Testimony of being married to a “ Down- Low Brother”
Single and living for God was my lifestyle in 2001. Divorcee raising a little girl who was 5 years old at that time. Living single as Christian woman was a different lifestyle because see I came from a life of being a fornicator in the eyes of the “church”.
It was a beautiful sunny Sunday August morning in 2001, I walked through the doors of a journey that I am still on. I joined a Holy Ghost filled, word teaching church. This is what I was looking for, the Holy Ghost! Listen, I literally went online looking for a church to help me speak in tongues. I first saw Pastor Cathy on Television and I was captivated by her story about how she had experienced angels during the birth of one of her children.
So, I began to research this church. “Tongue talking” is how they described their church. Oh, this is what I want. I want to speak in tongues! See my grandmother was a “ Tongue Talker”. She was filled with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Everyone was so friendly and kind when I walked through the doors. Welcome to Virtue! I felt as though I was in another realm. I was escorted to my seat up in the front by a very pleasant usher. Service began with praise and worship. Now, in my former lifestyle I would tear the dance floor up when the music would start! So, when the music started I could not believe my hears. The sound was so powerful! I danced and danced as if no one was watching! Like David did in the bible. Except I left my clothes on.
As I looked around while dancing, I saw these large cameras for their television ministry at the front. Nevertheless, I continue to enjoy praise and worship. It was time for the Pastor to bring the word. I was looking for Pastor Cathy who I saw on television to speak. However, her husband got up to speak. Although, I was disappointed not to see Pastor Cathy her husband Pastor Tim had a great message as well.
Pastor Tim was teaching about how the axle is twisted in families by the father being removed from the homes and leaving woman single to raise the children. Pastor Tim explained that the enemy likes to remove the head from families to destroy God’s design for the household. Thus, this message hit home for me. Single, divorced and raising my daughter alone.
As Pastor Tim was teaching, all I could think about is how am I going to get this “tongue talking” thing. At that time, I did not know it was a gift from God. Anyway, after service there was an invitation to come and receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I ran down to the altar still not knowing how I was going to get this “tongue talking” thing. I just wanted whatever they were giving out because I was hungry for God in my life.
In the back office with other hungry for God people, I waited for the counselor to ask me why I was here? She finally got to me. “ Hello sweetie, why did you come back here today and how can we help you?” “ I want to speak in tongues” I said with confidence. So, she began to explain to me that this was a gift from God called the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. She placed her hand on my throat and began to pray for me. She told me to open my mouth and began to speak. She said that it would sound strange in the beginning but it was like being a baby and learning how to talk. So, I open my mouth and different sounds came from my mouth. She said yes that is it! Go home and just continue to speak to God and your language will develop is what she told me to do.
The following Sunday I went back to join Virtue. Now, I had a church home and the gift of the Holy Spirit. I felt so empowered, so renewed and refreshed! As I sat under this ministry, I was taught to abstain from having sex until marriage. Huh? No sex until marriage? Very well, I will try. See, I started having sex at the tender age of 14. No one every taught me to keep myself until marriage. I was actually taught to have sex by the woman in my life.
I was now a born again virgin at the age of 32. I was taught that the single woman in the church were to be holy and they were to abstain from sex until marriage. In the beginning, it was easy because I cut off all of my previous relationships and I began to engross myself into the things God like going to bible study every Wednesday and participating in Friday night prayer.
Being an attractive woman made this a real challenge because I would get so much attention from men on the outside of church. Well, being in this new church environment was different because the men there loved God and had respect for woman. They also were afraid to mess with Pastor Tim’s member’s. See Pastor Tim is the father figure of the church. He had rules about dating. If members were going to date they should speak to the Pastors first. This was an accountability system that was extremely different for me.
I was not accustomed to being accountable to anyone but myself. This accountability system was very uncomfortable for me because I had trust issues. Nevertheless, I joined the singles ministry hoping to meet a nice christian man. Listen, I just did not understand how to be single. Regardless, of how many single ministry meetings I went to I still wanted to be in a relationship with a man. Singleness is ministry that must be taught by developing a relationship with Jesus and falling in love with Jesus.
Being touched at the age of 14, was traumatic for me but I did not realize the damage that it had done to my soul. I was not raped by my father, brother, cousin or neighbor or anything of the such. See, I willing decided to give my virginity to my neighbor’s cousin who was 16 at the time. I don’t have an excuse for being sexually activity at the tender age of 14. I have to charge it to ignorance. There was no one in my immediate circle to show me how to keep myself.
Everyone in my circle was smoking, snorting and drinking alcohol. Oh and having unprotected sex. In my circle, I was the young-in in the bunch. Everyone was at least 4 years older than I. Anyway, I was taught not to get pregnant and not to get AIDS. Listen, this was in the 80’s when AIDS was new on the sexually transmitted disease list. However, at that time only gay men and intervenes drug users were know to have that disease.
I was extremely afraid of catching AIDS. Therefore, I knew that I wanted to have safe sex without the risk of getting AIDS and I wanted to be with one man within a marriage union. So, in 1991 I married my first husband and daughter’s father. Well, I fix one problem which was the fornication but then I inherited another problem which was being unequally yoked to an unbeliever. That marriage lasted for 5 years.
