About the Author
TO WHOM THE LORD LOVES
I am a 57 year old, former minister and I want to tell you my story and how the Lord opened my eyes to the destructiveness of cross-dressing. I tried to keep it simple and not belabor it, but unfortunately it is still too long.
Hebrews 12 says:
And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
On a particular day, I was checking out of a store when I suddenly felt weak and dizzy as if I was going to black out. I took deep breaths and was able to recoup and get home. But the sensation continued and so I went to the emergency room. Blood test, EKG and x-rays revealed all was well so they concluded it was dehydration and released me.
Then a week later, the symptoms returned, and I felt in a constant state of nausea and dizziness. I was praying to God for relief but felt as if my prayers went only as far as the ceiling. No one was listening.
The symptoms continued with a vengeance. My heart was racing, I had to take deep breaths and I felt like I was constantly going to black out. My wife took me to the emergency room and again after all the tests, they could find nothing and released me.
I was very anxious now and crying out to God for answers. I was walking in a cloud of uncertainty and in an overall sense of fear. I had a horrible nights sleep and woke up around 3 am, not able to get back to sleep. I was seeking the Lord the best I could, but deep in my gut it felt futile. I began to suspect that this was the hand of God’s chastisement on my life, for I had plenty to be chastised over.
The next morning I walked into the bedroom and my body had the sensation as if it was now completely shutting down. I felt myself not just blacking out but feeling as if my heart was going to simply stop. I actually said to my wife, “This is it. My life is over.” I crumpled on the bed and began to say my goodbyes to her. My goodbye was pathetic. It was one continual apology. I apologized for being such a lousy husband and not treasuring her, I apologized for not being the man of God I should have been and I apologized for not giving her the life she deserved and so on. She brushed all that aside and just told me to take deep breaths. The physical sensation subsided a bit so she called the ambulance.
On the way to the hospital, not knowing if this was my last day on earth, I say with shame that I was scrambling for a prayer. You see, the guy in the back of that ambulance was the biggest fraud on the planet and the game was over. I was a Christian hypocrite who portrayed a life of godliness, who could battle anyone in the arena of theology, who could talk the “Jesus Talk,” but was living a double life.
For decades I lived this cyclical routine of pursuing Christ in prayer and scripture, and generally living as I thought a believer should, only to swap it out when the desire arose in a lustful, sensual world of cross-dressing (mostly in nylons, panties and slips but other times in full female outfits). You see I have been cross-dressing since kindergarten and since I discovered masturbation through it, it was now a permanent part of my life. It was my secret hidden life that was with me all through my youth, marriage and pastorate. It was my security, my safe haven, my place to go when the pressures were too much or when I felt depressed, or I was facing problems. It was my comfort, my warmth, my home. I had a love/hate relationship with it but apparently more love than hate. Suffice it to say, I was living a double life and my mind was corrupted, trying to serve two masters, both Christ and the base desires of the flesh. And as a Jesus said, it cannot be done.
I could be spiritual when I needed to be spiritual, would seek Christ in prayer (and truly mean it) but would have to admit that Wesley’s hymn described my failure:
I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
Would not hearken to His calls,
Grieved Him by a thousand falls.
I have spilt His precious blood,
Trampled on the Son of God,
Filled with pangs unspeakable,
I, who yet am not in hell!
I my Master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
And profaned His hallowed Name,
Put Him to an open shame.
I moved onto pornography, mostly sites of women sensually clad in lingerie, nylons and the like, but then moving onto sites that are too embarrassing to discuss. Though I was not committing adultery in the literal sense, I was guilty of the same, for this is a sin that takes place in the heart and mind, not necessarily in the arms of another woman. I found excuses for my sin, spiritual excuses and I found these excuses because in the end, I loved my sin. It was a pleasure too much for me to give up. There were times I would fight against it, truly seeking Christ for that deliverance, knowing it was destructive to my relationship with Him, but in the end, I would give in under the pretense that it was just too difficult a battle to maintain. Truthfully, it was blatant idolatry.
I would justify it by thinking:
“Well, I’m a guy, I have needs.”
“Things aren’t going good in my life, I guess I’ll just escape the reality of what is.”
“Seems like God doesn’t really care about my situation. Oh well, I’ll just balance the scales on my own.”
“One of these days my walk with Christ will be what it ought to be, but for now…”
When it came to this particular sin, I would have to shelf Jesus, so to speak. I was a man in bondage, sometimes unwillingly, many times willingly. I was a slave of corruption as the Apostle says. ”For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” (2 Pt 2:19)
Later, I would turn back to Christ with typical religious guilt and pseudo-repentance. Other times my repentance was deeply sincere, times when I really meant business spiritually only to do as the Apostle Peter describes, return to my sin as a dog to its vomit. I believe this is why God removed me from the ministry years ago and why he put me on the shelf in return. Christ only uses pure vessels. He didn’t need this filthy one. This is why my life never amounted to anything spiritually. How could it? The prophet Jeremiah says: “Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you.”
