Hello, my name is Issac Williams from Midway, Florida, born and raised. Raised up in a home with both parents, nine kids. I’m the baby of all of them.
We did go to church on Sundays. That was a mandatory thing that we had to do. We were raised up on a little farm over in Midway, Florida. One of the things that my dad always taught us – that we had to work. Which meant we couldn’t play a lot. Being from that large group of family, we didn’t have much . . .extra . . .I would say.
Got involved in drugs at a young, young age – probably 9 or 10. We was selling a lot of marijuana around in the little country town. And smoking pot was nothing new to no one that was in that neighborhood.
But at 16 I experienced cocaine for the very first time. I got involved because it was way more money. My friends was telling me how quick you could get rich overnight.
At one point my father was telling me to stay away from bad kids. He could see something that I didn’t see. But I thought they was my buddies, my friends. And my father saw clearly through all of that red tape.
But however, the money kept coming, and it was simple and it was easy. Did not get one, not one time, the consequences behind that. I never was arrested for drugs or trafficking or nothing like that.
And we got to snorting cocaine at the age of 16, and from that day on, at least five maybe six more years, I was pretty much hooked.
At one point I thought that I was going to be able to make it, and I broke away from those group of guys that I used to hang out with and started doing things on my own like working at stores and bagging ice and stocking shelves and stuff like that at Food for Less back in the days.
And the money was not coming fast enough so I turned back to some of the old friends. And the addiction was never gone, I just stayed away for a minute. And it even got worse when I went back to these guys.
Started using drugs and lost all responsibilities for myself and for my family. And started committing crimes. And I found myself in the back of a cop car at the age of 25. First time going to jail, scared to death, didn’t know what was going on, didn’t know nothing about the system. Never knew that I was going to go to the big house, which is the Department of Corrections.
My very first time in there I had an armed robbery with a deadly weapon, three counts. I had to spend my next eight years and nine months and some odd days in prison. And during that time of me being in prison, drugs was rampantly running back and forth inside the system.
I was scared to death, never been, and I seen people get beat up, some tragic stuff happened to guys in there that was weak.
I had family members that would come and see me, and I kept a little money in my canteen. And people that didn’t have any money, they would literally just take it. And in the prison system you was dare not to tell on anybody, because you’ll find out that you’ll be deceased somewhere in a corner.
And I kind of got in with the chaplain and started trying to find myself, soul searching. I’m at the bottom of the pile, Department of Corrections. I’m a nobody, and God spoke to me and said I could be anything I wanted to be, but I have to trust Him.
And I really sat down one day when they shipped me way off from home, and I asked God to actually just show up in my life and do something that man can’t do. And at that moment I felt a numb all over me, and God spoke to me about preparing me to go back home, but I had to sit for those eight years. He had already prepared me that I have to stay here to get right.
However, being in prison for those eight years, it was tough. But I found out that if you lean on the Lord and trust Him wholeheartedly, He will come to your rescue. He will hear you, even in the darkest hours of your time.
And one of the things I had to do was separate from the crowd. Got all kind of name calling. But I kept the faith, kept on believing, kept on praying. Things didn’t happen right then, but I seen it coming, because He gave me that vision saying that, “If you do this, I’ll do that. If you do this, I’ll do that.”
During the course of me moving from prison to prison for those eight years I started getting bitter and angry, even with God. “Why was You taking me through all of this?” And I didn’t understand at that time that He was just preparing me and molding me to when I’d get back to the streets, that I’d be able to stand no matter what. The weapon’s going to form, but they will not prosper.
I came out, and one of the things that I had to go through was the red tape of getting my driver’s license and getting back on my feet. And God did everything.
I’m standing here to tell you that if it had not been for God allowing me – not a second chance, but another chance after another chance after another chance – I truly would be lost, maybe strung out on drugs again, dead, have a life sentence in prison.
And I thank God for every second I stayed in prison because if I would have got out earlier, I wouldn’t be the man I am today. And I really, from the bottom of my heart, know that there’s a God, because if I can get off of crack cocaine, and cocaine in general, and get out of the streets, and have a job that I can go to everyday, and have somewhere to go at night to stay instead of ripping and running the streets, surely anyone else can be able to do the same thing.
God is still in the blessing business. He’s still in the healing business. And I know for a fact that He can deliver you from anything.
And I want to thank you all for listening.
(For more information on Issac's prison ministry, visit www.inspiredbyloveministry.com)