Tag Archives: #returningcitizen

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and Chaplain Tammy believes the depth of our pain is an indication of the pinnacle awaiting in our future.

The Depth Of Our Pain Is An Indication Of The Pinnacle Awaiting In Our Future!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries believes the depth of our pain is an indication of the pinnacle awaiting in our future!

The Depth Of Our Pain Is An Indication Of The Pinnacle Awaiting In Our Future!

Everybody’s screaming for a different story right now, drinking and smoking more, through all the unknowns, the diseases, the division, and the despair from loneliness and death, but I’M NOT!!!

Well…

Honestly, I am suffering with my greatest health crisis ever right now, but my Lord doesn’t leave us to our own strength to conquer these summits alone. He simply asks us to trust and remember that when we’re weak, He is strong!

I admit, when the physical and emotional pain is unbearable and you literally can’t move, sometimes crying me a Noah’s Flood is the only thing moving in full force!

Chaplain Tammy believes that Tears come from the heart where healing starts.

But the Lord 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

The depth of our pain is an indication of the pinnacle awaiting in our future.

When we experience trauma, our trust in the world, our relationships, and ourselves are often broken. We heal in community and in relationship with others, not suffering ALONE in silence and isolation.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and Chaplain Tammy understands that trauma upends everything we took for granted, including things we didn’t know we took for granted. -C Woodwiss

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is an ACEs-aware nonprofit organization, which is part of an initiative of the Office of the California Surgeon General and the Department of Health Care Services, offering Medi-Cal providers training, clinical protocols, and payment for screening children and adults for ACEs.

Together we are working to raise awareness about the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in hopes of building a healthier community and a brighter future for our children and future generations.  

The importance of acknowledging our stressors of the past in order to thrive in the present along with practical tips to build greater resilience requires understanding how our earlier experiences influence our relationships today. 

Prevention is intervention. We have to invest heavily into people’s lives and transform our prisons into healing centers!  95% of our incarcerated population will be released and will become our neighbors.  If we want safe communities, we need to invest NOW into their lives through rehabilitation programs leading to redemption. That requires prevention. 

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries aims for Folsom State Prison to be an iconic symbol of healing and wholeness where all parties (incarcerated people along with staff) transform culture together through trauma-informed practices. 

Our residents inside our prisons need healing and wholeness to overcome their addiction, their anxiety, their depression, and the anger caused by a childhood filled with the trauma of abuse, neglect and household dysfunction.  This trauma we’re speaking of occurs before their 18th birthday.  Our families are broken and this is where we get to change the paradigm and work proactively together.

If you’d like to look at or take the ACEs survey, click here

Blameless was created to provide curriculum and programs that help break the cycle of intergenerational and systemic trauma and crime. With our prisons being in lockdown for almost a year, we have our work cut out for us once we’re allowed entry back into the prisons. Lives suffering in silence and isolation poses a threat to both the individual and the stability of the setting. Connection is vital to stable mental health.

When people learn what adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are, what the typical responses are to trauma, it helps them understand themselves; why they react instead of responding, those ugly, pesky triggers; that they’re not crazy; they understand their own feelings and their behaviors, which is part of the work we’re doing and what we’re trying to help them understand.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries along with Chaplain Tammy understands that grieving is social, and so is healing!

Our men and women in prison have the highest ACE scores.  Amazingly, if you have four or more ACEs, you’re seven times more likely to be incarcerated in your lifetime.  We can’t forget, these traumas occur before age 18; that’s catastrophic for everyone.

Even myself, I have a score of 7 ACEs out of 10.  It was by the grace of God ONLY that He turned my traumas and household dysfunction into vessels of love and healing to engage with and walk alongside of those who are hurting, abandoned, rejected and traumatized.

I also humbly did the work because I saw what trauma has done to generations of my own amazing family and I wanted this curse severed.

Somebody has to initiate CHANGE! I pray it’s you…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Forgiveness Practice

As I often share my own painful traumas, I am a survivor of violent crimes (yes, plural). I was married into law enforcement. I have been a commissioned chaplain since 2010, and I also had a son incarcerated due to his own deep hurts of anger brought on by trauma growing up.  I’ve worn many hats on every side of this revolving door while working in the criminal justice system, but I refuse to hide underneath a mourning veil when there are lives in need of hope and healing.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, along with Chaplain Tammy, believes everyone has value!

There is no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name!  And I pray relentlessly that you can understand that prevention is intervention and it starts with us, all of us, especially the Body of Christ, NOW!!!  There’s no time to waste.  Time is a valuable commodity.

