A MAN SENT FROM GOD
(The incredible Ceci Sullivan Story)
Jesus Did It!
By: Ceci Sullivan
Have you ever met someone, and you knew God had destined your paths to cross? An appointment ordained by God that caused you to know He was watching over your life? You just knew the course of your life was about to dramatically change due to this person? I have, and I knew this man was as a ship passing by me in the night that God had sent my way, to bring light to my darkness, understanding to my questions, and to impart faith to many doubts. Receiving him had everything to do with receiving Jesus, and receiving God, who sent Jesus! He sees with eyes of Faith, Hope and Love, and all who get close to him begin seeing life from a new perspective. Jesus said He gave gifts to men, and he would send Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers. I looked to God and he sent a man, a Messenger, to me personally.
Isaiah, a great prophet in the BIBLE said, Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Ö (Isaiah 50:10). Well, I met a prophet, (one who sees), and receiving him, opened my eyes to discern between good and evil like I never had before! It's no different than meeting someone who has keen understanding of the Government they live in on the earth. This man understood God's Kingdom, God's Government which can not be seen by observation Jesus says. It's the invisible government that rules in our heart and conscience, that I did not understand for years. God sent me a gift and wrapped it up in the package of a man, and it took a great deal of faith to receive him, due to being so offended with men. When I actually met him it was the first time in my life I wasnít looking for help from men, thatís the last thing I wanted. After you read this story you will know why! Gene is a world class stunt man, and a heavyweight boxer. He's a spiritual heavyweight too! His father whom Walter Matthau portrayed in the movie "The Odd Couple" introduced him to Evel Knievel: he was his first body guard. His mother was an Army Aircorp pilot, who ferried B-25ís during WW II, in the aviation hall of fame. She and her partner owned a crop-dusting business in Colorado. None of these things are what makes this man so special, however. Heís special because he was the one God personally sent my way! Meeting him has changed the direction and destiny of many lives, significantly and forever!
Iíve seen careless, mean men learn how to love, care and cover their wives and families. I watched a quiet, withdrawn, indifferent older couple learn to have love, passion and fire in their once bitter-cold relationships. They sat in church for years with no understanding to the whiles of the devil against their marriage. Many years of bitter critical thoughts and offenses that had gone undealt with, made them worlds apart. They got answers for their unresolved offenses; they talk about their problems and fears, and have fallen into true love and faith. Iíve known a man who was insane and unable to relate to others, who learned to bring order to his life and thoughts, and to give and receive love. God sends His word and heals us and delivers us from all our destructions. And He uses people to deliver His words, messengers, and if we don't rebel against The Holy Spirit's still small voice, we will overcome and be overcomers. This is how Christians should live, to give others hope of being delivered from their destructions.
All these people had a real ďme and JesusĒ mentality, and they were all beginning to wake up to Godís still small voice in their conscience.
I met a seventy-eight year old man, bedridden for fifteen years, unable to care for himself or relate with anyone, who was resurrected from his dead selfish condition. I saw him learn to give and receive the love of God. He not only began using the bathroom, but became self-sufficient, and thrilled that God in His goodness led him to repentance. He faced his selfishness and changed the way he thought, and decided to love God and others before his life was spent in his hell of self-pity. He went from living by his senses and selfish desires to living life to glorify God. He ended up with the testimony of Jesus. He stopped listening to the father of lies and made God His father, and heard and obeyed the words of the Father of light. He changed his choice of fathers, he obeyed God's voice instead of the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.
I met a former minister, full of pride, lying, selfishness and anger, who repented for oppressing Godís people for years. He never wanted to see the correlation between loving those who are begotten of God, and loving God. He repented from being angry, hateful and indifferent, to being kind, caring and truthful with the men Jesus brought into his life. I met a rich woman who was eating and shopping herself to death (to avoid lifeís problems); her God was her belly, not Jesus. She repented and changed her mind. She has lost over 100 pounds along with several other women I know. She left her world of lying, confusion, loneliness and selfishness! She received the people Jesus sent into her life to help her war against the enemies of her soul.
Iíve met whores who lived to seduce and have power over men, who had repented and learned to be givers and helpers, rather than takers and users. Iíve met slobs living in filth and self-indulgence, who have learned to live in restraint and to care for others. Iíve seen depressed, suicidal women, who were smoking themselves to death. They were killing themselves, starving themselves, sticking their finger down their throat, because they cared mostly about how they were being loved and accepted, not how they were loving and accepting others. They were focused on the outside of their cup but the inside of their cup was full of dead mens bones, as Jesus puts it. When we are bitter and critical, self righteous and offended, the spiritual definition of that is called ďeating up my people as one eats bread.ď These women have become givers instead of being takers and users. They determined who they were going to be to God, and cared about that rather than who other people were being to them.
The thing all these people had in common is, they saw and received the ones Jesus sent into their lives to help them, and they learned to love and receive one another in honesty and sincerity. He uses people to help us count the cost of grieving, denying and resisting the Holy Ghost in our lives, and the blessing of hearing God's voice and obeying it. Jesus promised to send prophets among us. He also said we would lightly esteem, reject, kill them, and build their graves. I had to be deeply honest with myself, and as my spirit burned within me, I knew God had caused this man who had understanding to the deep things of God to cross the path of my life. His name is Gene (of noble birth) Sullivan (single eye). My name Cecile, means blind in one eye, and Jesus said, if your eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light. For the first time in my life, in 1986, my eye was single and I met a man whose whole body is filled with light, because he cares about pleasing God in what he thinks, says and does. He cares about the effect and influence he has towards others, and teaches others by his example. To God be all honor, praise and glory!
Iím the daughter of an Episcopal priest. My father, who is not alive now, was dead while he lived in his role as a father. His title was Father Harvey Strange. As far as I could tell, he was a stranger to Jesus. He was overcome, not an overcomer, and it was hard for others not to mock God, and the power of Jesus to set men free through the example of his life. Though he went through years of seminary, and theology and psychology, and gained the title of Priest, he never learned how to be one to his own children or Godís children. He spoke several languages, but he probably seldom told the truth in any of them. He was overcome by every vice in life -- drinking, smoking, overeating, inordinate sexual indulgence, and he was extremely overweight. He was never an example of a faithful over-comer, and died alone in his trash, filth, and hundreds of books. He was ever learning, but never came to the knowledge of the truth. What he loosed to his children was a familiar spirit of leaning on our own understanding, not trusting in the Lord with all his heart. He and my mother divorced when I was two years old, and he was a stranger to me. My greatest fear when I got older was that I would be overcome by the same familiar spirits that he obeyed.
I was number six out of seven children, and my mother remarried a man named Jim when I was nine years old. He had no idea how to cope with children, and though he attended church faithfully, he didnít have a clue how to reach the children he adopted. He had the religion of self righteousness and he looked at us with that parasitical eye...."I'm glad I'm not like you." He was a cold, indifferent, critical man, and he had no father, spiritually or carnally, to show him how to love children. Though he fulfilled outward obligations and duties, he constantly was inwardly cursing me. He had a relationship with his religious ceremony, and not Jesus -- the Way, the Truth, and the Life! As he was dying of cancer when I was 16, his heart was broken because he knew he hadnít known Jesus and wasnít able to impart the spirit of life to us. I forgave him, then he died.
Our home always had people in it, but I was a desperate, lonely, deceitful and pitiful little girl. No one really knew where I was at, or how to help me. We walked in the dark, no one had authority over the spirits or knew how to cast down principalities, and powers of darkness. We attended church regularly, read to God, and told God and each other what we thought we should to keep the family boat from rocking. We were religious and tried to make the outside of the cup clean, but inwardly we had no clue how to deal with our offenses towards God and man. I remember the first time I went against the kingdom of God in my conscience. One of my brothers taught me how to steal when I was about five years old. It was such a violation of conscience. Even a child knows when they obey the darkness and go against the kingdom of God in their soul.
