Growing up was a long and sometimes painful road. As a teenager, I got involved in drugs and alcohol. I watched some of my friends go off the deep end in my early 20s, but by the grace of God I managed not to follow down that road.
Instead, I went to college in Orlando and ended up getting marrying to a Mormon missionary. Of course, I had no idea that Mormonism was a cult at the time. All I knew, really, was that he seemed holy and righteous. He was kind and had a servant’s heart. Although I wasn’t saved at the time, those qualities were attractive to me.
But things soon took a dark turn.
Falsely Accused By Police
I was forced to call the police during an argument with my then-fiancé. I was frightened and dialed 911. When the police arrived and put my future Mormon husband in handcuffs I began to plead with them not to take him. I didn’t want him to go to jail. The female officer warned me to, “Shut up or I’ll say you hit me.”
Of course, at the time I probably looked like someone who would have hit a cop. I had a partially shaved head, a black strip of hair hanging in front of my eyes, several tattoos and an eyebrow piercing. But I never hit a cop. My mistake was that I naively opened my mouth and incredulously said, “You can’t do that!” Well, she did. She charged me with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence and carted me off to jail, but not before roughing me up and leaving me with bruises all over my body.
That sent me into a tailspin. The people who were supposed to protect me caused me great harm. I went back to the familiar drugs and alcohol, went on a spending spree with money I won in a lawsuit, traveled from New York to Key West and back again a few times, started hanging out with international cocaine dealers—one of which who was shot dead on his way over to our hangout—and otherwise set out with a vengeance to destroy my life.
Married With Children
The scenery changed again when my Mormon fiancé got an assignment in Miami and we moved to South Beach within a year of that incident. That largely put an end to the tailspin. We lived on South Beach in an Art Deco building and got married within a month. I started assisting a local photographer and enrolled in the Art Institute to study photography.
I got pregnant a few months after that and had to drop out of photography school because of the chemicals in the lab, so I started writing. My professional career took off big time. I was working with CBS/Winstar on an Internet magazine and making big money. My Mormon husband, though, was hardly working because his industry took a downturn. He became the primary caregiver of our daughter while I was working about 80 hours a week to pay the bills.
One day, when my daughter was two years old, my Mormon husband got on a plane to Honduras. He was supposed to be gone for two weeks. I knew he was going through something—it seemed like an early mid-life crisis or a deep depression—so I gave him space. After about three weeks, my best friend told me I should try to find him; that he could be sitting in a Central American jail for all I knew, waiting for me to rescue him.
Abandoned With a Baby
Using my journalistic contacts, I tracked him down. The American Embassy told me he had never stepped foot in Honduras. At that point, I was worried. But I found an AP contact who gave me a telephone number to a place he was last seen in El Salvador. When I dialed the number, a man answered and we had a conversation in Spanish that went something like this:
“I am looking for my husband.”
“Who’s this?” the man asked.
“This is his wife.”
“His wife? He told me you were divorced. He’s marrying my daughter.”
My jaw dropped. I never expected that in a million years. I told the man to have my husband call me because his daughter was very sick with an allergic reaction to a bug bite. Within hours, the phone rang. My husband had no idea that I knew what was going on. When I told him, he said he was coming home in a few days, in time for Thanksgiving. I told him I never wanted to see his face again—and I haven’t. He married that woman and had two children. But we’ve never seen his face again. I’m grateful that my Mormon husband abandoned me now, but I wasn’t too happy about it then.
Angry With God
I was devastated. Although I didn’t want him back, I was angry with God. I remember leaning over my bed, on my knees, weeping. I remember blaming God. I remember shaking my fist at Him and screaming out, “Why did you let this happen?” I didn’t get an answer.
I prayed a lot during those times and I am sure that God, in His mercy, did help me. But things in my life got worse before they got better. I ended up landing in jail for a crime I didn’t commit. See, when we moved to Miami I was on probation after pleading “no contest” to charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. I had no choice but to plead out because it was my word against the cop’s and the cop had another dirty cop as a witness.
Before we moved down to Miami, my mother went with me to transfer my probation. They said everything was in order and gave me permission to go. Somehow, some way some paperwork slipped through the cracks. I never received it and I had moved on with my life, marrying and getting pregnant and having the baby, then building a career and getting abandoned. It turned out there had been a warrant for my arrest for several years and I never knew it. It was only as I was filing divorce papers that my attorney found the warrant and told me to hire a criminal defense attorney immediately and not to return to my home. The sentence for violating probation was five years in prison. My daughter was almost three years old at that time.
