I wanted to share a little secret about living a successful and blessed life on this earth, friends, we are truly better together. Philippians 1:30 says that “we are in this struggle together”. This God of ours has provided us with each other to help encourage and build each other up. This life was never meant to be lived alone and the Christian life is no different.
It’s amazing how God works in our lives and how He orchestrates everything so perfectly. He is always working and finding ways for us to draw closer to Him. After appearing on CNN Espanol and the Camilo show, we have received an outpouring of love and encouragement for saying what we did on international television concerning the transgender agenda and the dangers that young children are being subject to. People have reached out through YouTube, Facebook, and email to help encourage us in and have really lifted us up. Maritza and I are so grateful for the love that we have received from so many new friends and old friends as well. What can I say? God is truly good.
Paul & Maritza on CNN Espanol
Last week we were able to meet with two men who were redeemed (Jesus Carbonell and Oscar Orosco) and delivered out of a life as transsexuals. Oscar (on the far right image below) was actually transitioned for 22 years. They were both radically saved and both of them are now serving as His ministers of grace. We met these two wonderful guys over lunch at Chili’s last week and we were all able to share God’s miraculous work in our lives. With smiles on all of our faces that would light up a night sky, we boldly proclaimed what Jesus had done for us and if was so beautiful to behold. We were truly better together!
God was not done yet though, because what happened yesterday was absolutely like a real-life example of the time when Jesus came to visit with Zacchaeus. The Bible is still being written today! Yesterday confirmed that fact. However, things didn’t start off so well on hours before. It all started the day before on Saturday night when Maritza and I were on our way to dinner. She got ready and then proceeded to ask me how she looked and I started on this whole rant about how much I didn’t like the manly, baggy jean shorts that I had on. All she wanted me to say was, “you look pretty Honey”. I was masking up the feelings of buried dysphoria in trying to deflect her question.
As we left the apartment and walked over to the restaurant, I just flat out told her that I was missing what we had as Mark and Lynna, because I told her that Mark was such a stud of a guy and that physically, I was more attracted to Mark than to Maritza. She said that she did not like Lynna at all and that she couldn’t understand why I would say that. I told her that I needed time to adjust to the newness of our roles now. I was just feeling weak, to tell you the truth but in that temptation, I was hurting her by my words and making her feel bad.
I had pretty much killed the vibe at dinner and for the rest of the night. She has done so much for me, has been there, because when no one else was around, there was my Maritza. She has never left my side and I was really allowing the devil use my own selfishness to hurt her. That night, she went to bed with sadness in her heart and we woke up the next morning at odds with each other. It was as if the enemy wanted to really keep us from meeting up with these two people who had asked to meet up with us and was doing anything that he could to help keep that from happening.
Lately, I have been on this quest to remove the bikini tan lines that I had acquired earlier this summer. I have these triangle shaped marks on my chest and I have not been able to get rid of them even though we have paid to go to a tanning salon to remove them. Maritza decided to make me a special “pink shirt of shame” for me to wear while I tanned outside. She cut out areas around the chest in order to shade the other parts of my body from getting tanned. I mean yeah, it’s embarassing for sure.
So I ended up going outside to tan while wearing my special cut-out shirt. I sat their baking under the hot morning sun and my mind just started racing and going all over the place. I would occasionally look down at my chest to see if the lines were starting to fade out but all I could hear was my mind saying, “who are you kidding, you will never get your male chest back, look at your body, you’re too far gone in your transition”. I was getting more and more discouraged and by the time I walked back inside to eat breakfast, I felt defeated.
Maritza could tell and was just so frustrated with me. She asked me if I wanted to go back to becoming Lynna and I told her no, I had way too much to lose and that I knew that I was a man. Yet I also told her that this was my form of a thorn in the flesh and that I was just going to have to deal with it as such and bring it to Jesus every day for the rest of my life. She was very discouraged and felt like if my delievrance hadn’t really happened than what was she belieiving for? Was Jesus real, was His power to save and deliver and transform true? Needless to say, we were not in a good place.
