Bear with me saints while I share this bit of sin slide. On a given day, Paul and I left the shelter to ride the subway to a motel. That was our first motel "journey." What particularly struck me was that as we rode the subway, I noticed that Paul had brought along a book to read. I was quite surprised. Who brings a book to read for the first motel weekend with a "love" interest? After "recovering" from my surprise, I felt a level of respect for that choice that he had made to bring a book. It is not easy to explain. Maybe someone can help me on that. All these years later, when I think about that "episode," I laugh. I am 54 years old and have never dated any other man that came with a book to read for a date or motel stay.
PART 2 BEGINS:
Paul comes from a middle class family in Connecticut. He has five siblings and other family there. He yielded to drug addiction in his 20's after the death of his mother devastated him. We know that people handle heartbreak in different ways. Also, during that time, he became angry at GOD because he couldn't understand why GOD would take such a good mother.
He told me that he loved school and never missed a day. Even when he didn't feel well, and his mother urged him to stay home, he insisted on going to school. After high school, he joined the military...
Paul moved to the D.C. area. He later went back to Connecticut to care for his dying father. I once asked Paul what was his father's hobby. He replied, "His children." Also, Paul stated that his father was the one in the community whose character drew youth to him.
After his father died, Paul came back to live in D.C. He moved to the shelter after a job loss. That is where we met.
Paul got a job and a "hook-up" allowed him to get an apartment. The application process was "eased" because he knew someone that was a friend of the woman who worked in the rental office.
Paul asked me twice to move in with him. I didn't answer. The third time that he asked, he said, "I'm not going to ask you again." I "caved" and went with him. I knew to do better but chose to do wrong.
We know that the Word of GOD states that GOD is married to the backslider - Jeremiah 3:14. It may be challenging for some to believe, but our Lord helped us in spite of our sins. But I knew that my day of reckoning would come - the season when the "hammer" of GOD would get me. I didn't know when but I was certain that there would be a "date" with hammer time.
Paul and I lived together for about seven years. During that time we had phases when we both had jobs, or when one or the other lived on unemployment for a bit. We were, typically, never unemployed at the same time.
For approximately five years with Paul, it was pleasurable. We know, saints, that the Holy Bible tells us that sin is pleasurable for a season - Hebrews 11:25. Well, about year six, the hammer was looming. GOD was coming after me.
Details are fuzzy now on this aspect but I remember that Paul and I went to church. When I chose Paul, I had ceased to go to church.
I was the type that was going to be in sin for real or in GOD for real. I'm not a straddler. Even before I ever knew our Lord, I was either hot or cold. With the many flaws that I had, being lukewarm, typically, was never one of them. In Christ, though I falter, lukewarm does not attach itself to me - all glory to GOD, of course. Ok, back to me and Paul and the church visit. I had to choose THE ONE or the other. I chose the other. So I cannot remember how I was convinced to go to church with Paul that Sunday.
At bit about the church:
The pastor was raised in a Christian home but, as many of us do, he went out into the world. He became a drug addict, and I believe that he was also a drug dealer. Well, our Lord got hold of him and he is one of the most fiercely in love with GOD pastor's that I have experienced. His focus is youth and families of murdered inner city youth have funerals at his church. He truly has a heart for youth, and they know that he is real. D.C. government officials consult that pastor, and he goes to speak before the city council for the causes of youth issues and inner city problems.
Anyhow, in church, we were. Paul was clapping to the music. I believe I clapped, as well. But I could not raise my hands in praise like I could when I walked with the Lord. I know that there are people who live lives of habitual sin yet go to church and raise their hands upward to GOD. I could not. That day, when I left church, I told the Lord that I would not step foot in a church again until I was righteous in conduct. I kept my word - when I did return to church, I was again in righteous mode. Still...for a season Paul continued to be my god.
As the Holy Spirit continued to work on me, GOD'S conviction was closing in on me. Paul continued to go to church. And one Sunday, he came home and told me that he had went to the altar. I was pleased, and encouraged.