No one helped us count the cost. No one taught us how to discern the voice of God from the voice of the devil. No one helped us count the cost of yielding to the kingdom of darkness. We didn't understand choosing life or death, the blessing of the curse by being alive to God or satan in our conscience. I had just entered a black hole of fear, one that was to be normal for me for years to come. I watched the adults hold bitterness and offenses in their hearts, and I imitated them well, as children do. Jim had no idea how to deal with his anger, and he lit one Camel filterless cigarette after another. He was constantly offended, and I was always feeling rejected. We cared mainly for how we were all being affected selfishly by each other, and we didnít have answers to help one another. He never took the log out of his eye to help his children take the twigs out of their eyes. The cruel indifferent spirit he had, flung me into the arms of a man who was indifferent to his own soul too. The spirit of murder in the Bible means in the lightest context, to look down on. When you have a man constantly look down on you who is a father figure, you will be familiar with that spirit... the spirit of murder. My emphasis was trying not to be a problem child because there was emotional abuse and abandonment to pay if you were part of the problem. There was no help, only condemnation. It was life without Jesus, life without passion and love, but we went to church every Sunday.
I seemed to expose much of the emotional and spiritual things that we pretended weren't there. So many parents excuse themselves and accuse their children. They can't relate to their sinner children, and have no deliverance, or ability to lead the children to Jesus. If parents are prideful liars, they won't have the testimony of Jesus to give to their children, nor help their children count the cost of their sin if they have never counted the cost of their own sin. Not much was learned in our suffering, and I knew I would be doomed to repeat my parent's mistakes if I didnít look to Jesus for help. I didnít talk about what was going on inside of me because there wasn't a spirit of wisdom, understanding and knowledge in the adults. They didn't know what to do about their own problems. They didn't have THE WORD OF GOD to heal them, but the word of God wasnít even part of our lives other than being read on Sunday for 2 minutes. Being open and honest with love and faith, wasnít part of the game plan. There was an atmosphere of fear, especially regarding Jesus having the provision to meet our material needs. I always felt it was a hardship for my parents to provide for me and I transferred this into my relationship and beliefs about Jesus. Fear and torment were loosed; we didn't have God's peace. I kept recreating the world of fear that was normal for me, and lived with a vexed conscience like the adults. Iíve found that those who donít have faith for Jesus to satisfy their needs, will always steal in one form or another, even if itís affection thatís not right. And adults who don't have Jesus' help to deal with their conscience, won't be able to help their children understand the blessing of having a clean conscience.
When I was eight years old, I went to see the movie "Bambi" with my older sisters. I went into the bathroom during the movie, and a man held me at gunpoint and took me upstairs to sexually molest me. He told me he would kill me if I screamed. I had no idea what sex was. He pulled down his pants and I ran down the stairs, expecting to get shot in the back. I was taken to the hospital; then I spent the next two days in the police department looking at mug shots of molesters. I think that is when fear and torment became ďnormalĒ to me. Itís as if thinking itís normal to be in a concentration camp. Itís like having a bad guy living with you in your house that everyone is indifferent towards, and familiar with. Looking back on this, I can remember that still small voice of God as a child trying to lead me, telling me not to go to the bathroom alone. But the voice of God was not familiar to me and rebellion against His voice already was. Not being trained up in the ways of God, to be able to discern which voice is talking to you, always led me to listen to the wrong voice and obey it.
When I was 13, I thought all the family problems were because of me, so I ran away from home to another state for one month. I was convinced I wasnít worthy of my stepfatherís love. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I dated older men. I was looking for the comfort of a father that little girls long for, and when they donít receive it, they often look somewhere else for it. I didnít know the comfort of my Father in heaven or on the earth. In Ezekiel 16:4 it says that she wasnít swaddled, clothed, or washed (emotionally and spiritually). I was a lost, rebellious, little girl with no one to give me the correction of the Spirit.
We had a form of religious peace, but it was not Godís peace, the peace that comes from having honest, open, sincere and humble relationships with one another. We told each other what we wanted to hear to keep the artificial peace. We went to church and read to God, because we thought it to be the ďrightĒ thing to do. We fulfilled outward obligations and duties, birthday cards, presents, and the observation of special days. We didnít know how to deal with bitter, critical, offended thoughts with each other, so the ďspecial days, were never very special.Ē We went to church, but we had life without Godís help to deal with the divisions, accusations and evil imaginations in our hearts. No one knew how to fight the good fight of faith and love, so we avoided each other, avoided the problems, and had a pleasant way of lying to each other to keep the artificial peace. At age 14, I left this lonely family that I could never graft into because of pretense. I was a desolate heart looking to use men to get what I needed and letting them use me.
At age 18, I met Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and fell in lust with him. He was cute and what I thought to be a ďgood Catholic boy.Ē (I didnít know about the murderer and rapist who was lying dormant within his soul, waiting for the opportunity to appear.) Years later, Michael was referred to as the ďTed BundyĒ of Colorado. (Ted Bundy was a notorious serial rapist and murderer.) This is when my nightmare really began. We both had our private dark worlds we lived in apart from God and man.
We were independent of God and each other. We were dead in our conscience towards God, and desperately needed to be born again, and have the privilege of being able to hear and obey God's voice in our inner soul. Neither of us had parents that did much but take us to church; they had no understanding to the whiles of the devil against our souls or their childrenís souls. I may be repetitive, but Iím crying out for parents everywhere to wake up from your sleep, and raise your children in a right spirit and free spirit, not under the law and condemnation.
I met Michael while working for my friendís mother. She and her husband owned a large apartment complex. I had a variety of jobs that required me to retain a master key. My new-found ďknight in shining armor,Ē Michael, had been staying in my apartment while I was on a trip. Unknowingly to me, he had duplicated my master key. A few days after I returned from my trip, I was awakened around 4 AM to a very bloody scene. A woman was attacked in her bed. She had crawled from door to door leaving a bloody trail behind her, trying to get help, and seeing her blood all over the walls and ceiling, from door to door, utterly devastated me. I went to visit her in the hospital, and she was barely able to open her eyes. It was hard to believe she had survived such a hostile attack. The experience totally shook me, and I went over to my new boyfriendís house to tell him about it, with no clue he had been the perpetrator! The Detectives thought they had the pieces of the crime put together. One of the detectives had said something about hairy arms, which made me think of Michael, because I had just been thinking a few days earlier about how hairy his arms were, but I totally discounted that it could have been him. Again, that faithful still small voice of God was trying to talk to me, but I was faithful to rebel against it. Even children have the knowledge of God in their conscience, and oh how I wish I had adults in my life to help me wake up to the voice on conscience, God's voice.
Michael and I ended up moving into a house together, and I went to work for a health food store. One night while at work in the health food store, I got a call from my childhood friendís uncle, Ron. He had been like an uncle to me too. He was a psychologist for a large corporation, and had written college psychology textbooks. I idolized him as a young teenager. His influence in my life caused me to believe I could find answers in psychology. I subscribed to Psychology Today, and other magazines that were similar. As Isaiah the Prophet put it, ďWoe to them that go down to Egypt for helpÖĒ (Isaiah 31:1). Thatís where Ron went, and I followed in his footsteps. The help Ron got from Egypt, ended with a shocking tragedy.
Ron called to invite me to his home. I called Michael to tell him I would be going to see him across town and he said the snowfall was very heavy, and the roads were hazardous. He said that I should visit another time, so I didnít go. Ron was in a panic for me to come there and although I didn't have peace, again I could not discern that still small voice of God that leads us through peace. A few evenings later as Michael and I were watching the evening news, we were horrified to learn what Ronís plans were that snowy evening. He had invited not only me, but my friend Lori, and Ronís three children. His son was the only one who showed up. He was quite larger than Ron, but Ron managed to beat his son to death with a lamp. He then drove to Las Vegas, got into the bathtub, slit his wrists and committed suicide. His intention was to kill all of us. If I hadn't done what Michael said, that voice of the devil would have led me to my destruction right then.
Incidents like these often make me wonder how many times the angels of God have guarded and protected us. Iím sure weíll all be shocked to see how busy we have kept them. I used to stroll around parks at night, lost, lonely, confused, and wanton; looking for someone to connect with in the world. These were parks where women are raped and murdered on a regular basis. I always walked into danger rather than away from it. I was afraid of things I shouldnít have been, and not afraid of things I should have been.
After four months of living with Michael, we married. We had the permission of the state, and the Catholic and Episcopal churches, who both gave us premarital counseling! Too bad they never suggested we turn from our godless, independent ways. They never even suggested we were serving ourselves, not Jesus. The words ďsin and fornicationĒ werenít mentioned. We were happy doing our own thing, and we thought it made Jesus happy too. We cared little about Jesus anyway back then. We were doing our own thing and just expected God to put His stamp of approval on it, just as the state and church did. We never consulted with the inventor and ordainer of marriage. We were doing our own thing our own way. The church and state blessed us, and sent us on our way.
