Indra indicated that her parents were lying, stealing drug-addicts. Ironic that Indra, in the same breath said that her mother ruled with an “iron fist”, a term typically reserved for a heavy-handed disciplinarian. It didn’t make much sense that Indra blames her mom’s going to prison as the reason that Indra and her sister “would experience things they should not have”. Yet Indra also used the term “dysfunctional”. Clearly drugs, specifically heroin, twisted Indra’s family values.
Either way, Indra learned at a very young age to use sex and drugs to manipulate others. When her sister conceived at 16, Indra felt even more abandoned, and perhaps a bit jealous, as her sister refocused on her newborn. So, Indra went on to have a son of her own. In her words, “I graduated from codeine to heroin.” Again, her words reflect the mixing of the best intentions with the worst outcomes.
By the age of 19, Indra was praying to God, claiming that she was no longer using heroin, but heroin was using her. “Every baby I had after my second child wuz tooken from me. I indulged negativity, I wore many maskses. At Vandalia (a Missouri State prison), I was close-minded with no consideration for consequences.”
Indra’s voice and vocabulary became more “ghetto” while talking about her darkest past, but something changed when Indra described her relationship to God. Her laugh was infectious, forcing me to smile too as I could see her smile although we were only talking on the phone.
Like many women with convictions, Indra testified to her 14-year relationship to a man whom she’d allowed to overshadow her. “My identity, my dreams, my future and my life were wrapped up in him.” Her words for the father of her children were hauntingly similar to the words she used to describe her relationship with Christ.
“God, if you are real, make yourself known to me,” she went on, “He was healing my despair, He was healing my brokenness. I started being transformed.” Indra’s voice grew stronger as she preached her own gospel, radiating her faith. At 34, Indra took responsibility for her circumstances, no longer contributing to a sinful life.
Since prison, Indra now is connecting with her children. She is pursuing education, obtained a driver’s license for the first time in her life and speaks to inmates at the county jail. Indra’s story is a powerful story of redemption. Clearly, if a person sees and feeds the positives in her life, circumstances improve. How are your circumstances? Are you feeding your demons? Are you ready to change?