I was born Catholic. Both my mom and Dad were total Catholics. They put my brothers and sisters and I in Parochial school from the first grade. I was an altar boy and went to catechism school and received all of my sacraments, first communion confirmation, graduated and my name and scrolls were sent to the pope. They kept all of us happy and protected and raised us up in the Word. I grew up loving the Lord with all of my heart, mind and soul. My faith, trust and love of Him was insurmountable and beyond all reproach. All I knew was Him, His love for us, and is undeniable, unlimited power and protection of us.
I was finally allowed to go to public school, and even though my parents warned me to stay prayed up, to stay on the path because the devil roams around like a roaring lion seeking those he can consume. I didn’t fully understand. I though they meant like literally, so I was looking for the visually apparent evil. But they meant spiritually, the secretly most hidden and discreet the unnoticeable evil. unless you fully realize this truth and seek the Lord, selflessly with good works, good will, learning His wisdom, His Words, with a humble, grateful and blessed heart, there being fully dressed in the full armor of God–You are clueless and don’t have a chance in this world, not s single chance of surviving his fiery darts that will corrupt, torture, destroy and steal your salvation and joy with all your blessings in the here and hereafter.
So I went to school exposed to the world I had been isolated from. By the time I reached High School, I still hadn’t had a girlfriend yet.
So I met this girl named Karen. She was one year older than me and she had been watching me from middle school and had a crush on me. She told me so. It made me blush and I felt so excited. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know anything about girls and I told her so. I told her my parents wouldn’t allow me to have a girlfriend until I graduated High School. She laughed and said I didn’t have a choice-that I was her boyfriend and she kissed me. She said she would teach me how to be my own man.
This is how the enemy starts to make a snare, a trap for you. I was as easy as that. Everything I learned about, obedience, about following the path that the Lord had planned for me, and about selflessness vs. selfishness was forgotten and put aside. So I kissed her back and said okay. She said she only dated grown men but I was perfect, because I was so green she could teach me everything I needed to be her perfect man. We became High School sweethearts. She was so sweet to me, so patient. Every time I made a mistake or did something dumb, she would just laugh and say, “That’s why you are so cute to me because you’re so naïve and green.”
So we made it through High School and were so, so very in love with each other we decided to go to the same college, what we would become, where we would live, how many kids we would have and what we would name them, etc. We went to prom together and grad night we ended up spending the night together because my parents were out of town.
This is how the enemy baits his snare, his trap. During the night she said she had some things to tell me, but she never did tell me. We started college. We drove to school together every day. I’d pick her up and drop her off after school. My birthday came up and we went out I took her home. What I didn’t know was that she was living two lives. She was with me but she was also in a gang—5nine east coast on Slauson and Compton blvd south central east side. She also had another boyfriend and he was from the same hood. I guess she was trying to leave him and start all over again—a new life, a new beginning, or just trying to be both. Only God and she knows. We got grabbed by him and his hood beat us up severely. She got raped right next to me then they threw me in the back of one of their cars, took me to the Pablo housing projects on 54th and Compton, pepper sprayed me and threw me out an shot a couple times in the air. I ran down t he ally, I was in shock. I couldn’t process what just happened so I climbed through the window of my bedroom so nobody would see me. I was all messed up, crying and tripping out. I couldn’t believe it. All I thought was—where is God? Why did He let this happen? Why did he let me down like this?
This is how the enemy lies and blames it all on God to get you, and steal your salvation. I was messed up mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually .I didn’t tell anyone what happened. Days passed by and I was unable to contact her and she didn’t show up for school. On the third day the LAPD southwest division called be down to the station on King Blvd. by Crenshaw. I thought Karen had gone down there and told them what happened, so I wrote my parents a note and went down there. When I got down there, they started asking me all kinds of questions, then they asked me to come into this room. I went in and in the very next room was Karen’s body on the other side of the glass. I fell down and started crying and screaming and yelling. My heart felt like my chest was crushing it, my stomach hurt so bad I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t breathe, and I felt myself losing my mind. They started yelling at me and beating me up with their batons. They thought I did it because O was all beat up from the other night. My mom finally cam and too me home, but I couldn’t talk. All I could do was cry and scream. When I got home I was having nightmares, crying and screaming, begging the Lord. If He could just bring her back. Promising everything, making all kind of deals. If he would just bring her back to me. But He didn’t. So I ended up hating Him, Blaming Him. I went out of my way to do everything I could to hurt Him and to hurt my parents for lying to me about Him and His loyalty and love for me.