Neither Michael or I were facing the truth about ourselves. We watched soap operas and night sit-coms to avoid our lifeís problems. We lived life deceiving and being deceived. Looking back, I knew something was wrong, but I had no idea what it felt like to live in honest, open relationships. We didnít see how wrong it was to live life without a relationship with the One who created us -- the One who has the blueprint to help us fulfill the master plan of our life. I was unfamiliar with the still, small voice of Godís Holy Spirit. I ignored what I knew to be right by joining myself and submitting to a man of deceit. I obeyed my senses and lust, and selfish desires, and I reaped it in the relationship I chose. God was not mocked; what I sowed is what I reaped. It took years for me to see my ways were not Godís ways; I was sowing to my flesh, and reaping corruption. I now know I have to sow to the Spirit, to reap life in Jesus.
Two months into my marriage, I became pregnant with our first daughter. Two weeks before my due date I had a dream Michael had killed someone. In horror I woke up so distressed I went into labor. He had come home late from work with his pants wet. He was drunk. I remembered as I folded clothes and watched the evening news, that a story came on about a girl being raped and murdered close by. It never dawned on me that was why he had come home with wet pants. I remember feeling afraid that someone in our neighborhood was murdered. Little did I know I was living with the murderer. I knew he was mean and lied, and drank too much. I called myself married, but felt so alone. I vowed ďuntil death do we part,Ē but I couldnít attach to him because of his dark, secret life. I had never really had anyone to attach to before; that loneliness that always haunted me was still ever present. I had my own compulsive problems and my own destructive comforts.
There were things I turned to because I didnít know the peace and comfort of God -- mainly overeating. I joined Overeaters Anonymous. I remember coming face to face with my bad attitudes about God, and I blurted out a prayer: ďGod, if youíre real, please show me.Ē The next few months I started having a perception of evil. I could sense the darkness around me as never before.
I visited a neighborhood church. Many of the women were involved in Alcoholics Anonymous. I began thinking Michael might be an alcoholic. He was always lying, drinking, and he had a definite dark force around him. I ended up leaving him to help him face his problem. Two weeks later, he came to talk to me. He confessed his drinking problem along with criminal offenses he was responsible for. He told me about the infidelities he had committed. Late into the night, he told me he had done things God could not forgive him for. I asked, ďWell, what did you do, kill someone?Ē In his silence and failure to respond, he was sending me a loud message.
Yes, he had killed someone. I quietly left the room. My body was shaking and trembling. For the first time in my life I sensed a good whiff of hell. I was seeing the reality of heaven and hell, right before my eyes. I knew then, God was real, the devil was real, there was evil and good, and I knew which side of the fence I wanted to be on. I walked and jogged around the neighborhood until the sun came up and I came upon the little church I had been attending. The priests were having an early morning meeting. They saw the horror on my face and sat me down to talk. I told them Michael had confessed to murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, brutal beatings, rape, and a whole string of crimes. I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there. I was three months pregnant and I started having a miscarriage.
We called Michael and had him come over to the church. He evasively confessed his sins. They told him he was an alcoholic, and he should stop drinking. They told him to go and sin no more; his sins were forgiven. Through the years, even though we spoke with many priests, pastors and counselors, none of them ever suggested he turn himself in, or repent to those he had harmed.
We began to faithfully attend Alcoholics Anonymous. We learned about Michaelís disease. The truth is his disease was because he was holding the love of sin in his heart, and was demonized. He was given over to demonic spirits by his own will and lustful desires. We prayed regularly, but Psalm 66:18 says, ďIf I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.Ē I donít think our prayers were going very far. We had surrounded ourselves with people who made many excuses for our sins, because they wanted excuses for their own sins. We got involved with self-improvement Christian programs. I talked to priest after priest, and person after person. I knew we were really missing something, and things werenít right. The still, small voice of God wasnít letting me be content in my false peace.
I rode the bus downtown to the library one day with our nine-month old baby. I looked through old papers, scanned micro film for hours, and could find nothing. Somehow, I thought if I could come up with any specific information about certain crimes, I could go to the authorities. What about the mother of the woman he murdered? It seemed only right that he should tell her he was sorry and had a drinking problem, a disease like Alcoholics Anonymous was telling us he had. I know now calling his sin a disease was a sorry excuse for his lack of love for Jesus. He loved to commit crimes, and loved to think about committing crimes. Thatís what no one was willing to be honest about. Looking back now, years after the fact, it shocks me to think of all the professionals we consulted, and that no one ever suggested to him he could get relief for his guilty conscience if he would turn himself in. Isaiah 55:7 says, ďLet the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.Ē
No one could see he would never be free of his damned conscience unless he made a full confession of all the women he had raped and murderedÖ. So he kept doing it while the people we looked to for counsel said he wouldnít rape and murder without drinking.
We psychoanalyzed our past. We went to all kinds of therapy and counseling. We were hypnotized, we visualized Jesus, meditated, went through all our past memories pretending and acting out things that didnít really happen. I read many books, and believed he would be all right if he didnít drink. We blamed father, mother, sister, brother, the Catholic church, the nuns, childhood events, anything to shift responsibility towards someone else. We accused others and excused ourselves, and of course ďthe devil made me do itĒ seemed like the best of excuses. I searched and psychoanalyzed him for years to find answers for why men lust and rape. (They lust and rape because thatís what they want to do!) My oldest sister gave me a book called "Inside The Criminal Mind." That was when the dark things really began coming into the light. Jesus said itís my food to do the will of Him who sent me. I started seeing it was Michaelís ďfoodĒ to commit and think about committing crimes.
We attended church, counseling, and Alcoholics Anonymous regularly. All was looking well on the outside, but deep within there was a big disturbance in the force. We had two more children over the next few years. I was awakened by a loud banging at the door one night when our third child was just a few months old. Michael had a late night job at a convenience store, and I assumed he had just gotten home. I heard him yell at me, ďbring me a towel,Ē from the livingroom. At the door was a young woman who lived across the street. She said she had been raped by a Hispanic man. We called 911, and when the police arrived, she proceeded to tell the account of her attack. I remember feeling numb inside as I sensed the still, small voice of God telling me something was wrong. I couldnít go back to sleep. That morning I went to see one of the priests who had counseled us. I told him I couldnít live with Michael, because every time I heard of a rape, I feared it was him. I came away from my session with the priestís words ringing in my ears, ďWhy canít you forgive, forget, and move on with things in your life?Ē I just assumed all was my fault and I was being paranoid over nothing. My heart said he did it; my head said the woman would have known it was him, wouldnít she?
We started getting secular counseling along with all the spiritual counseling. They could, and should have turned him in, but Michael always had a way of shedding a bad light on me to get the heat off himself. As the days went on, I felt in my heart that Michael had raped the woman across the street. I even went to help her move out of her house and ask her more questions, to see if I could put my suspicions to rest. He was such a good criminal, and did such sneaky things to discredit the crime scene towards looking to him as the criminal -- things like wearing size 14 boots when he really wore size 12. The girl he raped said the rapist didnít speak English, so I thought I was just unable to cope with the past. The clergy recommended biofeedback, transcendental meditation and hypnosis to help me deal with my fear and stress. We also had a fire in our home shortly after that, so I put the incident on the ďback burner.Ē
Another home, and another baby later, another disturbing incident happened to shake the false peace we lived in. Michaelís business partner came over one morning and announced his next door neighbor had been raped. I had noticed Michael lusting after her before. ( He had a really sneaky way of moving his eyes around without moving his head). Some women fail to see the messages they give men by the way they dress. Men justify acting like dogs when women dress seductively, not that they are justified. Anyway, deep in my heart, I wondered if Michael had done it. After asking him a few questions, he turned the light on his partner. He told me what a bad problem with lust the guy had, and how he was trying to help him by sharing his testimony with him. I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. He always knew what to say.
I still felt as if I lived in a prison with him. I asked Jesus to show me what was wrong. I couldnít attach to him. We were indifferent to each other. I had four small children to keep me busy and he was busy with his contracting business. Neither of us had ever been familiar with close, open, honest, accountable relationships in our lives, so it was life as usual.
