It came in stages, this awareness, this understanding. God will do His work in our lives as fast or as slow as we choose to respond to Him. It is up to us to let ourselves get to the place where we are willing to let Him speak to us. See, He is ever patient and loving with us. That is how He has been with me my entire life. I have learned so much about God, the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life and the fact that I am His child. I knew that, I studied it, I prayed it, I confessed it, I believed it and I even lived it for most of my life. Yet I still failed miserably and left a wake of destruction in my path. Some of which I have no idea if I can possibly redeem in this life , for the devastation that I have caused my ex-wife and my children is deep and utterly painful. My prayer is that God will be gracious to me and allow me to restore myself to them all.
Some have asked me the question about how much I plan on restoring myself to my ex-wife and children. Can’t I just hit some big “undo” button and reset all of the events in my life somehow? Paul, why can’t you just go back to your family? Restore yourself to them completely so that you can be that living testimony of God’s redemption and grace. It all sounds beautiful and wonderful and all, especially if you are an idealistic person but the fact is that I completely and utterly destroyed my relationship with my former wife. I completely absconded from my responsibilities as her husband and defiled our marriage with many marked sins of unfaithfulness.
These are wounds and assaults on the marital bond between my first wife and I that will take decades, if not a lifetime to heal from. The damage that I have inflicted upon her is as bad as if I had physically been abusive to her. I threw my marital vow down and kicked it away after stomping it to pieces. I have sinned greatly and have only myself to blame for my actions. I may have been led by an evil spirit but somewhere along the road, I had welcomed that entity and it’s control over my life.
I knew better but I did not think that I could overcome what it was doing to my life, day after day, year after year, decade after decade. I fell prey to this Jezebel spirit, spirit of narcissism, that had entered into my life from birth. It worked it’s evil and it’s plan for my destruction and my total annihilation. So much so that I no longer currently even carry my family name of Lopez but rather the meaningless last name of my Maritza, who actually had been going by the last name of one of her lesbian lovers.
See, that’s the thing, the devil doesn’t care about you in the least, he wants to destroy you and sift you like wheat. It is recorded in Luke 22:31 and following: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan desires to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, you will strengthen your fellow believers.
Sifting like wheat sounds pretty innocent and simple to me. Thoughts actually go to when a child helps his mom in preparing a meal and assists her in gently sifting the soft, fluffy flour. This is NOT what Jesus is talking about here in the least. The sifting of the wheat was a violent act in which a farmer would take the wheat berry and forcefully rip it apart from the stalk and the chaff. It literally meant that the wheat would be torn apart. The wheat stalks would be bent, ripped and thrashed until the grain fell out and the rest was rendered worthless and burned up. Do you get the picture now? This is total destruction of the soul and that was the road that I was on up until just recently. I was spared by God for His purposes because for some reason He still found my life to be of service to Him.
If He spared my life to be able to again be a father to my children then that was worth it all. I don’t care about anything else but to show my children how much I love them and how completely sorry I am that they were ever forced to be exposed to any of this. My life and it’s purposes are dedicated to them and for their ultimate good and blessings. What I have done beggars description, it is something that I will forever be marked with for the rest of my life. Yet I will bear the markings of my past with grace, knowing that I am forgiven in Him and my God will heal me, my wife, my ex-wife and my children. We will walk and rejoice in the fact that God, in His abundant mercy and perfect love chose to not turn His face away from me in my sin and bondage and instead chose to walk with me and lead me even in the darkest season of my soul. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death., I will fear no evil… He led me in my utter blindness and paralyzed state, back into His arms where I belong.
To do that I had to learn to identify who I was being influenced by, just who had gotten into my mind and had lied to me for so long. That spirit which had caused me to doubt my faith and my baptism. Who had said to me that the grace of God was not real and that the sacrificial blood of Jesus was somehow nothing and worthless. I believed the lie after having been taught to know better. I resisted and God gave me over to the depravity of my own mind. The devil thought that he won but God was just going to take me back to Him the long way. Through the pain, by destructive behaviors, in various degrees of sin, through bouts with homosexuality and sexual perversions and yes, in believing the ultimate lie that I was somehow born in the wrong body and thus a transgender woman. I had exchanged God’s truth about me for a lie. Professing myself to be wise, I became an utter fool and God gave me over to the desires of my flesh and the consequences thereof.
Yet the Lord was always there, preparing His table in the presence of my enemy. You see, the truth is that evil can only go so far. Evil is subject to God and even satan knows his limits. As was evidenced in the story of Job, the devil must submit himself to God Almighty and he knows that. The thing is that he doesn’t think that we know that, so he goes around prowling like a roaring lion seeking whom he may tear apart and devour (1 Peter 5:8). We must be wise and aware of his schemes and know that greater is He who is within us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I am now, along with my wife Maritza, walking in the light of my salvation. I am being renewed each day and continually being restored and redeemed back to my First Love. This is a process for sure and I have not yet gotten the victory over everything that afflicted me for so long but I know that I have repented and committed it all to my God and My Savior and King. That is all I can do and He will do the rest. I just know it and I am completely surrendered to His will and purposes for my life. But first, I had to identify just who the enemy was and renounce it’s power over my life and send it back to hell where it came from. I can do no less than to share His truth and His truth alone.