I’m meeting many more brand new to this life gals lately, and I hear a whole lot of worries from them. Most of them fall under the “what if” category. Those kinds of questions can plague you to no end if you let them, but there’s no reason to let it get that bad. This life is going to throw enough twists, turns and tangles at you, don’t add to it unnecessarily! When Satan says “what if”, God says “I got this”.
I know those “what if” questions are going to come up. You want to be able to plan ahead and be prepared so you can help your loved one to the best of your ability. This is a good thing, and you should absolutely learn, research and plan as best you can.
The thing you don’t want to happen is for you to get overwhelmed with worry about all the things that COULD happen. You can doomsday think yourself into a depressing hole that is really hard to come out of.
So, how can you plan and what do you do with the what ifs that pop up?
In order to get through all the what ifs your own brain can throw at you, make sure you are relying on God to handle the things you can’t control and to help you properly handle and control what you are able to. Remember, your responses are under your control, other people’s are not.
Now, as far as other things you can control…
First, be careful where you get your information. Other prison wives can be a good resource to start with, but their personalities and perspectives are as varied as can be. Be careful to find people who have been through this and lean towards a positive outlook without being unrealistically rosey eyed. You need seasoned, balanced perspectives.
Stay in communication with the lawyer. The more information you can get from him the better, ask questions.They are generally a good source of realistic scenarios, when you have a good one.
Remember, even if a lawyer has been appointed for you, you have the right to request a new one if they are not representing you well.
Don’t let what your loved one tells you they are hearing from other inmates overwhelm you. Those places are FULL of drama. While some of what they say can be based in truth, it is generally overstated and biased, if not outright used as a scare tactic to gain something over the newbies.
Finally, remember to take things – everything – one day, one moment at a time. “Do the next right thing” as Elizabeth Elliot would say. Don’t let the urgent overtake the important, but at the same time, don’t let the worry of the unknown future obscure the joys known in the moment.