My wishful thinking was that the Lord would lead Paul further in Him and, thereby, I would be able to marry Paul and cease to fornicate. I would have GOD and Paul. Yippee! - - NOT. Paul went to church for a few more months but didn't read the Word or otherwise make progress. He discontinued church attendance. His spiritual movement stopped.
Fast forward a bit:
I was again between jobs. Paul had a job but had had his hours decreased. One day, while at home, I read in the newspaper about a Customer Service Director who headed the D.C. Mayor's City Wide Call Center. A job position in that office was of deep interest to me. The Lord told me to write her a letter with a job interest "package." I sent her my resume, and a paper that the Lord told me to write titled, "Customer Service is an Art" which detailed my beliefs about the importance of excellent customer service. Also, included in the package was a cover letter asking that I be considered if any job openings came available there. In addition, I sent samples of my writing abilities, and I cannot recall, but I believe that I sent her some copies of commendations that I had received from previous supervisors and co-workers. I thought that one day in the future they would have an opening and call me in. To my utter surprise, two days later they phoned me. That is how I got my Customer Service Specialist job in the D.C. government where I worked in excess of five years.
For Paul, the Lord had me to go to the Yellow Pages, and seek a D.C. government agency that could use Paul's skills - which were mainly as a painter. I located the said agencies - about four, if I recall correctly. I wrote a cover letter for Paul and faxed it with his resume. Paul didn't know anything about this beforehand. He was at work when I did this. That same evening, a supervisor from one of the faxed agencies called for an interview with Paul. I already had a blank copy of the D.C. job application. Paul filled it out and the next morning, he went to the job interview. The supervisor told Paul that he needed to fill out an application. Paul had already done it as I had given him a blank application the day before. He gave it to the supervisor which, I believe, surprised him. Also, the supervisor told Paul that one reason that he stood out to him was because of the cover letter! Long story short - Paul and I both got hired to work in D.C. government and began on the same date at different D.C. government agencies. He started as a laborer but desired to paint...months later, he got moved to a paint position. Sometime later...Paul got new teeth to fill in his missing places. That gave him more confidence than he already had...
Holy conviction was chasing me, and I couldn't out run it. Eventually, that caused a major gulf between me and Paul.
I was moving back to the Lord and away from Paul.
One day Paul told me that he wasn't "feeling" me anymore, and for me to go to live with my sister. He suggested that a separation could help and maybe we would get back together.
My steps back toward GOD developed to where I was no longer in love with Paul but I loved him. The same for him - he was no longer in love with me but he loved me. Our care for one another was deep.
Anyway, I moved from the bedroom to the living room. My plan was that since I had ceased to fornicate, and was increasingly moving closer to GOD, that the Lord would cause Paul to feel me again but this time, righteously. Subsequently, we would marry and I would have GOD and Paul in holy matrimony.
GOD had other plans. I refused to move as Paul had suggested.
After a few months of said living arrangement, I suspected that Paul was cheating.
Fast forward...skipping over some details...
I had a "hunch" that Paul's "love" interest (I'll call her Dee) lived somewhere in the neighborhood. We lived on a block of four-unit buildings. Paul and I both had work shifts from 7:00 - 3:30. One workday morning, the Lord told me to go stand outside on the front. I believe that I stood out there for about 30 minutes. Then - out walked Paul from the building next door! When he saw me, the deep hurt on his face was obvious. He was deeply hurt that he had hurt me. Of course, when Satan consumes us, we succumb in spite of the pain caused to others. Paul implored me to go back into the building, as he didn't want me to see him get in and drive Dee's vehicle to work (later I found out that she didn't work and was getting, I believe, Worker's Comp due to a back injury.) I refused to go inside and stood there until Paul drove off.
I was shook to the core of my being. My heartache was massive.
To be continued...
Previews of Part 3:
Our Lord tenderly comforts and consoles my broken heart.
Our Lord defends me and teaches me to fight my way to healing.
Our Lord fights for Paul, but against Paul's conduct.
Our Lord brings justice and healing.
Written Monday February 6, 2011 - Copyright 2011
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