A raw inspirational testimony of how to come to God as you are.
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From Bank Robber To Butterfly
From Bank Robber To Butterfly
From Bank Robber To Butterfly is about a young woman who takes advantage of an idle mind being the devil's playground. With nothing but too much time on her hands she creates ways to cheat through her 20's by creating ways to obtain money that did not involve working a 9-5.
Refusing to sell drugs, prostitute herself, or commit violent crimes to get what she wanted, she turned to her creative ability to rob banks without ever being there. After spiraling out of control and not staying cautious about who she worked with, she eventually connected with two young women who would become a key component to her salvation.
As a woman who believed God existed but did not know or care about the power of His strength and love, she was forced to surrender to her calling to the Kingdom by spending time in isolation with the only One who could really save her from herself. Once she allowed God to reveal Himself to her (although not before constant fits of cursing, crying, a mouth that needed serious taming and much mental anguish) she submitted herself in ways she never thought possible and permitted God to take her from bank robber to butterfly.
1. The beginning of the beginning
As the FBI agent strolled toward Lyric as she exited the drugstore, all that went through her mind was “Just be cool and it’ll be all good.” Well, it was all good, for about 20 minutes. As the ice-cold handcuffs were placed around her tiny wrists, her Billy-bad-ass attitude quickly diminished. Somehow she knew she wasn’t going to make a quick exit out of jail like she did the few times before. After escorting Lyric and Sasha into the bank and spending 30 minutes ineffectively trying to persuade her to confess to making the checks, she could only assume the agent sent them off to the county jail because he was frustrated with how much Lyric knew about the justice system. She read a lot so she had done some extensive research on what would happen if she were to get caught robbing banks through phony checks. The police continuously threatened to take the case to Federal Court but she knew they couldn’t because no money was received by the girl sent in the bank and Lyric’s prints weren’t on the checks taken in the bank or on the checks found in the vehicle she was driving. So although she knew she was guilty of being the mastermind, all that mattered was, even though he knew she was guilty too, the agent couldn’t prove it.
The ride to the county jail seemed to take forever. Alisha, the temp who was caught in the bank, (Temp: A person used to pass phony checks), was placed in a vehicle alone, while Sasha and Lyric were placed in a vehicle together. Before the officer got in the car, they agreed to stick to the story they had quickly conjured up but of course things changed when they got to the jail. Since Lyric had no idea at the time Sasha was already on parole from a recently served prison sentence, she didn’t know Sasha had gone into ‘save myself’ mode. Once they reached the jail they were all placed in separate interrogation rooms and that’s when it all began.
A female detective named D. Linsell waltzed into the interrogation room where Lyric was waiting and with this devilish smirk on her face kindly said, “Lyric, you know your girls rolled on you so you might as well tell me the truth. I know you are the mastermind behind this whole scheme and you can give me the real story now or you can take it up with a judge later. You already have a criminal record for the same type of crime. Either way baby girl, you’re up shit-creek without a paddle and the boat you built got a hole in it. So what’s it going to be?” Lyric looked her square in the eyes and told her she had nothing to say. “You are making a big mistake. I’m not going to give you another chance and I’m not going to waste my time trying to help you if you don’t talk to me. I deal with girls like you all the time and you’re all the same. You think you know it all and you have absolutely no clue. I see from your file that you work for a limousine company owned by good ol’ Raymond and Paris. Did you know I used to work with your mother?”
Lyric looked at her with that same devilish smirk and stated, “You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t give a damn. And just to make it clear, she is my step-mother and if I’m not mistaken, you two didn’t even like each other when she was an officer. I have been here four hours. May I use the restroom now?” “You can use it when I say you can use it.” Lyric had it in her to punch her lights out but instead she just smiled and said, “Yeah ok.”
Since she wouldn’t talk the detective eventually decided to book Lyric into police custody. Lyric had made up in her mind that she didn’t care what the cops got out of the other two broads, she wasn’t telling anything that would incriminate her or them. Two hours later, as they were leaving the police station to go across the street to the county jail, the detective allowed Lyric to use the restroom. As she quickly released what felt like a bucket of water, she thought to herself, “Who knew holding urine for six hours could be so freakin’ painful!” She felt like she was going to pass out.
When they reached the part of the jail which housed the inmates, they were all put in a holding cell together and Lyric’s gut feeling was that the other broads had really jumped ship just as the detective said and told what little they knew about her to save themselves. One thing was for sure, they didn’t know much of anything because Lyric didn’t trust either of them so she never gave them any major details about anything.
Sidebar: (Lyric connected with Sasha through her friend’s barber named Malik. Malik told Lyric that Sasha was a chick who knew the bank system in and out and that she had inside connections that would get Lyric more money than she was currently making. He called Sasha, set up a meeting and Lyric met her at this apartment that Lyric had in one of her fake names which meant Sasha couldn’t lead the police to her if anything went wrong.)
