There is has been a request by several people that I lay out the details of the marriage that ended in 2001 and what actions I have taken recently. I am making this public because transparency is critical to those who want to walk in the Spirit. As Pentecostals, we must seek to be to walk out Galatians 6:1-2.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
I have never put this much information about the marriage out there before. However, I believe the time has come to boldly tell people exactly what, why, who and how. I have chosen to not speak against my ex-wife publicly for many years.
What are the facts
- She abandoned the marriage on June 1, 2001 in Tulsa.
- She refused any type of martial counseling.
- She filed for divorce within 10 days of being able to in Topeka.
- She named our son with her last name.
- The divorce was final in December 2001.
This is not “blaming her.” (I made many mistakes that I should not have!) This is the facts that are back by court documents. While the driving force was her mother (who has her own martial history that is quite interesting), no one forced her to act in the way she did from from June 2001 to December 2001.
At least two pastors went to her asking to give pastoral counseling a try. One of them even was willing to drive 90 minutes to meet with her. He made numerous calls to her seeking to save the marriage. All through this process, I openly was willing to work through the problems. Any claims that I did not want to save the marriage or I was unwilling to work on the issues is complete lies.
It is also noteworthy that I continued to believe for, pray for, and hope for the marriage to be restored from 2001 all the way until 2006. Several people that knew me during this time (I was at IHOPKC then) could confirm that I remain hopeful for something to happen.
Fast forward to February 13, 2019. My ex-wife and son (more on him later) was not on my mind. I was in the mountains in Tennessee praying for revival as is my customs. I will not go into all the details of it but the presence came and the Holy Spirit dealt with me about the issue afresh. Mind you, I have not given it any thought for over 13 years. God told me to deal with the family and put it together.
At the time, I believed she was still re-married and did not understand the commission from the Lord. It was an old friend that tip me off that things had changed. After an extended fast, I sent her a letter asking to open communication and that I wanted to talk to my son.
I returned to be openly willingly to work through the issues. I had engaged with some pastors that have a martial restoration ministry in Kansas City to prepare the way for anything that could happen. It is also worth stating that I was willing to let anything be out in the open. It would have meant extreme vulnerability and accountability from this ministry.
However, just like it was in the fall of 2001; it was myself being willing to engage with the team but the other party was not. This has been the story repeated.
What about my son?
I have on several attempts trying to communicate. Sadly, my ex-wife has gone out of her way to prevent my son from have a relationship with me. He is currently 17 and will be an adult soon. At which time, I hope to build that relationship. It will not be easy changing the engine in mid-flight so to speak. However, a principal from football applies: take what is given to you. That will be building a relationship with my son as an adult. That is something I am committed to seeing through.
This is not ideal. It is far from it, in fact. Would it have been better to built it from when he was a young boy? It would have been. The ideal would have been to address the problems my ex-wife and I had and restored the family. Family restoration is always the heart of God. The result of brokenness, bitterness, and hatred has become a broken family.
A natural question many might have is about my time outside the country. I spend most of 2006-2007; 2009-2012; 2013-2018 living internationally. Was that wrong given I had a son that was small? It is not a simple question to answer. However, I would have re-considered my travels if being in my son’s life was an option. It was not made an option by forces outside my control.
With that said, I want to be very clear on something: I did not put forth the effort to be the father I should have been. The reasons for this is much more complex than I want to share here. I could have tried harder even with the condition of the relationship with my ex-wife.
Did the PTSD cause damage?
Indirectly. Much of the trauma was hidden from people after I came to Christ. It is not that I was afraid. It was that people would not see me the same knowing the trauma. Let’s fact it: the Pentecostal church can be very judgmental. I also did not believe that any one needed to know. It was under the blood, after all (or so I thought).
To have been through what I experienced as a teenager is not something that is really anyone’s business. I wanted to not even remember that time in my life. The problem I found out is people don’t really believe that old things have passed away and new things have come. It is just a great sermon but no one really believes it.
The missteps I made along the way in 2001 are there. I made them. I have my reasons for why they happened. I have walked through the missteps. I have long taken responsibility for those missteps. It would be too easy to just pull the “PTSD card.”
So where do I stand on the marriage?
I am pretty much standing where I have always stood: I am willing to have open and honest dialog in the context of restoration. I remain to come to the table as an open book about the issues that led us to a broken family and lack of communication with my son if it is in relationship to pastoral care. However, without the other party willing to engage, there is no discussion to be had.
As things are, I have no reason to believe there will be changes. I know, without question, that I obeyed the Lord in the context of the commission He gave me on February 13. I put everything aside to be ready to put the family back together. That is what the Lord told me to do and I have done it.
With that said, I believe there is no other options but to return to the vision that has driven me since I was born again in 1996. The call to proclaim revival to the nation has been my passion since I was radically saved. It was actually in the pursuit of revival that my ex-wife and I came together. I have remained faithful to that call.
I have taken most of 2018 to heal from another experience and then 2019, the focus has been on attempting to put the family back together (as was the commission from the Lord). However, after spending 24 months healing and believing for a miracle; I believe that 2020, it will be time to re-launch the US ministry.
In many ways, I am returning to the basics. I am going back to the heartbeat of the call of God on my life. What was my passions and core message in 1998? It will be out of that that true and pure ministry flows. I am not asking what will get people on the mailing list or will get donations but what was my focus when I was first called of God to revival?
I don’t have all the answers. I do not I will not be worrying about the finances. If anything, that is something I have done way too much of. I am in a place of asking the Lord what it will look like. All I know at this point is that it will be centered on the Holy Spirit and the core message of revival.
I am almost taking the time to sit down and take hard looks at how many revival ministries started. I believe there is things we have missed in the “cleaned up version” of church history that be understandings.
Special Note: Thanks
I want to thank all the people who have walked along the way with me through this painful experience. There are people who walked with me on it in 2001 and later as well as other people who walked through it with me in 2019. I am sorry that the efforts fail to the ground. It was my desire that it would ended otherwise.