears, anxiety, anger, etc.) to do so.

    Love you and Gene!

    Shelly from Kentucky

  • Gloria Velting

    Bless you, Carol. I lost my dear Bill (Velting) last September. It’s been difficult but I’m so glad he’s with His Savior who he served so long. I often think of our times together (with Pam) years ago with fond memories. As God brings you to mind (and Jason) over the years, I have prayed. I can’t imagine your pain, but how wonderful how God has used it in all of your lives. I dropped Jason a note when his new address was posted. May God continue to give you His grace and blessings.

    Love,
    Gloria Velting

  • Susan G.

    Hi Carol,

    Thank you so much for this today. I heard you speak here in Klamath Falls, Oregon at BBC several years ago, and have never forgotten you, your story and certainly not your son Jason. I have continued to pray for Jason, for you and your family over these years. I purchased your first two books several years ago, and now I see I need to purchase a few others! 😉 Thank you for writing all these. It has given me a perspective on the hardship and grief of having a loved one in prison, as I personally have not had this challenge in my life. But I have also been overwhelmed by how our God held you and your family even closer in this deep sorrow.
    I know the Lord has held me during my grief and sorrow at losing my brother and mom within 3 months of each other, as well as having more heartbreak and sorrow at broken relationships with loved ones recently. Sometimes we feel that Jesus is all we have…but I know He is enough. I’ve known the Lord for over 50 years and He’s never failed me yet.

    Thank you for Jason’s address. Know that I will be writing to him and letting him know I am praying for him. I know God has used both you and Jason for His Glory and He will continue to do that!
    “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
    With much love,
    Susan

  • Sandra A. Pinkoski

    Thank you, Carol, for your message here. We have missed seeing you at the visitor parking and decided that Jason had been”shipped out.” I’m sorry that the trip to see him is so far for you now (try 14 hours one way!). Bless you as you work in His vineyard.

  • Karen Rogers

    Carol,

    I am a faithful listener to the daily Focus on the Family broadcast. I was glued to my phone for the 30 minute segment of you speaking about your son. I needed to hear more about your ministry and have read a lot about you today. Thank you for what you are doing to help others through their journeys they didn’t choose to be a part of.
    I was encouraged by how you have handled your sons incarceration. My nephew is currently serving a life sentence with parole in the state of Alabama. It has been difficult watching my sister grieve over her son. I have a deep fear of the future because my son, who is 16, is so much like my nephew. It is a daily struggle to lay those fears at Jesus’ feet.
    Your son is very handsome and has a striking smile! I know you are proud of him, as we are my nephew, and always will be.

  • […] How does one come to terms with that? It’s been 18 years and on Facebook and in the public eye, Gene and Carol Kent seem amazingly calm and content with life. But it is absolutely not easy, as she wrote in her latest blog, which you can read here. […]

  • Linda Mobley

    Thank you Carol for holding on to faith and being so open to others. I first heard you speak a few weeks after my own son was convicted and spent 7 years in Texas. I live in Florida. Quite an ordeal when you know absolutely nothing about our legal system isn’t it. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Jason’s wonderful mom and pray for strength.

  • Amanda W

    I just heard your story today on a Focus on the Family broadcast and then went online to learn more. My heart breaks for Jason and your family and you will be in my prayers with a hope for parole one day. I’m sure you have heard this countless times, but I cant help but believe this was all in God’s plan…Think of all of the people Jason has been able to reach for the lord while incarcerated, that may have never come to know him otherwise. Despite how devastating the situation is, he is being used to advance the kingdom and do great things.

  • Gregg

    I heard your message on focus on the family in Canada. No one is perfect and I think Jason has paid his debt to society a long time ago. God has already forgiven him. I hope Jason gets out of prison soon.
    Sincerely
    Gregg McCallum

  • I heard Carol speak recently at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona….
    What a POWER-filled message of courage & HOPE. Carol conveyed an authentic concern / commitment to add value to others’ lives…& to chose continued FAITH in God in the midst of facing one of life’s most devastating experiences life could throw at you – the incarceration of your beloved child.

    I left her talk feeling deeply humbled & renewed by her amazing courage &unwavering testimony.

    Thank You, Carol & Gene, for your unforgettable message.