Once they were booked in they had to wait to be sent upstairs to a specific pod which is an area where about 20-40 inmates are held and seeing how everything in jail is a hurry up and wait, it took hours for them to be assigned to a pod. While they were waiting one of the officers came into the holding cell and asked, “Which one of you is pregnant?” They all said, “Not me” at the same time. Sasha was gay so they knew (or at least thought) it wasn’t her and Alisha claimed to have had a miscarriage a few weeks earlier so that left Lyric. She hadn’t missed any periods in a while so she just thought maybe there was a mix-up or something and it must have been a mistake because nothing else was said about it. It scared her at first because she began to think what she would do if she was pregnant and ended up getting time in jail based on testimony from these idiot chicks. She quickly killed the thought but after they were assigned to different pods, Lyric began to ponder what she had gotten herself into. She knew she would be going to court within a day or two but whether or not she’d get a bond was a different story since her previous charges were of the same nature. At this point, all Lyric wanted to do was sleep the time away.
They were called out a day and a half later to go to court and the judge gave them all a bond but Lyric’s was $10,000 cash. She dropped her head and closed her eyes because she knew she wasn’t going home anytime soon. No one she knew loved her enough to put up $10K to get her out and all the money she had made earlier that week was used to pay bills and child support.
As her preliminary hearing ended with a bang, her mind begin to immediately wonder into how when she got into past illegal activity and got arrested a few times but never saw the inside of a jail cell for more than a day or two, sometimes less, she began to create an invincible side. She thought to herself how the money she made was worth the short time she would spend in jail since most people don’t make in a month what she was making in day cutting phony checks. As she reminisced on her days of hustlin’, she realized just as God will use whatever He chooses to get your attention, so does Satan. Lyric grew up watching her mother work harder than most men would work and she vowed to never be that way unless she owned the business she was putting all her time into.
Her mother was a single mom of three children and Lyric remembered not having her there the way she would have wanted but she respected that her mom worked hard to provide a good home. When her youngest brother passed away at the tender age of 8 from a brain tumor, Satan started planting seeds of hate towards God into Lyric’s mind and it worked, for a short time. Lyric had to grow up quick because her mom shut down after the death of her youngest son and that’s when Lyric started thinking of how she would do whatever it took to make a life where she wouldn’t ever need a type of god who would let her baby brother die. Lyric was 13 when her brother passed away so her thinking wasn’t at all in line with anything of spiritual nature.
As Lyric’s past haunted her, the invincible side began to wither away and Lyric’s mind became clouded. It was as if her mind gathered up many of the memories she had stored away and started a bond fire in the middle of her brain and since there was no place for the smoke to go it just clouded her mind. One of the memories that stuck out the most was April 9, 2000. She had come across $68,000.00 in phony checks which eventually created her skill to make them. There were twelve checks and each had a different amount ranging from $8,000 to $16,000 and they were not made out to anyone so Lyric could make it out to whoever she chose. Her neighbor, at this posh apartment complex near downtown Atlanta where she lived, knew her schedule enough to know she usually wasn’t home in the early part of the day so he assumed it would be cool to have a courier deliver his package to her apartment where he could pick it up from the door before Lyric got home. He assumed wrong. Lyric had not gone to work that day for whatever reason, perhaps pure laziness, and the package must have come during her morning shower because she didn’t hear anyone knock on the door.
As she was leaving her apartment she stepped on the envelope. It was leaning on the door and fell in when she opened it. Lyric looked to see who the package was from since she knew she wasn’t expecting anything and when she noticed it had the right apartment but the wrong name, she just threw it on the kitchen counter and decided to try to wait to see if someone claimed it before she opened it. When she got home that evening she decided to open the package anyway and there were the checks. She sat at her computer for hours trying to decide what to do. She called her people to let them know she had the checks and asked if they wanted to help her “clean” (make the money legitimate) them. Once they said yes, she checked the account numbers to make sure they were real and went to work. The next morning her neighbor came by and asked if she had found a package outside of her door. Lyric lied by telling him she had been gone for majority of the day but that someone else may have picked it up. She asked if he wanted her to ask the other neighbors in the building and he quickly said no. She lied again and said she would notify him if it was delivered to her door before she went out of town for the weekend and he thanked her and left.
Since it was her oldest daughter’s birthday Lyric thought she would work on the smallest check early so she could spend the rest of the day shopping and having girl-time with her daughters. Since the checks were cashable she decided to go cash it herself. The woman at the counter verified the amount of the check with the company who wrote it but she still wanted more proof so she asked if she could see the package it came in. Lyric knew she couldn’t show her the original form because it had her address but not her name on it so she had to create a courier slip so that it could look like it was sent to her and that’s where Lyric slipped. When the woman verified the package receipt, the numbers didn’t match what the courier company had in their system and she called the police. Lyric had never slipped like that before so she knew she’d catch a charge but nothing that would hold her in jail because she had never been convicted of a crime. It was April 10th and she was about to spend her oldest daughter’s birthday behind jail bars. One would think it would have ended there but it didn’t.
Lyric was just getting started. Since she knew where her mistake was, she promised herself if she got out of jail she would make her own checks and create her own hustle from that day forward. She never wanted to get caught up in somebody else’s hustle again. She got off on First Offenders and got probation, a fine, and 40 hours of community service. She stayed in jail about 21 hours and as soon as she was released she went to work on learning how to make her own checks.