This is how the enemy puts you to work for Him, but how the Lord doesn’t give up on you or let you give up on Him. This is how we win; we have won by the love, virtues and graces of God.
Two months after her death and funeral I have advanced in my aspirations to be worthy of my past as the Lord’s newest, greatest enemy. My greatest false joy is doing drugs (weed, sherm, acid, pills, everything and anything with an alcohol chaser) all day, every day and also aggressive proactive violence. I’m hanging out with gang members trying to shock them and teach them how to do gang activity the right way. One day, Karen’s home girl pops up, and even though the police had already caught and was prosecuting the person that killed her (her other boyfriend) there had been two guys with him that helped him rape, torture and stab her to death—over seventeen times in her chest, ten times in her back and multiple stab wounds in her face. She found me and told me where the other two were and who they were. I got in her car and she had a $20 pour of sherm—two shermsticks (2 cigarette dipped into the sherm to soak it up and smoke it),an AK47 sitting in the backseat and a bottle of Paul Masson in her hand. I hit the shermstick once, took a couple of shots and said: Let’s go. I was already used to shooting people, shooting at people, beating them up, stabbing them, jacking them for cash, cars and jewelry, etc. So I thought I was ready. But those things were just what the enemy was using to kill, steal and destroy everything I had in my life. She took me and I left with blood on my hands. My whole world changed—not at first, not immediately, but not long after either. The pain that I had desensitized with my lost evil ways immediately came back, but like ten times more powerfully. I thought revenge would give me peace, but compared to how it made me feel, the first pain of losing her, was nothing-nothing. Knowing I couldn’t hurt the me gain for her, the anger in knowing I couldn’t hurt them again for her, the knowledge of the loss of my core innocence, the knowledge that now I was just like them. I hated myself as much as I hated them for what they did. When you have blood on your hands, everything quickly becomes very clear and a veil is lifted from over your eyes and you no longer need to process truth from non truth. The enemy releases you from his trap to let you see the reality of what you’ve become so you can feel hopeless- lost beyond redemption. And freely without manipulation In your ne empowered form choose, serve and worship him, doing more of his works and because of jealousy, punishing and corrupting the innocent—especially the little ones who are His most special and most vulnerable. She took me home and kept me at her house next to the Pueblo Housing Projects in LA South Central and kept me there for weeks—turned into months, turned into years. With her I did everything under the sun I wanted to—all bad with a little good. I was hanging with the 20 outlaw’s blood gang on Martin Luther King Blvd and Central on the east side of South Central LA. That’s where we had moved to. She was 35 and I was twenty. While I was there selling dope, prostituting myself, shooting at people, fighting every day, watching all of my friends die one by one, a friend came up to me–My best friend since middle school.
This is how God shows you He still loves you, and your pain and your scars and that He’s never left your side since the day you were born. You just couldn’t see or hear Him, through your own faults that He had forgiven you for before they even happened.
He told me his little cousin who was from Venice Shoreline Crip gang was about to move to my neighborhood because she had gotten her mother’s house in the Culver City Projects shot up—so they had to move. I said yes and when she came, I took her with me everywhere I went. One day I told her: “Tell me what you are so I can be that too.” She said: Okay, and we did her worst every day until she couldn’t take it anymore. She said she’d had enough and wanted to change. We took all the money we made doing crime and bought a house in La Sierra Riverside—Bushnell and Gramercy by the Tyler Galleria. One day she found my Catechism book and asked me what it was, so I read it to her every day. One day she told me to watch the Kids. We had two by then. She went to Queen of Angels Church and enrolled in Catechism class. I watched the kids every day until she graduated—her first communion through confirmation and her scrolls and name went to the pope. Six kids later and no matter what happens in my life, I am so happy and so grateful that the Lord never left me and always knew that I would end up with blood on my hands but that I would come home to him a prodigal son-but with a lost sheep, and he would welcome us home, wash the blood off our hands and let us rest and then end us out to bring home more lost sheep.
This is how the enemy lost and we by the virtues and grace of God have already won. Amen