A Play by Play with Jesus
Society at large can’t make up its mind about men. Having spent the last thirty years redefining masculinity into something more sensitive, safe, manageable and, well, feminine, it now berates men for not being men. … ‘Where are all the real men?’ is regular fare for talk shows and new books. You asked them to be women, I want to say. The result is a gender confusion never experienced at such a wide level in the history of the world. How can a man know he is one when his highest aim is minding his manners.” Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge
This isn’t a football story, but it feels like a touchdown to me! Anytime someone overcomes an identity crisis I can’t help but cheer!
I was working late one summer afternoon. After finishing straightening the store I pulled out a book that seriously became my playbook on prayer. This book, Let Prayer Change Your Life by Becky Tirabassi, challenged my doubts in the power of prayer.
Remembering days in a dysfunctional family, I had been convinced that everyone had power but me.
Abused, neglected, and spiritually tortured from the age of 9 until my perceived release after high school graduation in 1989, I had developed a very different concept of God; in fact, my opinion of Him was that He was powerless. My dad tried to rescue me, report the alcoholic infused abuse by my mother and step-father, but to no avail. None of them prayed or talked about God and at the time, it seemed to me that they were the ones with all the power.
So, this book about praying everyday to God and actually talking to Him felt a little awkward to me. How do you talk to God? Why is it important to him?
I was consuming this book because everything the author said made sense and I was learning that God didn’t want anyone between me and him but Jesus. He wanted to talk to me himself. As if to prove His point, I had just read this line from the book,
…the Holy Spirit was a prompter to pray and that the results of prayer in a believer’s life would be obedience and powerful preaching.
No sooner had I underlined that sentence and in walked a man. The store was empty. It was the afternoon in Old Town Fort Collins where I worked in a fine ladies’ lingerie store.
I approached the man and asked him the normal questions. “Are you shopping for a gift?” I began.
He abruptly answered, “no.”
“…something special for your wife then?”
“No. I’m looking for something for me.”
His response caught me off guard. He was a very large man and for a moment I actually considered whether or not anything in our store would fit him. I retreated to the cash wrap not knowing how to help him. I began pacing and praying, thinking “This man is being lied to. This man is being lied to. Lord, this man is being lied to! Someone’s got to tell him. Someone’s got to tell him. I’ve got to tell him.
I’ve got to tell him!?
A powerful anointing fell on me at that moment. It was like God’s energy and His love for this man exploded into my spirit and there was nothing I could do but obey Him. So I walked over to the very large man, twice my size easily, and started talking to him. And I am only pointing out his size because in most circumstances this would make a 5’5” woman feel a little intimidated.
“You’re being lied to man, I said.” I never use the slang man, but that’s what came out! He had his coat draped over his arm and I noticed his name embroidered on it. I called him by name, “T___ you’re being lied to man. Then in walked one of the store owners.
God hit the pause button and everything stopped. I held my breath. She looked at me. I looked at her and gave the unspoken everything’s okay signal. She looked at him, and then she went to the back of the store to the office and closed the door.God hit the play button and the conversation continued.
“What do you mean, I’m being lied to?” He asked. He didn’t run away. He didn’t argue or deny anything. He simply asked, What do you mean I’m being lied to?
“Satan, is lying to you man. He has convinced you that you need to wear women’s clothing to feel good, complete and that this is somehow part of your identity. It isn’t! Satan is lying to you man! He is robbing you!”
Just then the store owner opened the office door to leave. Pause. She looked at me and I gave her the head nod that everything was okay again. She left as abruptly as she had arrived. The man had wandered to the front of the store, patiently waiting for our conversation to pick up again. I was surprised to see that he wasn’t leaving.
I joined him at the front of the store and he began admitting that “this urge comes over me and I can’t control it.” He explained in detail his struggles with an addiction of secretly wearing women’s clothing. The pile of guilt that came off of that man was impressive!
“I know someone who can help,” I said.
Lord, are we doing this now, in a lingerie shop?
“Who? Who can help me with this?” he asked in desperation.
“Jesus can help you. All you have to do is say a simple prayer and He will walk you through the rest.” I reached out my hands to this big guy. As he grabbed on, my hands disappeared in his. “Repeat after me,” I began.
Jesus, I need you in my life. I have sinned and tried to take care of it by myself. I can’t do it alone any longer. I agree with you, that you died for me and rose again so that I could truly live. I want You in my life. I invite you into my heart. You have forgiven me and scrubbed me clean. I accept your gift of love. Amen.
After he prayed, he admitted to having a wife. He thought she suspected something. I encouraged him to tell her because Satan keeps us in bondage with the secret. He agreed to tell her. An hour or so later, he called me, nervous to tell his wife about his fetish with women’s lingerie. I cheered him on. He confessed.
Years later he would share his testimony with many men. That was eighteen years ago. He is still married today, he and his wife love Jesus and they have a son! Today he is on an adventure with a Warrior named Jesus working together setting other men free!
I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).
God loves you! Believe it!