Josh sent us a letter with this letter enclosed to be read at Church for Thanksgiving...I thought that you all might enjoy it too!
Of the things that I am thankful for this year, the first and foremost is Jesus Christ and His redemptive work. The fact that He has conquered death means that our souls never die; only the physical body passes away. Because He rose from the dead, death is only a temporary separation. He is the great healer and He is in the business of resurrection and renewal. I am thankful that He, and He alone, not time or anything else, holds the keys to healing. I can say first hand with the apostle Paul, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, be it well few or hungry whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” I am thankful for this strength, and for the fact that he is the comforter of the down trodden and broken hearted.
I am also thankful for all the support, the prayers, books and visits that you and others have given me. You have been an immense encouragement to me, thank you. I sit here writing this alone in my cell. I struggle on every front. My cellmate is a pagan witch, I am locked up with 500 drug dealers, rapists, and other felons. But as Paul wrote, “I am dying yet I live; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing yet possessing everything.” “I am hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
In the last year I went from having everything I’d dreamed of and sharing it with the girl of my dreams to being in prison with nothing. And although my own strength failed long ago overwhelmed by unspeakable grief and unable to function, I am thankful for God’s strength and his love. Romans 8:38, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else at all, will be able to separate us from the love of God.” Enjoy all the good food for me, hopefully I will be able to join you two years from now.
Also, an excerpt from a letter sent to our family:
I had a hard time sleeping last night, I was thinking of last Thanksgiving. There was seemingly so much to be thankful for then; celebrating it for the first time with my new wife. Now I'm just 70335 in a holding tank of felons. I am comforted by the fact that Alaina's soul didn't die just her body, that death is just a temporary separation. But life seems like too long a time to wait. Anyway, I miss you all and wish I could celebrate with you. Hopefully the next two years will go by fast. I feel that I should be entitled to 3 times as much food, or at least dessert, the next time around for Thanksgiving. :-) What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
"And remember, that the love of God can not take us
where the grace of God can not keep us!"