His actions spoke volumes to me. He said he loved me, but he behaved as if the kids and I werenít there most of the time. We looked like the struggling religious family on the outside, but I knew in my heart something was missing on the inside. One day I told him to tell me the truth, because his actions did anyway. Our marriage was a facade, and our religion together was hypocrisy. He had a form of seeking God to try to pacify me, but he didnít seek the truth out of his own spiritual hunger. I could tell inside he was dead in his conscience towards God even though we did all kinds of outward things, counseling, church, etc.
We lived in private little worlds apart from each other, calling ourselves married, with no spirit of marriage. In the church we attended, I learned a crafty way of praying. The underlying message is, I can control God through my prayers, and He will control you. It's a very subtle form of witchcraft, and it just about shipwrecked my faith. I recited prayers with the belief that if I filled in a certain person's name on the dotted line, God would be obligated to control them. If you pray it, God is obligated to yield to your prayer. I didn't realize that God doesn't work through control and manipulation because of prayer. He does however, work through influence and persuasion. We don't just automatically have authority over people, places, and things because of our prayers. This kind of teaching was very devastating to me.
I thought Jesus didn't love me anymore when He wouldn't "control" Michael into obeying Him. I had a real "Burger King" mentality of Jesus, which was "give me things my way and I'll love and serve You." I wasn't living for God and His Kingdom, nor Jesus or His followers and purposes. I lived for my thoughts, my ways, my kingdom, and my world, but declared myself to be a Christian. I served the Jesus of my imagination, not the Jesus in the Bible! Fixing my eyes on the blessings I thought I could get from God, rather than the ONE who all blessings come from, had shipwrecked my life.
A year later a miracle was about to take place. Michael came home with a hurt ankle. I didn't watch much television or read newspapers, so I wasn't aware of an attempted rape that had occurred in our area. The next day, Michael hadn't gone to church with me. I came home to find him crying (which is very unusual for a prideful man). I went to nap for a few minutes and found myself in a half-awake, half-asleep state of dreaming. I saw myself in a big, open field with a wooden cross about ten feet tall in front of me, and many large filled trash bags behind me. I heard a voice say, "Pick up those nails and hammer, and nail those trash bags on that cross."
As I began to nail them on, the cross began to grow. The next thing I knew, I was looking down on the planet earth, floating above it. The cross had outgrown the planet. During some of my darkest hours, I saw how I limited God through my ignorance and lack of faith. Little did I know at the time that God gave His son to help us with the trash of our own ways, and that He is bigger than any obstacle or life problem we think will overcome us.
The following day, I went to a women's Christian luncheon, and upon returning home, I found a note on the door from a local sheriff. He called when Michael got home. I just assumed he wanted some contracting work done. Michael proceeded to tell me some off-the-wall story (which most of the time I bought), but God was about to answer my prayer and give me understanding beyond the flesh. My eyes were opened to a new spiritual dimension, just because I had asked in faith and sincerity.
As Michael began to talk, I didn't believe a word he said. I had a sense, that he had hurt someone. Just as Jesus had opened my eyes to "perceive" evil seven years earlier, I perceived Michael was lying! I believe when we pray in honesty, sincerely with faith, Jesus will hear our cry. After Michael finished his long, tedious, deceitful story, I looked him straight in the eyes and said, "I'm sorry you haven't gotten the help you need." God put His words in my mouth to say rather than just being offended Michael was lying. The Lord helped me respond spiritually, rather than carnally to my circumstances. This was one of maybe three times I had prayed and God had saved my life by helping me respond spiritually with a man I knew had the power to kill me..
Michael went from being well-composed, to shaking and trembling. He told me that he had a problem, which had nothing to do with me and ran out the door. I went to the neighbor's house. They didn't get the paper, and they had no television. I told the woman I thought Michael had hurt someone. She mentioned receiving a call to pray for a woman who was sunbathing in the nude, and someone had tried to rape her. The man fled when the woman cried out "Jesus, help me." (I wonder if her conscience, Godís still small voice was trying to talk to her and tell her not to share her flesh with all mankind.) Some women donít get it. They use their flesh to bait and catch men, but some of those men may be more than they bargained for!
When she said the assailant had jumped off a cliff and ran off, I put two and two together, about why Michael had come home limping. After speaking with my friends, we decided to call the police. I was in a state of total shock. It's not every day, well maybe it does happen frequently, that a woman picks up the phone to end her life as she knows it, and to turn her husband in. It was hard for me to believe a man would choose to act that way, totally disregarding any love or respect for his wife and children.
I was panic stricken with fear. The world as I knew it had just come crashing down, and I had little faith Jesus could help me pick up the pieces. I had been master of my own thoughts inspired by lies from the devil. I had yet to make God's thoughts my thoughts. Michael came back home. I was ready to give up the "he has a disease" philosophy. The "devil made him do it" seemed a bit too evasive to swallow anymore. He was making bad choices, and we had tried all kinds of "therapies," and he was still choosing to make bad choices. Psalms 4:16-17 says, "For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence."
Everything has become a disease these days, there is no more sin, or need to repent of doing things our way. It's God's goodness to lead us to repentance, and that's exactly where God was taking me in all my suffering.
I tried everything but turning Michael in. I was advised for years I didn't have enough information, but nothing had successfully stopped him from hurting others. I knew he needed to be stopped, no matter what the cost. I knew my life would be in danger for calling the police, but I didn't care. The Lord put a resolve in my heart that I was not going to allow anyone to cause me to deny any longer. I had finally realized we needed to stop making excuses for everything that had happened to him all his life. Also, you can't murder someone and tell a priest you are sorry. The only way to have a clean conscience is to go directly to those you have offended. He needed to go to the victims families for his own conscience sake, and all the people we looked to for help and counsel never saw that. He walked in the house, took one look at me, and he knew what I had done. He read me like a book, and the spirit of "murder" was glaring in his eyes.
He had a wicked way of staying in control of me. There was an eerie silent voice that screamed, Do what I say, don't cross my will or I'll kill you. You couldn't hear the words, but you could feel them in the air. I said to Michael, "If you loved me and you had done all you could to help me stop hurting people, and I didn't stop, what would you do?" He stared at me with his murderous eyes, while I prayed silently for Jesus to protect the kids and me. I knew he was very unstable, and he ran out of the house in a rage. I knew an emotional volcano was about to erupt. I began seeing the history of being controlled all my life by enraged controlling men. I had an unnatural submission to cruel men, and God was about to save me from myself!
I wasn't sure where he was going or what he would do, but I knew a miracle had taken place. Jesus promises to bring the hidden things of darkness to the light. He said there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. For the first time since meeting Michael, I saw clearly his deceit and wickedness. I saw it was his "food" to do evil. This event began some of the darkest hours of my life. I took our four small children, and left to go stay at my mom's house. I was tormented. Where was he? What was he doing? Would he come and take the kids? Would he kill me for turning him in?
After five days of not eating, and little sleep, Michael called on the phone. I asked him about the woman that lived next to his business partner. He confessed to being the one who had raped her. I asked him about the girl who lived across the street who had been raped a couple of years earlier, and he admitted he was responsible for that too. All I could say to him is "Do what you have never done: tell the truth; maybe it will set you free."
He decided to turn himself in, but controlled and manipulated the whole thing, his usual style. He had the sheriff, pastor, a lawyer from the church and me, meet him in a park by our home. The lawyer brought a colleague and together they advised him not to confess, but try to work out a plea bargain. The pastor had no opinion, but the Sheriff and I were indignant. That "still, small voice" was telling me, this is not true repentance. Someone who is truly sorry takes the punishment with no terms, no conditions and realizes he deserves to die for what he has done. I realized feeling sorry for him like so many did was not bringing any help in his life either. If he really was in touch with his problem, he would have been begging to be locked up long ago.
The Sheriff's Department didn't have enough evidence to hold him, in spite of all I had told them about Michael. I realized why all the past counselors had advised against me turning him in. The hard reality of prosecuting a criminal today is they just about have to commit the crime on the doorstep of the Police Department to be prosecuted and convicted.