Blackmailed By a Maid
A Colombian family that had recently befriended me helped me get another apartment under their name so I could take the time to secure legal protection. But soon, that relationship turned sour. These Colombians started stealing money from me and making offers to have my ex-husband killed for a price. Fearful, I contacted an old friend in Tampa, who came and moved me back to my home town in the middle of the night.
Things began to settle down. I hired an attorney with a $15,000 retainer who said he could get the whole thing dismissed with a little community service. It was a respected law firm and I believed them. What I didn’t count on was my maid dropping the dime on me just days before I relocated to New York City to be closer to my CBS/Winstar assignment.
The maid agreed to pack up my goods for $300. But when the job was done, she wanted double that. I refused to pay her the extra money because she was taking advantage of me and I was tired of being wronged. The next thing I knew, cops were beating down my door in the middle of the night. It seems America’s Most Wanted was in town and she turned me in for reward money. I was arrested and taken to the Tampa jail before being transferred to Orlando with shackles on my feet and cuffs on my hands. It was humiliating.
I spent 40 days in jail before I was released. I also lost every penny I had defending myself in court. And my business went belly-up in the dot-com bubble. When I got out of jail, I was vindicated. But I was also without any job and any money. And I had a three-year-old daughter to feed. But I did have something that I didn’t have before I was arrested—I had God.
Saved Through a Prison Ministry
Thank God, a well-known evangelistic group was touring with sports stars and actors who were giving their testimonies of Jesus. I would have missed the tour through the jail if I hadn’t feigned an illness thinking that would get me back home. I spent several days handcuffed to a bed in Florida Hospital before they gave me a clean bill of health and send me back to the jail.
Bill Glass Champions for Life was there on the day I returned to general pop. I gave my heart to the Lord and was prepared for whatever I might face. God spoke clearly to my heart that I would be released on the 40th day. It was an impossibility because the judge had already denied me bond two times, even with an ankle bracelet on home arrest, and had gone on vacation. He wouldn’t be back until well after the 40th day.
For weeks, God used passages in my jailhouse Bible to highlight the significance of the number 40, which is symbolic of trials and testing. I was hardly a student of the Word, yet everywhere I turned in the Bible the number 40 was illuminated. During Noah’s day, it rained on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. Israel wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years. Ezekiel laid on his side for 40 days as a prophetic act.
God was speaking to me by His Spirit and by His Word. I was in fact released on the 40th day—without ever standing before a judge. I had lost 50 pounds in 40 days, so they had to fingerprint me to verify my identity. The in the end, I have no criminal record. God vindicated me.
My Wilderness Place
After being released from jail, the Lord swiftly led me to a wilderness place in Ozark, Alabama. The population was 15,000. A far cry from the 5 million in South Florida. It was a quiet place where I could get my life back together. I said I’d never move back to South Florida, but the Holy Spirit sent me back 13 months later for my next assignment.
Today, I am on top of the world. I am the director of the Awakening House of Prayer and serve on the leadership team of the New Breed Revivalists Network.I have traveled to 12 nations. I have produced Christian television broadcasts and documentaries. I’m the senior editor at Charisma magazine. I’ve served in jail ministry. And I’ve written several books along the way.
In November 2007, I published my first book, The Heart of the Prophetic. Ernest Gentile, Graham Cooke, Bill Hamon, and R. Loren Sanford, among others, all offered their endorsements for the manuscript, which was both exciting and humbling. I’ve since written several additional books and plan to write many more as the Lord leads.
My passion is to see people equipped with the knowledge and weapons to fulfill their purpose in Christ. Though I have a teaching ministry, I have learned that I can equip far more people through writing because books and magazines go around the world far quicker than I ever could.
When I write my books, it’s usually in response to personal challenges I’ve faced or issues the Lord wants me to address as a prophetic voice. My books are based on revelations God gave me concerning problems like wrestling with doubt, building spiritual maturity, doing spiritual warfare with the spirit of Jezebel and witchcraft, or learning how to get to the next level in my prophetic calling.
My prayer is that some of the struggles that I have faced and overcome can help you. I’m thankful for those that have reached out to help me and now I want to be able to give back. Whether you looking for the truth about how to operate in prophetic ministry, how to find the determination within yourself to pursue your dreams and destiny, or just need some encouragement along the way, I want to help you like others have helped me.