  • Hi Carol. Yes, the hurt is deep. If it wasn’t for God, I couldn’t have made it thru 16 years of my son being in prison for murder. If I would have had money, my son wouldn’t be there. My granddaughter was there when it happened and she was 16. She tried telling them her daddy was innocent, but the da, didn’t want to believe her. but I do know God is in control. Daren knows the Lord and I’m so thankful. I travel 2.5 hours to see him and I’m just thankful I can and that he’s alive. Thank you Carol, and I will be praying for you and Jason. GOD Bless you.

  • diane jackson

    Really appreciated When I lay my Isaac down and a new normal. Haven’t read the 3rd one need to try and find it. Have heard Carol Speak at Women of Faith. So powerful. I spent over 20 yrs in the Kairos prison ministry. I know it is also at Desoto. Praying Jason gets involved in it. A powerful life changing ministry. He is the kind of leader prison needs. Blessings All. Diane Jackson

  • Norma Bauer

    Hi Carol..I have wondered through years what had happened to you. We met many years ago at Waterford Community Church in Michigan. Then again in Hillman, Michigan. I also attended a series of classes of Speak Up With Confidence. It is beyond my comprehension what you and your family have been allowed by God to go through all of these years. How can anyone compare sorrows that we each go through. But this I know at 85 years of age, our Father goes with us every step of the way through every possible loss. May God continue to bless you and your ministry. Lovingly, Norma

  • Marilyn Wallberg

    Darling Carol,

    I listened to you in FOTF while driving home from prayer meeting tonight. I remember our sweet and productive times together. Your journey continues and the outreach for His glory is ongoing. . I am so proud of you for many reasons. All three of you are being used of the Lord in mighty and unusual ways.
    Blessings and love,
    Marilyn Wallberg

  • Andy

    I listened to part 1 and 2 of your story on focus on the family. I was moved to tears often. I pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen you and your family.

  • Kim McMillian

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was actually listening to a focus on the family broadcast: Trusting God When The Unthinkable Happens. First I’d like to say is thank you. Thank you for the couraging sharing how to trust God despite what we experience. As I was listening to your story I was moved to tears and am still very emotional. My children are just 4 and 3 and could not even fathom this reality. Your story made me realize that I often spend too much time focusing on minor, irrelevant issues in my life. Asking God to help me to trust in simple things, and have not dealt with anything far beyond that. It has compelled me to really just believe fully in and trust God who knows my tomorrow and commit wholeheartedly to doing his will regardless of what may come. Your story is one of true encouragement and hope in Jesus. And what I find even more amazing is your son even in prison sharing the gospel. That is phenomenal. I’m learning more and more that God can get the glory out of anything. Thank you for your strength and just the realness in your story. I pray a blessing over your family and the strength of God. I may not meet you all in this life but in the next I know I will.
    God bless you all truly!!

  • Sharon Rosenlund

    Carol, I read your first 2 books and got inspiration, since my son was convicted of a crime he did NOT commit but is serving a term in Texas prisons. It’s such a horrible and unfair position to be in. Texas is so hard to get anything done, and the place he is in now is run by mostly Nigerians and they have almost no organization. I had written you before, but my letter was returned with an undeliverable address. I would like to get in on your organization to find out more that I can do. His appeal hearing is actually in the court TODAY.

    Thank you for your speaking up and giving us all hope and knowledge. GOD IS GOOD

  • My son Cary Heath is in Tarrant County Jail in Texas accused of two capital murders.The Holy Spirit warned my wife,telling her he was getting set up, she warned him told him do not to Halloween party this was a week and a half earlier.His wife and her boyfriend did set him up. I got heard your story and the tears came back.God is getting us through this attack of satan with His Word

  • Barbara Blake

    Your blog, your book When I Lay My Issac Down and your devotional have blessed me and spoke to me in some dark hours. I even saw you and heard you tell your story at a Womens conference. God is using you and your story to reach so many hurting people and their families.

  • Carol,
    I always am blessed by the testimony of your family. If we write to Jason, should we enclose an address inside?
    And do they open all his mail and is he allowed any pkgs?
    He will surely be prayed for.
    Love and Father’s shalom to you,
    Joy

  • Jane Hennings

    Thank you for sharing your story on focus on the family. I am praying for you and your son! Thank you for being so honest and brave.