Michael's brother drove across the state to see if he could help, when he heard what was going on. His only, and older brother, treats sexual offenders for a living. He employs physiologists in his clinic that treats the sexual offenders in a big metropolis city. He travels the country giving seminars on how to treat sexual offenders, and has been doing this all the years his brother has been a sexual offender! His comment to Michael was, "I can't believe you would hurt a fly." You know what God hates, "pride and lying." I realized this was Michael's real problem. Why wouldn't he talk to his own brother if he really wanted help - a brother who had devoted his life to helping sexual deviants? Prideful people are the only people God can't help due to being liars, they won't tell the truth to God or man.
There are so many things I could tell about the shocking details of this story. To tell it all would truly take a book. I still marvel that my children and I lived through it, and I know God sent ministering angels to help us. I know without Jesus in my life and the power of His Holy Spirit, I would have ended up in an insane asylum, dying of self-pity.
For the next few months, I lived life on the run like an animal being hunted. We stayed in shelters. I stayed in a friend's vacated house. He was like a predator who had lost control of his prey. The police were trying to protect me. The stress was tremendous, and it was taking its toll on me. I was an emotional wreck. I was tired, sick, terrified and exhausted. My days were filled with panic and terror, wondering if he would "catch" the kids and me. The walls of fear I had lived in all my life were crashing down on me. Just like in the book of Jeremiah in the Bible, God has to pluck everything down before He can rebuild.
I ended up going to stay with the mother of my childhood best friend. She was in great fear for our lives, and invited us to hide out in her home. We began to talk, and she thought the information she had about a murder Michael had committed, varied from the information I had. I began wondering if there was a discrepancy in the information I had given the Sheriff's Department months earlier.
I began calling the different county authorities where I thought he had committed rapes, kidnappings, and attempted murder. I began to start listening to the still small voice inside rather than rejecting it. That's what keeps us safe, is being able to hear God's still small voice, those little inclinations that go on inside us to do this or that. The regular investigator was on vacation. The man I spoke with "miraculously" happened to be going through old files -- which they rarely ever do! The God of miracles was at work. As I spoke, he said, "I'm driving across town right now to come and see you." He did, and he had a drawing by the police artist through a description of a woman Michael had kidnapped, raped, and tried to murder. It looked just like him. They had fingerprints, and thought they may be able to arrest him. This was something only God could orchestrate.
I called another county where I thought a murder had taken place. The detective went downstairs to the archives and dug up a file of an old murder. After he looked at the file he stated, "You wouldn't know the details you know, if you hadn't talked to the murderer." Both of the detectives looked shocked and bewildered that they had not received more information from the county that I had originally given details to months earlier. I was horrified. Why were these counties withholding critical information from each other? Why were they allowing a murderer to be on the loose and failing to communicate vital information? Were they in some kind of competition to catch him first? Again I had to come face to face that the Holy Spirit of the living God was trying to incline me years earlier to call the police when I went to the library. I fainted not being able to find anything, and having professionals tell me the opposite of what my heart was crying out to do. He was waking up my conscience not only to hear His voice but to begin obeying it!
It became apparent to me that I was going to have to stay personally involved if Michael was to be arrested and brought to justice. The investigators questioned why I hadn't come forth at an earlier date. I had to admit that, because of advice given to me in the past by many church officials and leaders, I wouldn't make a judgment that agreed with my own conscience. Even counselors that didn't vow to silence because of priestly vows, didn't go to the officials.
In all the multitudes of friends and church members I spoke with over the years, no one ever suggested to give information I knew about Michael to the authorities, and had persuaded me against my own soul. I began to see how terrible the church's position on "not making a judgment" really is. In fact, Jesus said in John 7:24, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." You should read what the Bible has to say sometime on judgment. It's not a dirty word. We don't need to judge people to condemn them, but we do need to judge righteous judgment. I had never looked up God's opinion:
"I the Lord love Judgment; seek judgment; Zion shall be saved through judgment; All Gods ways are judgment; the robbery of the wicked shall slay them for they refuse to do judgment."
Lack of good judgment is why people go insane! Looking back on it now -- and remembering all the people I spoke with who have great influence and authority over people's lives, and failed to see the violation of conscience Michael lived in -- scares me.
How could he even think of knowing forgiveness when he failed to go to those he offended? There was a responsibility he needed to fulfill. A decency and order in taking responsibility for what he had done. I always asked the question, "What about the mothers who have lost daughters?" Shouldn't Michael at least let them know he was an alcoholic and has stopped drinking and was sorry. No one could ever answer that, and I knew in my heart that wasn't right.
The truth is he loved to use women, control them, and gratify his lust regardless of who got hurt. Everyone was willing to excuse his behavior because of alcohol. The disease, was a scapegoat for sin. Looking back on our church experiences, we never met a man who had taken the log of lust from his own eye, so he could see clearly what to do with Michael. (At least no one who was willing to come clean with their own lust problem).
What man growing up in this day and age, could possibly escape life without having to deal with lust? When you excuse your own wrong behavior, you're more than willing to excuse the wrong behavior of others, not help them face the truth and do what's right. I have come to love the judgment Jesus talks about! The Bible says God loves judgment and we will be saved by judgment! Psalm 119:92 says, "Unless His judgments had been my delight, I should then have perished in mine affliction." Jesus judged the robbers in His Father's house. He whipped them and threw them out! He continually judged people's problems, and by telling them, He gave them the cure.
I had the feeling that the detectives would have been indignant towards my apathy, had it not been for their own organizational incompetence in transferring the information I had given months earlier. I never did get an answer why there had been such a gross failure to communicate information between counties. Michael could have been arrested months earlier.
There was a serial murderer and rapist loose in Denver during the time I found him out. When he was actually arrested, God only knows what criminal behavior he was up to in those months. I consider it a miracle that I stayed with my friend's mother. She provoked me to call and discover critical information that had been withheld. This event did lead to his arrest weeks later. Who knows how long the system would have taken, or if he ever would have been apprehended and convicted without one phone call, and without making a judgment and following through with it.
Hopeless and despairing, my mom had no idea what to do with me. I was on drugs for depression, was sick and melting away from stress, and lack of sleep. I was falling off the deep end of hopelessness, and flipping out. My mom took me across the state to an Adult Children Of Alcoholics Clinic run by a priest she knew from her past. After I was there two weeks, they told me I needed to leave, because I was endangering the lives of others if Michael showed up.
I packed up the kids and me in the morning and right before I left, a detective called. They wanted my help to find Michael and arrest him. They told me to make a plan to meet him somewhere, and instead of me being there, they would show up and capture him. I suggested his parent's home. Then I called and left messages with people we knew. He called me back and I arranged to meet him. I went to the city with the kids and rented a motel room until they called me to inform me they had apprehended him.
I was nervous all night and feared Michael might recognize the car, because the motel was right off the highway. I tried to hide it the best I could. I cried with relief upon receiving a call the next day - they had broken the door down and had him in custody. They staked out the neighborhood, which I'm sure was terrifying to the whole neighborhood. I knew it was questionable how long they could hold him, or if his relatives would help him make bail.
Everything was resting on his willingness to confess. My relief was short lived when I received a call from the authorities that he was not cooperating. When he called me from jail, I told him I didn't have the strength to take care of the kids and myself, and I wasn't going to speak to him again unless he made a full confession. He had already spent thousands of the taxpayer's dollars with his manipulation and control.
I started thinking...If I had murdered and done the things he had, I would say, 'I'm sorry and I'm worthy of death,' and let the chips fall where they may. I knew he wasn't really sorry. He was sorry for himself, and he still didn't care about pleasing God. I wasn't willing to be his conscience anymore. He ended up making a confession the next day, but only to stay in control of the kids and me. It was my requirement, and he had fulfilled it, not because of his convictions, but mine. I was seeing how truly sick our relationship was, and always had been.
Though he was locked up, I was tormented with the possibility of him making bail. The state had let him go after a psychological evaluation before his arrest. They said he showed no signs of mental or emotional disturbance. They were trying to prove him insane. They wouldn't let him confess. They were trying to protect him and get him off the hook. It was insane!
Friends and relatives helped with my kids. The stress was just about unbearable. Life didn't seem worth living. How could we ever outlive the effects of the father-husband murderer? Aren't the sins of the fathers passed onto the children? What hope would my children have? I was traumatized, and they were traumatized. I felt dead inside, and was terrified they might still let him go. Detectives were linking him to murders in ten counties. They were calling me to get me to tell him they would give him amnesty if he would only tell the truth.