Fast forward through about 5 years of dating and a couple of engagements, 2001 I landed at Virtue church. Here I am every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday in church. I was changing from the inside out. At least, that is what religion told me. My leaders loved God and they taught the full gospel. However, at the time they were teaching their members to be sin conscience. Therefore, fornication was frowned upon.
For the first time in my life I was practicing celibacy. I began to participate in the yearly consecrations with the church. We were taught that fasting helps your lower extremities to die. Well, I renewed my mind just as James directs us in Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Also, I began to live Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
After 2 years of celibacy, I felt as though it was time for a husband. Surprisingly, I had not meet anyone in the church. I really was not accustom to being in a environment where the men did not communicate to an attractive woman. Thus, it was all good because I was on a mission to stay a born again virgin until I got married again. So, I had a bright idea to go onto the internet to meet a man because it was time for me to start dating again as a Christian woman. I can handle this I thought.
Dating as a Christian woman is different from dating as Non-Christian woman. I read many books on how to date as a Christian woman. The rules stated don’t date after dark. Don’t be alone with your date. Always be accountable to another couple or another Christian. Rules, rules and more rules. These rules just made dating really boring and too controlling and confound. Needless to say, I did not follow the rules!
Eheaven was a new dating website for christian singles. Well, this should be safe if it is for Christians is what I thought. Here I go, ready to meet a “nice Christian man”. Right after our 2004 January consecration, I went online to meet a “nice Christian man”. I spent about an hour filling out the personality profile so that I could be matched with the right person. I had several matches. However, there was one that stood out from the rest of the bunch.
Derrick was 6’ tall brown skinned about 180 lbs, nice muscular build bold head and he wore glasses. Derrick was very easy on the eye from what I could gather from his profile picture. He reached out to me first. Then we began to communicate on a regular basis. Derrick requested to get my number after several communication sessions. I agreed. We chatted several times over the phone then we agreed to meet in person.
Derrick was also practicing celibacy. However, he was 5 years into his celibacy. At least, this is what he told me. I was 2 years into my celibacy. I felt like I was so “ Holy” because I had not fornicated in 2 years. My faith was high when I meet Derrick. I knew and could quote scriptures. See, I had religion and not a relationship with the father. Although, I had faith in God to bring his word to pass in my life. It meant nothing without a relationship with the father.
Everything moved really quickly, we were engaged and married all in one day within 3 months of dating. We were convicted because we started having sex. We both wanted to be right in the eyes of God. This situation is so easy to judge because it is obvious that I was desperate to be married so I could have sex. Once again I made the stupid mistake of getting married to fix the problem of fornication. However, I inherited the problem of being married to a man who did not want me. He wanted another man! Only if I had known that this man was only marrying me to cover up his real intentions. So, we both had intentions.
After we where married, he no longer wanted to have sex. He had a male friend that he communicated with on a regular basis. I began to find letters from this man to my husband. I found information about gifts that my husband had given this man. So, I confronted him about his relationship with this man and he denied being in a romantic relationship with him. 2004 was a high time for men being on the “down low” in Atlanta and Washington DC. After I began to confront Derrick he became more distant from me. Derrick ask me for a divorce after 3 months of marriage. I was devastated. My faith was shaken. How could I be so stupid?
Scared and terrified that I contracted HIV! I went to my pastor for prayer. He prayed with me and told me that I would be fine. He was right! I went to get an HIV test and I was HIV negative. Thus, I was still in the house with this christian man who was on the down low. I was angry and feeling rejected by my husband. I was confused because I did not understand why he did not want me. I had to do some research to understand that men who are on the down low have a retarded notion that they are not gay, they just have sex with men and relationships with woman.
Well, as an attractive woman I was feeling really rejected and not wanted by my husband. My flesh wanted to be wanted. So, I went out and meet a man who was attracted to me. I began to relate to this man on the phone. One night I decided to go and sleep with this man to make me feel wanted. Long story short, before I was getting ready to have sex with this man, I was laying in the bed with him and he told me that he was HIV positive! Jesus!!
I got up, put my clothes on and said I have to go home to my husband. See, the devil knew I had escaped HIV many times before but I heard the devil say to me on my drive home “I am going to kill you if you cheat on your husband.” Mercy said no! God had mercy on me and spared me. I am so grateful and thankful that he told me his status before sleeping with me. However, he could have told me before we got in the bed because I asked him and he said he was negative. Anyway, God’s grace is sufficient in all things.
After that experience, I realized that I was suppose to live as married woman until something changed. Derrick and I divorced in January 2005. I was engaged, married, separated and divorced all in one year. This experience changed my life for the better because it made me realize that I did not trust God to send me a husband and that I did not have an authentic relationship with the father. My faith was shaken and I did backslide for awhile. Nevertheless, having the Holy Spirit on the inside on me would not allow me to sin comfortably. God is so faithful and his mercy endures forever!
Through it all, I rededicated my life to the Lord. Now, I have a strong relationship with the father. I know God wants me to use me for his glory and God loves me! I am still on this journey called life.