Everyone Has Value!

Until next time…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and Chaplain Tammy believes that human suffering could connect all of us, if only we had the courage to share in it.

God Sees Beyond Our Right Now…

God Sees Beyond Our Right Now

When life isn’t exactly how we pictured it would be…

Facing seasons of disappointment and despair can leave us feeling isolated and alone.

Encouraging and inspiring our incarcerated can be a daunting lifestyle, but they deserve an outpouring of God’s Great Love.

Meeting our prisoners right where they’re at, determined not to leave them shackled in shame and guilt, surrounded by nothing but criminal conduct, is a priceless gift of Love.

It’s challenging to understand that during these grave times, being in a pit of hell, there are others in similar situations who have gone before us…

When you’re considered “incorrigible,” a “burden” or “a menace to society,” impervious to restraints and punishment, it’s hard to react/respond against this branding, this labeling, cauterized deep into one’s soul and flesh.

And we are, after all, a byproduct of our environment…

Discouragement leads to death and destruction. Being near the edge of the pit serves as a constant reminder that its edges of hell will swallow and take down those who dare come close.

Our incarcerated can only see and hear what’s inside their prison walls. They’re a number, not a person. It’s dark and it’s dangerous. It’s not filled with life and/or rehabilitation. It’s filled with segregated gangs; your color and ethnicity matters because that pre-determines your space, affiliation and housing and HIGHLY INFLUENCES what you learn and become.

But our Beautiful Jesus resides inside prisons and He reminds us through awareness that re-offenders lack relationships.

What would your faith look like if God said to you what He specifically spoke to my heart, There’s an amazing door of opportunity standing wide open for you [me] to minister here, even though there are many who oppose and stand against [you] me (1 Corinthians 16:9 TPT)?

Truly, God spoke those very words to my heart.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

As Christians, we are commanded to stand with the oppressed and fight injustice. What kind of Christians are we; ones with selective obedience accommodating our facades or are we, as a community, going to start loving more and rebuking division and strife like we’re commanded?

It’s not about us! Relationships matter. Re-offenders lack relationships!

Addressing our high recidivism rates requires programming and services essential to decrease the re-offender rates and foster successful community reentry. Reducing recidivism will benefit both our offenders and our communities.

When I personally think of despair and discouragement, I am reminded of Joseph in the Bible who had ample reason to be discouraged and knew what longstanding imprisonment offered.

Joseph endured the death of his mother, along with the conspiracy and hatred from his brothers.

Can you imagine the gut-punching torturous blow in being cast into a pit and then sold into slavery?

That’s unfathomable sibling rivalry.

Then to face imprisonment due to false accusations, OMG!!!

I don’t know about you, but my abandonment issues seem rather inconsequential.

Being molded by pain along with having a personal, intimate knowledge and relationship with God, allows us to survive and prosper where most would fail.

Being betrayed and deserted by family undoubtedly leaves deep emotional wounds that only God could graciously heal. Add in a long incarceration, being punished for doing what’s right, Joseph was even forgotten by those he helped.

But God doesn’t forget because He resides inside our prisons and knows what is on the other side of our circumstances.

Joseph’s life is one of God’s most powerful and miraculous stories of what redemption offers. Even saving his offensive family during the famine.

My heart of hearts believes that our beautiful Jesus wants to transform our deep losses and grave disappointments the same way He did for Joseph. God can and will make a way.

I don’t know about you, but I have decided to be a “Doer” of the Word and not just a “Hearer” that James 1:22 talks about.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries believes God allows crises or shows us problems so we can be part of the solution.

Relevant truth for today: Where we are RIGHT NOW is not our final destination, nor is it for our incarcerated.

Looking through the lens of God’s Great Love, we are able to believe that what lies ahead on the other side of our circumstances is greater strength and victory.

One bad circumstance leading to reintegration.

No story is beyond redemption.

We can’t overcome what we don’t confront.

Living for a cause greater than myself reminds me to maintain the rights of the oppressed that Psalm 82:3–4 expresses. This passion was birthed by a personal crisis which led to a bigger cause.

We need to prioritize what matters. It’s not so much about the events or the many circumstances of life, but our response to them. Our incarcerated haven’t responded appropriately and when they get out of prison after serving time for their crime, they will repeat if we do not intervene and start rehabilitating them while incarcerated.

The most important thing I pray our hearts remember, once our returning citizens are back into society, we need to be prepared to disciple them, encourage them and surround them with love while walking alongside of them. Being prepared to help, not discriminate, will ensure safer communities and society assets.

Until next time…