The hidden half of domestic violence
How to have eternal life
Although Joe is a new member of Shattered Men, is story is typical of those in our group. Please notice that it is Jesus that made the difference in his life. This same Jesus can make the difference in you my friend. I am looking forward to getting to know Joe better. As our opening statement says, we may have been abused alone, but we are healing together..and we have been TOUCHED BY THE MASTERS HAND.
My name is Joe. I'd like to share with
you my story of how, after
completely screwing up my life for almost 40 years, I found Christ,
or better yet, how HE FOUND ME! It's a bit long, so please bear with
I was born in March of 1959 in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Puerto Rican
Immigrants. My father moved to NY in the late 1940's. My mother and
him met in 1957, and later married in 1958. It was the second
marriage for each of them. He had 6 previous children, she had one.
I grew up in a family that really put the "fun" in "dysfunctional."
Incest was rampant and a well-accepted "short-coming" in my family.
Much of it wasn't voluntary incest. As a matter of fact I would say
that more than half of it was actually rape. Fathers against
daughters, uncles vs. nieces, cousins vs. cousins, etc.
The family was well into "espiritismo"; spiritualism and/or
witchcraft. Drugs and alcohol was a major part of my family's
lifestyle. I remember witnessing many adulterous affairs during my
early childhood. I imagine satan was having a beautiful time seeing
how most of my family was a willing participant in the destruction of
our beloved family unit: Family members unremorseful of the
emotional and physical pain they were voluntarily inflicting on the
upcoming generation of the '60's.
My parents divorced in 1968 following numerous adulterous affairs on
each other. The pain of growing up in a family like mine just kept
gnawing at my insides. But like they say, "when it rains, it
pours!" In 1969 I became the victim of sexual abuse at the hand's of
my sister's boyfriend. I was 10 years old.
To this date I had never told anyone. I just added that to the
luggage I was already carrying.
In 1971, at the age of 12, I was introduced to the world of drugs and
alcohol. I began to use and abuse marijuana, cocaine, and any other
type of hallucinogenic I could get my hands on. From "black
beauties" to "acid". From Quaaludes to paint thinner. All the while
I was introduced to the street life, hanging on the street corners
and "gang-banging". None of this could numb the pain I constantly
felt. None of it could fill the void left in my life because of my
I met a beautiful young lady in 1985 and we married one year later.
She was everything I ever wanted in a woman. Beauty both inside and
out, AND she LOVED ME! She was a Christian girl; it seemed like God
finally decided to show up in my life. But then in 1995 all hell
literally broke loose: Adultery; that generational curse that kept
my family in bondage for God knows how many generations, came
knocking at my door. Since I didn't really have God in my life, I was
easily snatched into its claws. That vile curse that had destroyed
dozens of couples in my family over generations, was now doing its
work on my immediate family.
I succumbed to the temptations of the flesh and didn't look back. I
confessed it to my wife about a year later, but the pain I caused her
was too much for her to bear and after 3 years of never-ending agony,
she threw me out of my home. I lost her and my three children because
of the weakness of my flesh. I became despondent. I had three
unsuccessful attempted suicides. I was hospitalized in a mental ward
for my suicidal tendencies. I was released once they "successfully"
treated the symptoms, but they never cured the disease. I began
using drugs once again in 1998. My use got worse as time went by
without being able to return home. I was gone for 6 months and still
there was no hope of reconciliation. The more hopeless I felt, the
more drugs I used. God and I were worlds apart. "After all," I
said: "What had He ever done for me?"
I kept doing hard drugs until Jan 25, 1999. Then on Jan. 26,1999 I
checked into Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ where
I underwent an elective surgical procedure. Something went
drastically wrong and I developed an infection. This infection caused
a condition known as "Septicemia" or in layman's terms, "Septic
Shock". As this infection spread, it settled in my brain, sending me
into a coma. They tell me my heart stopped three times and both my
lungs collapsed. People often ask if I "saw the light"! The answer is
no! No light. What I did see was a vision. In it I was walking down a
street and I turned a corner. What I saw may be disturbing to some
and unbelievable to many. I was in what appeared to be an alley. In
there I noticed people stuck in the ground; only the upper half of
their torsos protruding from within. I don't mean to sound
judgmental or stereotypical, but they seemed dirty and their clothes
were torn & ragged, like bums.
