Drawing Nearer To Your Goals: Don’t Give Up!

There is a few sayings that elude to not giving up when you are close to finishing. One is about a logger, when the journeymen loggers are sending up a rookie to top the tree everyone is dead silent the whole way up. The rookie climbs in silence and tops the tree carefully, then begins his descent. About 2/3 of the way down the journeymen hollar up “be careful!”. The kid gets a little offended and gets down from the tree and starts yelling at the journeymen “I was almost done, you don’t know what your talking about, where were you when I was at the top and scared?” The journeymen knew what the kid did not, which was you are most apt to fail when you are almost done and too cocky.
So goes the rest of the stories and metaphors. So often when we are just sure we are in the clear and ready to go we fall because we think that the danger is done when in fact our danger is highest when we are complacent. I was told not to long ago that my group was almost done and here and then low and behold I am put on my call-out to see a sponsor and I get all excited thinking that this is what I have been waiting for. Well, it wasn’t, it was to see the sponsor for another program I am involved with. Which, I am leaving in God’s hands to guide me in. I was involved with another program and stopped going because of people being double minded. The point of this program is to change prison culture by making good morals the “cool” thing to do. Very difficult for a culture immersed in blood. But it is highly effective. My love is tied up in the program and I backed off only because people involved didn’t have others best interest in their hearts but their own. However, I am willing to take part because my goal and this programs goal is the same, which is a safe and happy place to correct yourself and get some much needed personal and psychological help for our deviance’s and actually do something with ourselves once we get out, which you best believe we will. 
I say that to say this, I am not discouraged. I am happier then ever. God’s plan is not my own and that is fine because He’s much smarter then me…So I am going with it. I am ever careful to be diligent to hold myself at an even higher standard then before. Making sure that my conduct is worthy of someone who is trying to lean on the cross. Hopefully in the process people follow the same path and decide for themselves that they too want to be better and leave the old man behind and grow into something new and hopeful. Hopefully.
I know that the prison’s LGBTQ community is going to be able to grow and help each other reduce our recidivism by emotionally holding each other up properly and according to the policies provided to us here in prison. While I am ever closer to my goal of seeing a group be accepted here, some who are hate filled are rebelling against us and starting all kinds of horrible rumors and trying to make it so that we are looked at badly still and more so then before. I have this to say to everyone who is trying to bring me down:
Go ahead, I will get up, go ahead, I will rise up still. I may have to fight longer, or harder or educate myself even more, but LGBTQ lives matter and I won’t quit until my people are given a chance to help each other and those who are around us to better themselves and our environment. I don’t need to change any one’s opinions of gays…could care less about them actually. But I will NOT leave this prison system the same man I came in and seeing as how NO ONE is helping me…I am. So go ahead and spread the rumors, go ahead and try. But like Angelou said “I will rise”

With Love

Jeff Utnage