My sister offered to take care of my baby for awhile. I thought they would all be better off without me and without the remembrance of Michael and me. Too bad they weren't all babies and could put this nightmare behind them. Michael had terrorized our oldest daughter and her teacher by kidnapping her from school and trying to drive her across the state line. He turned around when he realized he was being followed and couldn't escape with her.
I considered the power of words, the song of my heart. You see, when I was nine years old, I learned to sing and play the guitar. The first song I learned was about a railroad boy who forsook his girl. She hung herself to death. I sang the song over and over as a kid. Now, the man of my dreams had forsaken me and I'm left suicidal. The song of my childhood came true. The power music has in lives can be devastating. I needed Jesus to put a new song in my heart.
Nine months later as I was returning from a Christian retreat; my car broke down. I ended up very near to where Michael was being held and sentenced for murder. I felt God's destiny in my going to the hearing, and after what happened, I knew it was. As I sat in the courtroom, watching some of Michael's victims come in, one girl in particular with a long scar across her neck, I didn't think I could handle it.
I went downstairs to a cafeteria, unable to control my tears. A young police officer addressed me, and asked if he could help me. I told him the circumstances of why I was there, and he told me what circumstances had brought him there. He was the family representative for his niece whom Michael had murdered. Her 13 brothers and sisters were too enraged to come. I was shocked as the realization hit me: I was standing in front of the uncle of one of Michael's dead victims! This was a sobering sad reality of lost life.
He was kind as he took me back upstairs. The bailiff addressed me and told me the judge and Michael wanted to see me. Michael was losing his nerve to confess. I realized why I was there, and I began to preach to Michael regarding confessing as the right and only thing to do, and I was indignant in my position. A lifetime of resisting God who is the truth had trashed his life and others, now was not the time to lean on his own understanding. I told him he needed to wake up in his conscience. I told him it wasn't right to put conditions on the consequences and he should accept them, come what may if he was truly sorry.
Well, against the advice of his counsel, and the pressure of my being there, his attorney plead guilty. He went on to give all the reasons why Michael was a good criminal and should be rewarded for his honorable behavior. The judge then delivered a powerful, anointed address to the courtroom. He said, "Woe unto us the day we reward criminals for doing what is right, and their obligation to do in merely confessing and owning up to their crimes."
After all the sentencing was over, Michael received 150 years. He would be a free man today had he not confessed. He never has faced responsibility for many of the crimes he committed, because of the statute of limitations. Again, Detectives from ten counties met to discuss the possibility of solving murders Michael could be linked to. I received two phone calls saying they would give him amnesty if he would confess to the murders they thought he was responsible for. I doubt I will ever fully know the extent of the "private life" he led apart from me in our time together.
I was beginning to face the multitude of bad counsel I had received from religious leaders. Michael was begging me from prison to "do things his way." I knew in my heart, I was his umbilical cord to his God-conscience, and the cord must be cut. Wasn't divorce the unpardonable sin? T he Bible says in Mark 10:9, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." The downright truth was, God never joined us together! Our sin, compromise, and selfishness joined us. God had nothing to do with it, and we had lived a life apart from Jesus. His Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, hadn't been a part of our union, and that's why we could never truly be joined. Two people must wake up to God's voice in their inner selves to really be married. When we yield, obey the voice of the father of lies, we live in a dark invisible kingdom. Michael and I had never walked in the light and had fellowship with each other.
I finally became willing to call dead something that had never lived (our relationship)! I got the feeling from the religious circles we were in, that I was committing a sin greater than murder. The truth is, Michael had always been joined to his love of crime. The spirit of divorce was always alive and well in our relationship, long before we got a paper from the state to validate the fact.
We had lived in a state of divorce from the day we were supposedly married. Michael was irrate, because he would lose points and privilege with the prison board if I were to leave him. I had been taking the children to jail to see him and it was devastating them. They only knew the Dr. Jekyll Dad, not Mr. Hyde. I didn't know what to do about taking the kids to see him. The church was telling me I needed to love him unconditionally, but I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing for my kids. I played bible bingo, cracked open my bible desperately wanting God to show me if I should keep taking my children into the jail.
I opened it up to Ezekiel 38 that says "due to the pride of the land no one shall go in and no one shall come out and then they will know that I am God." Wow...what else can you say? Pride was something Michael and I had discussed time and again. I knew he continually lied to me to present a false front. He always lied to protect his pride, and God is never mocked. What you sow is what you will reap. Every tree will eventually bear fruit for all to see.
I remember watching the movie "The Never Ending Story" with the kids. The Big Nothing was destroying the land. That's what was destroying me! I had daydreams of how much better we might be if we departed from this world. The baby was gone; she was staying with my sister, and would never remember Michael, and the horrors we were living through.
I went to church and was pitied, and found I was feeling increasingly sorry for myself and depressed when I left. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." No one had any understanding to help me. I knew I could spend a lifetime with people pitying me. Feeling like a victim was a familiar spirit to me and I knew if I didnít learn it was God who was trying to teach me I would live and die feeling sorry for myself. I had come to realize that many times, those who pity you will end up despising you. I wanted the life of Jesus in my soul, and it was bringing death to me to be the object of peopleís pity!!
I was realizing I didn't really know the Lord of my faith, and that the only kingdom I understood was man's kingdom. My world of fear, doubt, and unbelief was crashing down on me. King David says in a Psalm, ďThank you for afflicting me, now I have learned to love your word.ď My afflictions were Godís recipe for bringing me to a place of loving His word, and of realizing I couldnít live by bread alone, but I needed Godís words every day to really live by. I remember thinking my life was one pile of dung. What good could possibly come from it? I heard that still, small voice in my head say, "I use... to make fertile ground!"
Since I've gotten to know Gene, I have come to know much more of Jesus, and Jesus has used Gene to bring His spirit of deliverance into my life. I was at a point where I was ready to face the truth about my hypocrisies - I knew if I never dealt with who I was inwardly, I wouldnít see clearly who other people were inwardly, I wouldnít see clearly who other people were inwardly. It was time for me to take the logs out of my eyes so I could see clearly, and have a twig ministry to help other women.
Gene is anything but pretentious, and pretenders don't hang around him too long. There is nothing hidden or private about his life. He walks in the light, talks in the light, and lives in the light like no one I had ever met. And when you are hidden and deceitful, it's very hard to be around those who are open, honest and sincere. I was like a drug addict going through withdrawals as I got to know him. He didn't torment, abuse, or reject me. It was unfamiliar and unusual having a man respond to me spiritually, and I could see there was something in me that was uncomfortable not being used, abused, rejected and controlled. When someone comes into your life and loves you unconditionally, with a right spirit and a free spirit, it is a gift from God. People who arenít willing to change and learn to love that way too, can be tempted to reject the ones being sent to them. Jesus wanted to set me free to love others the way I was being loved in sincerity and truth.
Gene was honest and loved me freely, and I was like an old computer having to receive new information. He wasn't emotionally and spiritually unavailable. He lived to give the Lord and himself to others, not to see what he could take in relationships. He helped me and others care about pleasing God in all we think, do, and say. It was the first time in my life I was serious about making MY FOOD TO DO THE WILL OF GOD. That's really where the life is. That's where suffering has a purpose rather than suffering for sin. I was ready to tell my flesh to sit down and shut up; it was time to learn how to please my heavenly father so I could feel adopted inside!
As for an update on Michael I heard he was a Jewish Rabbi, and fluent in Hebrew and Greek. It amazes me the people who donít realize he only confessed to that which was known about, and itís so likely that he is linked to many more rapes and murderers. The people who have accepted him and rejected me for abandoning him is sad. I do forgive Michael and others, but I also have to realize there has been no real or true confession other than what was cohersed out of him. One of my children tried to have contact with him which we allowed, but she had to find out for herself the deviant manipulation he still isnít free from.
Back to Gene, how could I say I loved God whom I didn't see, if I couldn't love this man whom I did see? I wasn't familiar with open and honest relationships. The more open I became, the more I could see who was "hiding." I understood how flattery works great ruin in relationships. I had looked to Jesus in faith for things, but now I needed him to give me faith to be honest about the judgments I was making in my heart. I needed faith to not be pretentious and tell the truth. The Bible is full of "put away lying and speak the truth to one another in love" messages.