There was much crying and tribulation here. As I walked among them,
some grabbed at my legs, begging for me to help them. I was scared
and confused. I couldn't find a way out of this "Hell Hole".
Everywhere I turned was a dead end. Suddenly, I felt someone touch me
behind my left shoulder. I turned to fend off the "possible attack".
As I did a heard a voice say to me: "Give me your hand and I will
lead you out of here, for you don't belong here!" As this was spoken
I saw a hand appear. Reluctantly, I reached out for the hand. Why, I
don't know, but I let him pull me. He led me around a corner and
Glory be to GOD, I awoke from the coma that had held me captive for
three months & four days.
I don't need a degree to realize that I was in the jaws of Hell and
it was Jesus Christ who snatched me from it! For as it is written in
Matthew 18:11(NKJV) "For the Son of Man has come to save that which
was lost!", He came to save me! Praise be to GOD! He's been so
faithful to me. Even the vicious snake that I was, not seeking Him
nor actually acknowledging His existence! Yet He still He sought me
and acknowledged mine! LORD, you're so Beautiful! Since then I
accepted Jesus Christ as my LORD and SAVIOR. He restored my
marriage, which I had shredded to pieces due to my infidelity. Then,
to show me that He had only just begun His work in me, he restored me
to perfect health, delivering me from the cane that the doctors' said
would be a permanent part of my life due to the residual effects that
the coma had done to my brain.
All those years I was tricked by satan. He led me to believe that
God was a figment of people's imagination. If He were real, He would
have NEVER allowed all the pain that I endured! But saints, THE
DEVIL IS A LIAR!!! The devil had an assignment to destroy my life
and literally kill me, but God had other plans for me; His perfect
will for my life! I know my God is real. I know that throughout all
those years of pain and suffering, the only reason I was still alive
was because He had His hand over me! He saved me for a higher
calling. He saw me through ALL that pain so that I may one day
testify, that God is a God of restoration. That day is today, saints!
After all I endured, I am still here only by His grace! Three failed
suicide attempts, a rape, rampant & incessant criminal activity,
numerous brushes with the law, drug & alcohol abuse, aggravated
assaults against me, multiple possibly fatal accidents, a few
attempts against my life, being declared clinically dead THREE times
during that 1999 hospital stay. Yet I am here today, a living
testimony to God's enduring mercy and amazing grace! Because of His
love for ME, I am here shouting to the North, South, East, & West of
His wonder-working power! Hallelujah! He kept me during the worst
moments of my life; He delivered me from the claws of evil, He
justified me in the eyes of the world, & will continue to
show my family that I have survived not BECAUSE of, but IN SPITE of
My God, my God, my God, how majestic is Your Name! My Soul praises
You now and forever more! I will continue to lift up Your name,
Lord, and proclaim that there is no other God. There is none like
You, Jesus! I am eternally grateful to You. YOU have called &
qualified me to go to the world: The hurting, the sick, the
destitute, the gang-banger, the drug-dealer, the homeless, the
prostitute, the abused and the abusers, let's not forget the girl
next door; and testify to them of what You have done for me so that
they may find their hope in knowing what You are willing to do for
them. Lord, order my steps, be a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto
my path. In Jesus' name I pray, amen!
"You have hedged me behind & before & laid Your hand upon me. Such
knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high,
I cannot attain to it." Psalm 139:5-6
Brethren: Remember that our past is not there for us to dwell on;
it is there as a reminder of what our God freed us of.
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
John 8:36 (KJV) It is not to be used as a crutch to
lean on, nor as a weapon to sling at others, whether they were
directly involved in our sufferings or in the sufferings of
others. It is to be used as an encouraging tool for others going
through a storm. We are to pray for those that hurt us.
We are to ask God to help bring these people into repentance, and
that He show them the mercy and grace He bestowed upon us,
for we are not sinless, we are forgiven. If we choose to remember
those that hurt us, how can we then expect to forget the
pain we also inflicted on others? When will be totally set free?
When we make the conscious decision to truly
"forgive & forget". We are to forgive the same way much has been
forgiven to us. If you still feel the need to cling to
Cling to the cross.......................................
Remember, saints: His greatest promise is yet to come: "And God
shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall
be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be
any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Revelations
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
Redeemed By His Blood Web Ministries
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JUNE is Domestic Violence Against Men Awareness Month