  • Linda Johns

    I heard parts of your story on my way to work this morning. The radio was in and out so I missed alot of it. When I went on my break I googled your name and watched 3 of your documentaries. I cried, I too have a son in prison, who is a 8 hour drive away one way. My heart hurt for you and your husband as I listened toyou pour your hearts out. This is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to deal with. My son was in a terrible accident in 2015, where he stayed on life support and in a coma,in trauma ICU for weeks. Drs. Telling me he would never be the same again, I refused to believe that. I sat with him day and night til one day he opened them big blue eyes. It was touch and go for quite awhile, he had to learn all of his motor skill all over again. After he waz finally discharged, then came the nursing home to regain everything he lost. The bad part about all of this, I have no idea what happened to him. So many stories from his so called friends butno truth. Our sheriff’s department let it slide thru the cracks and nevwr did anything. After he finally came home it was rough to say the least. Hehadbeen on probation for 5. And a half years and done so good. Now he was having irate outburst towards me and my parents, the ones who helped him the most. One day hehad an outburst and threw a tv remote and hit my Dad on the hand, my daughter picked up the phone and made the call that sent him to where he is now. I have Prayed for him for uears for Jesus to get a hold of him, well He has done just that. Matthew has stood up cursed God, denied that He was real.All of this has took a big toll on me and my family. Sitting in his cell one night he experienced God, he told me He could feel His presence and he touchex him on the shoulder. Every since then Matthew has been reading his Bible, Praying saying Prayers before we start a rare visit. He is a totally different person, a person I happen to love more than I ever have. Last Sunday He was Baptized at the Church of his Prison unit. Lisetning2to your story about your son just hit home with me, I know your story is different than mine, but I felt compelled to share my story with you. I have ordered your book When I layed down my Issac, I can’t wait to read it. On top of all of this,I am a 24 year veteran correctional officer. I have Prayed for years that I would never have to see Matthew in a place where I have served for half of my life, now it is reality.It was extremely hard on me for months, God and a Wonderful husband got me through it. There is alot more to my story but I will close this now. God Bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing your journey, for I understand it is not easy.

  • I was blessed to attend a women’s retreat a couple of years ago. My heart broke with yours for the plight of your son. Having been molested and then raped by the time I was 4, I loved your son more than you could know. I am 68 now, 69 at the end of this month. That the perpetrator did not get away with his ugliness and harm, meant a great deal to me.
    Reading just now, about the department store event, I almost gasped! Trapped by someone stating things in front of others is where I find myself now. My mother suffers with a kind of dementia that leaves her in a sexual state. She will be 95 in July. She is in skilled nursing. The precious staff care for her. It isn’t easy for them or for me. I am asked questions I can’t answer and enter into the prison of my mother’s illness. This began when she was in her seventies. It was like being molested by my mother’s imaginings and invasive surprises in the bathroom. I thought she was demented. Friends and pastors looked to me for explanation, which leaves me exhausted. Guilt. Being held responsible for her behavior. Just feeling crazy and depressed, a lot but now you have left me with a plan to bring my soul into a resting place of peace. Thank you!

  • Don Holland

    Thank your for the humble spirit you have displayed in telling
    The Story” about your family. It brings hope to so many. I’ve never been there but you have shown all of us … There Can Be Life After Tragedy.

    Question: Are there any videos of “When I Lay My Issac Down.?” Or, perhaps any of the others? And if so, where can they be purchased.

    God Bless and may you continue to find hope and peace along the way on your journey.

    Don Holland

  • Carol,
    I happened to catch your program this Sat May 19th. I Felt you were speaking to my soul. I was on my way to visit my husband in South Woods State Prison in New Jersey.My husband,like your son was a successful business owner and never in trouble before. He was convicted of Vehicular homicide and has served one and half years of a seven year sentence.It has devastated us financial and physically and emotionally. When you stated at your sons trial,that you were pleading with the jury that he is a loving son,I could relate.We are in the process of appeal since my husband was not drunk or reckless. I know how you fell about hopelessness.Sometimes i feel i have lost my best friend,that God has left me.You said that when you feel abandon by God is when he is most present. You have spoken to me in such a way that i had tears of hope again! I have no one in my area who can relate to my crisisI thank you for giving me hope again! Do you know anyone i can reach out to for support to help navigate all the emotions and loss i feel everyday? Thank you

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