It was getting closer to getting ready for church and Maritza asked me what I wanted to do? I said that we should get ready to go but she did not want to go if all of this was not true. I told her not base her faith in God on whatever God was working out in my life. We were also feeling very defeated and hurt and disillusioned. The people that wanted to meet us, were we going to cancel on them and not be able to go? We did end up watching a livestream of the church service from home and we were so glad that we did. God began to minister to us and heal us as we listened to yet another message from our new pastor Doug Sauder at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. I started to just tear up while listening to his encouraging words from our couch. We got ready and left to meet with our new friends.
What Do You Bring To The Table?
The next six or so hours were like heaven on earth. We met with our new friends at a quiet vegan cafe and had the most amazing time that I have ever experienced in my entire life. Maritza and I arrived beforehand and waited for our new friends to arrive and it was unmistakable when they did. In the distance, I saw this young bearded guy with the MOST infectious smile that I had ever seen. He greeted us from afar and we just knew that this was going to be an encounter that would forever change us. Miguel greeted us with a great big hug and Bethany brought a bouquet of roses in her hands and presented them to my Mari, her new sister in Christ. We hugged and greeted each other and then sat down to share a meal together.
These two amazing angels are both on fire for God and they glow with the light of Jesus in their hearts. They are probably what the Apostle Paul described as “angels unaware”. Yet, we know that they are indeed actually broken people like we are, touched by the grace of a loving and caring, kind, compassionate God. We all shared with each other for hours. We prayed together, encouraged each other, edified each other, admonished each other in love, I mean when I say Jesus was there in our midst, I mean that is exactly what this visit felt like. Jesus came to visit Maritza and I for several hours that Sunday evening. We were so passionately sharing what Jesus had done for us and were rejoicing over each other’s story. Life is truly better lived together!
God Himself visited my wife and I through the lives of two young people who were mirroring and reflecting the Savior’s love to us both individually and as a couple and it was AMAZING. This is why we need each other, this is why we are the body of Christ, this is why our life was meant to be lived together and never alone.
Our new friends have recently become enagaged and we are so excited for their relationship and how God has drawn them together. Bethany is from Australia and met Miguel on Facebook just like Maritza and I did back in 2014. God saved Miguel through watching YouTube videos and Bethany has been delivered from her Goth lifestyle. They are both so young and so excited and we can’t wait to see what God is going to do with them. Bethany actually found Maritza and I after we had left comments on a YouTube video that was done on Jessie LaPlante and her friend. Jessie and her friend had both been delivered from a life of lesbainism and Jessie had been brought out of the bondage of transsexuality. The two ladies were beaming with joy througout the video and you could just see the love of Jesus shining through them.
Transgender Set Free By Jesus!
Bethany reached out to us and started to leave encouraging messages on our Facebook pages and we just started chatting. She happened to be right here in Florida visiting her boyfriend. So Miguel asked her if she would like to meet us in person because we lived really close by. She did and the rest is history. These two angels on earth affirmed my wife and told both her and I that no matter what we may have done to our bodies that God sees us us perfect and He loves us. This message dug deep because Jesus Himself was the one who said it to us. He used Miguel and Bethany as His vessels back Maritza and I both know that we had a visit from Jesus last night.
At the end of the night (literally over 6 hours of non-stop fellowship) we all got up and Miguel gathered us up into a huddle and the four of us held each other up arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder, cheek to cheek and prayed a powerful prayer of blessing over us. This is truly what life is all about, we are truly better when we are togther! Thank you Jesus for coming to us and healing us and strengthening us when we need it the most. I am forever changed because of it. Now we know, even if it was just a glimpse, of what it was like to sit down as a disciple and friend of Jesus and to personally spend time eating and fellowshipping with Him. God bless you two. We love you! You are forever family to us!