(The Ceci Sullivan Story)

By: Ceci Sullivan (Part One)

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 there among you who obeys the voice of the prophet, and walks in darkness and has no light?” Well, I met a prophet, (one who sees), and receiving him, opened my eyes to see things I never had seen before! 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. This man was a world class stunt man, and a champion heavyweight boxer. He had a famous father whom Walter Matthau portrayed in the movie “The Odd Couple.” His mother was an Army Air Corp. pilot, who ferried B-25’s during WW II. She and her partner owned a crop dusting business in Colorado, the state I grew up in. None of these things are what makes this man so special, however. He’s 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! Please, let me explain.

I’ve watched him fight the good fight of faith. His life has been a book of faith for me to read day by day. I have watched his faithfulness to God and God’s faithfulness to him. He’s helped spiritual whimps become spiritual fighters. I’ve watched fat people lose weight and become fit. I’ve met anorexic’s who have put on weight. I’ve watched people who were killing themselves by getting drunk on many of life’s ills, reach sobriety! I’ve seen careless, mean men learn how to love, care, and cover their wives and families. I’ve watched quiet, withdrawn, indifferent older couples learn to have love, passion, and fire in their once bitter cold relationships. 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. I’ve 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.

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 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, rather than glorifying the works of the evil one.

I met a minister, full of pride, lying, selfishness, and anger, who repented for oppressing God’s 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 life’s problems), her God was her belly, not Jesus. She repented, changed her mind. She has lost over 100 pounds, along with 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.

I’ve 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. I’ve met slobs living in filth and self-indulgence, which have learned to live in restraint and to care for others. I’ve 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 have become givers instead of being takers and users.

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. 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!

I’m the daughter of an Episcopal priest. My father, who is not alive now, but was dead while he lived in his role as a father. He was addressed as Father Strange, and his name was Harvey Strange. As far as I could tell, he was a stranger to Jesus, and 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 God’s 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 overcomer, and died alone in his trash, filth, and hundreds of books. He was ever learning, but never came to the knowledge of the truth. He and my mother divorced when I was two years old, and he was a stranger to me.

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 didn’t have a clue how to reach me. 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, 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 hadn’t known Jesus and wasn’t 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 a pitiful little girl. No one really knew where I was at, or how to help me. 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 deceitful. 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 filter-less cigarette after another. He was constantly aggravated, and I was always feeling rejected. We cared mainly for how we were all being affected selfishly by each other, and we didn’t have answers to help one another, and we didn’t care that we didn’t care!! The emphasis was trying not to be part of the problem because there was emotional abuse and abandonment to pay if you were part of the problem. 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 were hiding. So many parents excuse themselves and accuse their children. Not much was learned in our suffering, and I knew I would be doomed to repeat my parents mistakes if I didn’t look to Jesus for help. I didn’t talk about what was going on inside of me. Being open and honest with love and faith, wasn’t 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. My brother taught me to steal, and fear and torment were normal to me. I’ve found that those who don’t have faith for Jesus to satisfy their needs, will always steal in one form or another, even if it’s affection that’s not right.

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 gun point, 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 looking at mug shots of molesters in the police department. I think that is when fear and torment became “normal” to me. It’s as if thinking it’s normal to be in a concentration camp. It’s like having a bad guy living with you in your house that everyone is indifferent towards, and familiar with.

When I was 13, I thought all the family problems were because of me, so I ran away from home. I was convinced I wasn’t worthy of my stepfathers 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 don’t receive it, they often look somewhere else for it. I didn’t know the comfort of my Father in heaven or on the earth. Ezekiel 16 puts it this way “she wasn’t 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. They weren’t led by The Spirit of Jesus.

We had a form of religious peace, but it was not God’s 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 “right” thing to do. We fulfilled outward obligations and duties, birthday cards, presents, and the observation of special days. We didn’t know how to deal with bitter, critical, offended thoughts with each other, so the “special days, were never very special.” We went to church but we had life without God’s 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. I left this lonely family that I could never graft into because of pretense, at age 14. 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. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, and fell in lust with him. He was cute and what I thought to be a “good catholic boy.” (I didn’t 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 “Ted Bundy” of Colorado. Ted Bundy was a notorious serial rapist and murderer. This is when my nightmare really began.

I was working for my friend’s 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 knight in shining armor, 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 a.m. 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 boyfriend’s house to tell him about it, with no clue he had been the perpetrator! 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.

We 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 friend’s 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, “Woe unto those who go down to Egypt for their help.” That’s where Ron went, and I followed in his footsteps. The help Ron got from Egypt, ended with a shocking tragedy.

To be continued...please click here for Part Two

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