I began taking those words seriously, believing we are members of each other. Cells that communicate falsely, or indifferently in our body, cause cancer. I decided to be a life-giving cell, rather than a cancerous cell, in the body of Christ. I really began to take the "logs" from my own eyes, so I could see clearly to help remove the specks from the eyes of my friends.
A few months after I had gotten to know Gene, we both knew the Lord had caused our paths to cross for a reason. We got down on our knees and asked the Lord to confirm our relationship, by the mouth of two or three witnesses. We wanted others to confirm that we belonged together, and we knew we could trust Him to open the eyes of others if we were to be together.
Within the span of a week, that's exactly what happened. We courted for a year; then we married. Gene's rule over his flesh did a lot to show me the power and love of God. I knew Gene cared more for pleasing the Lord than gratifying his desires, and I know I can trust him. We have been married 22 years now, and his love continues to reveal God's love and faithfulness to me.
His ability to rule himself before our wedding has proven to me his trustworthiness when we are apart. He chose pleasing Jesus above serving his flesh, and the spirit he carries he imparts to others. The fruit of Jesus' spirit is self-control. As athletes need training, me and many like me are thankful to Jesus for sending us a "personal trainer," who can teach us the ways of "self-control." Many throughout history have been destroyed through uncontrolled lust. How many never accessed the help that was right in front of their face because of pride?
One of Gene's closest friends shared his testimony about how he loved to lust after women. I had never really heard men be open and honest like that. He said, "What I loved is what Jesus hated; I asked Him to help me love what He loves and hate what He hates." I remember feeling short-circuited. Could it be that simple: Repent and believe Jesus can help you? And he wasnít blaming anyone for his problems but willing to take personal responsibility!
He said he confessed his sins, and people prayed for him, and Jesus healed him. I thought to myself, after all the books, counseling and money we've spent, wouldn't it be hysterical if it were that simple? I saw this man, along with Gene and other men, have enough humility to be honest and open. I realized Michael's biggest problem was pride! Jesus hates pride above all things!
Michael always lied to protect his pride; that's why he could never get helped! He couldn't even get help from his own brother who had been treating sexual offenders all the years Michael had been sexually offending! If it's true that "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad," (Mark 4:22), then I absolutely declared I wouldn't hide anything ever again. I saw what killing your pride by telling the truth had done for these men, and I wanted what they had! (I wanted peace and confidence before Jesus and men).
They believed because they loved the praise of God more than the praise of men, and they had no fear of being condemned by men. The only way to know if Jesus' Words are true is to do them. That's why they knew the Words of Jesus were true. They did them! This was way too simple for a complicated mind like mine!? It was time to stop leaning on my own understanding and decide to trust in the Lord with ALL of my heart.
I had mentioned earlier that my baby daughter had gone to be with my sister. When I was confident that Michael's sentence was not subject to appeal and after I was recovered from the ordeal, we would make arrangements for the baby's return. My sister knew I was unstable and wanted to help me not make any unwise decisions during a time of crisis. My baby girl was sixteen months old at the time she went to stay with my sister. Michael's actual sentencing was almost one year later.
I met Gene just after the sentencing and one year later we were married. During this period I saw my little girl only about four times because of my sister's location being on the east coast. My mindset at this time was still very doubtful. It's hard to explain, but even though Jesus was using Gene to bring me great hope and give me vision and direction, I was still thinking that this was not really going to last. Any day something will come up and I will once again be on my own.
At this point I would like to go back to something that happened the night after I met Gene at the concert. I had a dream, and in the dream I was in my bathroom getting ready for the day, when I noticed a rank odor with a stench that made me believe something dead was in there. I looked up, and high up attached to the ceiling was a "body bag" with Michael inside. He had been dead a long time. The thought came to me that I needed to call the men in white suits to come and get him. Three men in white shirts came and got the body bag down and took him away. The eerie thing is that the phone then rang and it was Michael calling from the prison. I wondered if God was trying to show me Michael's conscience was dead towards Him, and I was "dragging a dead body around."
When I went to breakfast later that morning, I thought it was ironic that Gene and the two men with him all had on white ministry t-shirts. I did not remember this or put it together until a couple of weeks later, after the church incident where the Lord healed my ears and also where I had spilled the coffee on myself. I had the three of them over for dinner. After dinner I went to my cabinet and drug out all the newspaper articles about Michael and his life of crime which I had faithfully been saving from day one!
Gene spoke to me about how it was keeping me spiritually attached to Michael and the utter reproach of being his wife. He told me that if I were to ever be free, I would need to completely put off the old and allow "all things" to be made new! He helped me to see that thoughts are words and words are food. The food we eat (what we allow ourselves to think) is what we will become and how we will be in our spirit and in our character. I would say that this was the beginning of my walk away from a life of bondage and trying to fix myself into the freedom and life of letting go.
That night I gathered everything that had to do with Michael, our past and every picture and article. I put it all in a garbage bag and Gene took it away with him and the guys when they left. The three men in white ministry t-shirts had come and taken away the stinking dead body of the past. I could now start over. All my life growing up and throughout my married life, I considered the counseling and counselors: psychologists, doctors, priests, family, friends, and in-laws. No one ever reflected to me the simplest and most fundamental thing I must first do: "Put out the offender"... stop living with your tormentors. The fundamental words of the Master are in Mark 8:35, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."
So let us go back to one year after Michael's sentencing when Gene and I married. I had said that my mindset was one of doubt, that any day now everything would fall apart. Although I was truly free from Michael, I was not at all free from my foundational enemy, "Rejection!" There is a Scripture in Jeremiah 17:1 which says, "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart..." This is exactly what rejection throughout my lifetime had done to me. Rejection was deeply engraved in my soul.
I heard, saw, and responded to most people out of the engraved spirit of rejection in my heart. I always felt like there was something that I needed to do for people so that they would not reject me. I believed it was my responsibility to prove myself in all relationships, and failed to see the responsibility of others. I don't think Michael had people in his life hold him responsible, and I knew it was a tragedy that he believed life didn't have consequences.
It created great fear and doubt in me toward others also, because I never thought that I could ultimately do enough in the relationship to keep it free from offense. This created skepticism and control in me toward those who were closest. I was so afraid of being rejected, I would create scenarios to get Gene to reject me. I didn't believe he could love me. I would many times "third-degree" him when he was out during the day, thinking that he would end up being as unfaithful to me as Michael was.
I'll never forget the look on his face and what he said to me when the Lord opened his understanding to my accusations and fears. He said, "I am willing to prove my love and faithfulness to you by logging my time and meetings. I'll tell you who I've seen, what was said, how long it took and where I went next if it will help you to know that I love you and will never be unfaithful!" I broke down crying for quite some time. This was a man who ran into responsibility, not away from it. He was willing to prove his love. I realized this was a man who knew and looked to Jesus. He responded to my problems spiritually, not carnally. It was making the difference between hell on earth, and heaven on earth in my soul.
My mother had come to our wedding and had gone out with Gene and I once or twice to talk with us after we were married. I felt like her concerns were just a mom being normal, but Gene was uncomfortable with her pretense. It was something I grew up with and was totally familiar with and didn't see at first. The day came soon enough when my family's hidden agenda would be clearly seen. I thought dealing with my hypocritical life would bless my family.
I didnít realize that when I stopped being a liar, hider, pretender, and flatterer my mother and sister would be offended. I forgot that we called ourselves Christians but never prayed together, never believed the Bible was the word of God, and how changing my mind might not be ok.
Everything up to this point was hidden as far as my mother and sister's secret thoughts and opinions about me. I had not asked my sister to bring my daughter back and she had not offered. Nothing was spoken about it. One day Gene began to draw me out about my feelings in getting her back. It was like listening to someone else talk. I could not give a clear sound. Inside I wanted her back. Outside I knew that my sister did not want to give her up and I didn't want to cause her pain. I also did not want to face the family feud which I knew would ensue. I also realized my sister had come from the same disconnect family as I did. And now she had my baby in her arms to connect to, and that it would be very hard for her to let go.
To Gene it was without question that Rachel should come back. She is your daughter. The only reason that your sister has her now is because of your having to run from a murderous husband and to give you aid in time of peril. Your peril is over. But, your sister loves your baby, Rachel, and it wouldn't be right to just go ask for her back, but we definitely need to go speak with her. He saw the other children were devastated by her absence.