As more thoughts like that began to creep in, Lyric said to herself, “Easy come, easy go. Nothing lasts forever, nothing matters, and the next hustle has got to be better than the last. If I get out of this, I gotta make the hustle tighter. I gotta make it where I work alone from now on. No outsiders. Nobody but me. No matter how much time I get, I gotta stay strong. I’m a soldier. This ain’t gon’ kill me. It’s gon’ make me stronger and better.”
Lyric had no clue connecting with Sasha would bring her to her Salvation. As her days in jail begin, she started to blame Sasha for what was happening because she turned out to be a snitch, which will always be illegal in the game, but little did Lyric know, it was all a part of God’s plan to save her. A few days passed and she became confused in her thinking. She didn’t know who to call, who to write, or if she should even dare be bold enough to pray about what was happening to her. She finally got up the nerve to call her step-mother, Paris, so she could stay in touch with Lyric’s public defender. Paris burst into tears when Lyric told her what happened and she said she would try to help as much as possible. Lyric felt so trapped and so isolated. She kept feeling in her heart that she needed to pray but resisted because she thought there was no way God would get her out of this.
That night when the call came for voluntary lockdown she decided to go to her cell and pray. Since the feeling to pray wouldn’t go away on it’s own she decided she would make it go away by giving the Lord a piece of her confused, distorted, and unholy mind. As the steel door slammed shut behind her like the bang from a shot gun, she stood in the tiny window of the cold, eerie, lonely cell, stared at the sky and let Him have it. “Lord, I have no idea why I’m still here. They don’t have proof I did anything wrong. I wasn’t caught in the bank and the bank teller can’t ID me because he’s never met me. He doesn’t even know my real name. I met Alisha two days before this happened and Sasha has no credibility because she’s on parole from prison. All I want You to do is let me go home. I didn’t hustle to buy drugs or to have a bunch of material bullshit; I hustled to get caught up on my child support which I shouldn’t even be paying and to prevent myself from working an empty, pointless, never-ending 9-5 job. I know I haven’t been the best mother but You, of all people, know I’m not the worst. You know I love my children with all my heart and soul, You know I want them with me and You know I made a mistake allowing them to live with their dad. What did You want me to do? I could barely feed them sometimes because Cain wouldn’t help me financially. I couldn’t get a job because I didn’t have proper daycare for the girls and you can’t pay for daycare without a job and you can’t get a job without daycare. My mom was always saying bad things about me to Cain and that motivated him to keep them from me. I have been everything other than a child of God to all those around me.
I have been badly judged ever since I was able to remember. My mom consistently told me how I would be just like my dad; a thief, a liar and a user. I’m not like him. I love my children and I want to be there for them. I didn’t purposely walk away from them because I didn’t want them. I really couldn’t support them and now You’re gonna make me suffer for that? How do you fight a battle you were born to lose? Do You hate me or something? Maybe You should, everybody else does. Why are You letting this happen to me? Let me go home! I want to go home! You have to let me go home. Please. I won’t survive in here not talking to or seeing my children. Please let me go.”
Then, through her tears, her anger and the burning desire for something more, she whispered, “You know what Lord, fuck this. You show me and I’ll show You. I’m tired now and I’m not gon’ to beg You to do something I know you won’t do. If You show me that You are real in my life, I’ll give everything I am to You. This is it! There is nothing left for me to do. I’m done.” Lyric actually waited for a response as if she was really going to get one right then and nothing happened. She closed her eyes and dropped her head and thought about her children. “What will they think of me? How can I explain this? What if I get sent to prison and Cain never brings them to see me? What if they resent me because they’re too young to understand?”
Lyric’s mind kept visualizing all the what- ifs and when she was tired of all the negative thoughts running through her mind she decided to just go to sleep. She was exhausted from all the crying and talking and begging. It wasn’t even dark yet and she was actually going to sleep. In the meantime, God started working on all the things she had just prayed about even though Lyric was unaware of it at the time.
During the short time it took her to get to sleep, she remembered the days before her arrest when she stayed up for three days without sleep preparing and perfecting the checks. She thought about how she would not do anything during the day that would take her away from the perfecting process. No phone calls, no visitors and nothing but fast food to eat so she wouldn’t have to cook. She literally stayed in front of her computer until she was totally sure the checks would pass, checking every single detail. She put herself through hell for something that meant absolutely nothing in the end. At the time her thought was not that she was trying to retire from stealing by the time she turned 30, just that she needed to have some double-digit thousands in the bank that she could eventually turn into millions through solid investments. Lyric then realized she could have just found a good job and just saved the money but she also thought about how if you are clearing $400-1k a day for a few weeks, looking for a real job becomes simply stupid.
Although Lyric never took money from innocent individuals, she made it her mission to take money from huge corporations because she knew they’d never miss what she took and it sounded crazy to most people but it made perfect sense to Lyric at the time. She felt she could explain to God stealing from big companies but taking from an individual was totally out of the question and she figured she didn’t have a chance in hell (no pun intended) of being forgiven.
Little did she know, sin is sin. There is no sin greater than another. Morally, sins are weighed differently but not in God’s eyes. Sin is sin. Period.