Gene and I flew to the east coast to talk to my sister personally about the situation. We sat up late with her and we poured out our hearts to each other. She knew my pain and I saw hers. She had her own revelation that the baby should come be with us. I broke down hysterically with unbelievable joy -- she was offering my baby back. We didn't have to ask for her, she saw it was the right thing to do - to restore our family after the storm had passed. My sister admitted that she knew in her heart if we thought the baby belonged with us, we should leave with her in the morning. Her time was over as a guardian angel who had kept a baby safe in a nightmare. I broke down crying seeing that my sister could hear Godís voice. But she had the same problem of leaning on her own understanding, and her head would soon win out over her heart. When we got up the next morning, my sister was gone and had taken the baby with her. She had gone to get a court order against us. She and my mom had accused me of being an unfit mother, although they weren't trying to have the other children removed from my custody. My sister had money and influence; I didn't even have a lawyer. When you're up against money and power, the battle looked grim. As much as I tried to control what happened I was unable to. However, the court allowed her to adopt my baby. I know the purpose for that has yet to unfold. Even when Social Services did a home study about our family conditions, they recommended the baby be returned to us.
Although I was greatly saddened by my family's betrayal, I had understanding and a grace which allowed me to move on and to know that God's purposes would be fulfilled. I heard Godís voice who gave up His son for all mankind that his children would be saved. What if giving up was the right thing to do for Anneís sake? And what if I needed to endure my persecution of our faith that Jesus talks about.
The plain truth is that I had no testimony of Jesus in all that was happening. All I could do was relate to them on a carnal, sensual level. The dead religion we were raised in has no real belief that God is involved personally through His Son Jesus in your life, and that He will actually speak to you in your spirit and give you wisdom and guidance.
Had I been enlightened with the Holy Spirit, and had the people of God come into my life back then, my family would have gone after me. As a child, I never understood why the people back in Jesus' day killed him. As I grew older and went to church, it just became fact, but I never really understood why people get so threatened by those who have encountered the Living God of the Bible!
Spiritual persecution is merely two people whose spirits are in disagreement or in conflict, and one decides to punish the other or to control the other, and this is what my family was doing. They were using the ignorant and ungodly courts and prejudiced system of law to justify their lies and control. I never was persecuted when I loved and served myself and could care less about serving Jesus. I let Michael control me, and now I was yielding to the Spirit of the Living God, and they thought I went crazy.
Out of the blue one day, we received a phone call. It was my daughter; she was ten. We were ecstatic, because we had been kept from her for years. She ended up coming to visit us several times, and now lives with us. She sees the emptiness of living for money, education and position in life, and the loneliness and lack of true fulfillment it brings. She sees life without faith and love in it isn't worth living. She is becoming familiar with honest, open, sincere relationships. She has given up trashy music and television programs and feeds her heart and spirit with good things rather than destructive things.
When I saw Gene give people his heart, talk openly about the motives and intentions of his heart, and help other's have the faith to face the motive and intentions of their hearts, all I could do was cry. I wondered what would have happened if Michael's father would have given him his heart? What if he was honest with him about his own lust and pretense, would it have made a difference in his life?
I look back on all the priests, counselors, and men in the churches we attended who were not honest and open about overcoming sin in their lives. They didn't have the testimony of Jesus regarding their sin and selfishness. If they did, they loved their own lives too much to talk about it. They weren't open, and they didn't produce openness in Him. They "bore fruit after their own kind."
The love of Jesus in my heart for my children, demanded me to find answers for them. I didn't want them to walk down the path of destruction and perversion that generations in our family had, which I haven't still gone into great depth about. (It would take a book). My children are grown now, and they have children. Gene adopted them with Godís spirit of adoption, and they felt adopted by God. Like it says in Psalms 37.Ö the wicked are removed and you canít even find the place they used to be. Thatís how it is. Itís a miracle that the curses of my familiars have been broken over my children, and they have been shown the path out of destruction!
Meeting people who didn't hide their sin, but exposed it, has changed my life forever! Consider the movie, Schindler's List: One man doing what was right, what love demanded, and saved the lives of many. All who have eyes to see the path His life has laid out for us, and receive Him, are saved! I thank God He sent men my way who were doing what was right, what love demands. It's helped me to be the one sent, and to send to others the message of deliverance from the kingdom of darkness, into the Kingdom and Government of God.
In the book of Acts, it shows the Apostle Paul was required to receive Annanias so he could receive his sight. Cornelius also, after being visited by an angel, was instructed to send for a man, Peter. Cornelius received Jesus, because He received Peter. If Cain would have humbled himself to receive his brother Abel, God would have received his offering. His evil heart towards his brother was his ruin. God, throughout history, has ordained men to be messengers of His Word and Grace.
The Bible says, "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." (John 1:6) In my case, his name was Gene. God has always sent men. He promised to! He sent Jesus, and Jesus sent men! Michael chose to be an ambassador of hell and death. He represented a father, who has a kingdom, who comes to kill, steal and destroy. Gene chose to be an ambassador of the Kingdom, Godís government of Faith, Hope, Love, and Jesus! We all must choose who we will represent. I want to have the Bread of Life, the drink of heaven, for all who Jesus sends my way.
He's coming back to reward us for what we have done: for what we did about what we thought, for what we said, and how we affected each other, good and bad. Our words are on a mission; they operate on the hearts of those around us. What mission are your words on? What operation do you perform in the lives of those around you?
Job 29:12-16 says, "Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out."
That's the end of my story, but maybe itís just the beginning! God's Word says in II Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Jesus is coming back to the earth one day for ONE, JUST ONEÖ BRIDE. Those who have walked in love, faith, truth and sincerity. Those who have received Jesus and His people on the earth, and are awake in their conscience, looking for His appearing! May you wake up to Godís voice today! It is the difference between life and death, the blessing or the curse!
If you would like to read my husband Gene's testimony, or hear him share it on video, you can click on this link: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/bornagain/d-g/genes.htm. Thank you and God bless! -- Ceci Sullivan
Special Note: If you would like to go to the ministry website of sister Ceci, please click here: http://jumpforjesus.net/
PLEASE HELP SHARE THE BEST NEWS GOD HAS FOR EVERY PERSON!
"And this gospel of the
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
Consider how many children in "all the nations" have never heard YET what Jesus accomplished for THEM at the cross? PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS TO THE LITTLE CHILDREN!
To help us share the Best News every person needs to hear on this planet, randomly click FOR JESUS on just three (3) of the JESUS DID IT! links below. It will take just a few moments of your time. Please - thatís all you are asked to do. God will reward you! (Of course, be highly encouraged to forward one of these video clips to those who may have never heard what Jesus did for them on the cross ... especially young people). Thank you so much!
JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT! JESUS DID IT!
JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
(Please paste one of the above links onto your Facebook page - website - blog - video; etc.)
Let God Use Your Salvation Testimony!
A Special Message: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/f-j/HelpingShareTheMessageOfTheCross.htm
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
The staff and our ministry supporters so greatly appreciate hearing how God is touching lives for His glory through this outreach. If this ministry has blessed you in some special way, would you please consider taking a brief moment and share your blessing with us? Simply email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We truly thank each of you who allow us to publish your testimony, for those who faithfully pray (and fast) for this outreach, for those of you who help support the ministry financially, and for those of you who pass along these testimonies and other ministry writings to others. Especially to prisoners! The part the Holy Spirit has you play is vital in helping win lost souls and being engaged in discipleship, and we can never thank you enough for the labor of love and support you provide on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Precious Testimoniesis supported financially by those God directs to sow into this ministry. We ask each person reading this to please ask God on an on-going basis if He would have you sow a financial gift to this evangelistic outreach of His - trust that He will clearly communicate His will to you in the matter - then simply be obedient. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the current financial needs of this outreach, or any other questions you may have.
For convenience, you can simply click on the secure Pay Pal donate button below if you want to donate by credit card. Otherwise, you can send your precious gift to:Precious Testimonies, P.O. Box 516, Jenison, MI 49429.
Precious Testimoniesis a non-denominational 501-C-3 evangelistic ministry, and financial love offerings to this ministry are tax-deductible for those who qualify. A financial summary can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Financial Summary.