I was living a roller coaster Christianity, up one day, down another day. It was a pattern of life I became use to. I didn’t know any other way. And yet, through it all the hand of God was still gracious and the goodness of God still evident. But I was doing what Paul accused the Romans of: “Do you despise the riches of God’s goodness (kindness), forbearance (patience), and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4).
Little did I reflect upon the fact that I was putting myself in spiritual jeopardy. Paul goes on the write: “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good (i.e. pursuing Christ) but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousnessindignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil . For there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:5-11)
So here I was now, in the back of this ambulance, knowing only that this could be my last day on earth, and I would soon face Christ to give an account for my failed life and why I kept choosing the path of sin over obedience to Christ. My confidence of eternal salvation was weak at best, and I was scrambling for every prayer I could think of. I was pleading the blood of Jesus, I was begging his forgiveness, I was trying to claim verses but in the end, I knew I was found out. My peace was gone, my assurance had eroded and I was scared, literally, about death. This should not be the way a true believer in Christ should face death, and I knew my sin had found me out.
The most horrific experience in the back of that ambulance was “regret.” Regret over a wasted life. Regret that I treated the most precious gift of the Gospel as if it were one of many items in a toy box. Regret that I had played around with Christianity rather than experienced it in all the Resurrection glory that Christ intended I should. Regret that I was not the man of God, living to the potential that I should have been with my wife and children. Regret that I traded out prayer time for selfish living, regret that I assumed upon the mercy and grace of God and abused it. I am convinced that the worst thing about hell is that one keeps his memories, because regret is unbearable and unchangeable and it plagues the mind incessantly.
I was possibly facing my last day in this world in the back of that ambulance and I was not anywhere near having that “abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pt 1:11) God could not have been further from my senses than he was that morning.
Once again, to my chagrin, the doctors could find nothing. Absolutely nothing. They suggested maybe thyroid, possibly anxiety, but this would require further testing with a physician outside the hospital.
This was, beyond the shadow of a doubt the chastising hand of God. The scourging of God as it says in Hebrews 12. Physically, I was experiencing everything King David felt when he was chastised by God for keeping silent about his own sins of adultery and murder.
2. For Your arrows pierce me deeply, And Your hand presses me down.
(I felt an invisible heaviness on my life, pressing down on me).
3. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, Nor any health in my bones because of my sin.
(I was feeling all out of sorts, nothing seemed right in my body, my health felt depleted).
6. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
(I was vacillating every day between depression and anxiety, fear and weeping. I could not take control of my emotions).
7. For my loins are full of inflammation, And there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.
(I could find no peace, no rest, no comfort in anything spiritual. I felt like a broken man even though there was no physical evidence of it).
10. My heart pants, my strength fails me; As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
(My heart palpitations kept coming and going, I was gasping for breath. Everything seemed hopeless, I couldn’t get work done, I was weak, no energy, no appetite and had to just lay on the bed).
3. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.
4. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
(I had constant dry mouth even after drinking water, I groaned inwardly over wondering what was happening to my life).
So that day, I went home from the hospital and just sat on my bed. The house was empty and I began to weep. Not so much because of my physical condition, but because I squandered a life, a whole beautiful gift of God, for what? The deceitful lies of the world? I felt the hollowness of it in the back of that ambulance. I could not say that Jesus was the Pearl of Great Price, that wonderful Treasure, in my own life. I was what James called, the “double minded man unstable in all his ways.” I convinced myself I wanted Jesus but gave a wide berth for the lust of the flesh. I was the one whom Paul spoke of in 1 Cor. 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” I deceived myself into thinking that I could have a relationship with Christ, periodically interrupted to feed the flesh monster, and then go back to Christ. How could I be so blind? “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.” (Hebrews 3:12-14). “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…?” (Hebrews 2:3).
As I sat in that room and pondered all this, I turned to Psalm 51 and began to read it intently and started to weep through every verse:
1. Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your loving-kindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
2. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3. For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
4. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
I worked my way through all 19 verses no longer weeping, but now wailing, crying out to God with all my heart. I begged his forgiveness, I prayed for the washing of the blood of Christ, I confessed my sins in detail, I confessed my failures, my presumptions, my self-will, my waste of life. I admitted that I deserved the wages of unrighteousness. I prayed sincerely. I prayed fervently, probably for the first time in years. But I never prayed for healing. I prayed for a restored relationship with my precious Savior of whom I treated like some co-worker I would run into on occasion. I didn’t want healing. For the first time in a long, long time I wanted Jesus. I did not want my old life restored because I knew then and there I will never go back to that way of life again. I vowed that if I do survive whatever this is, I will never drag a bag of regrets and fear into the back of an ambulance again. I attempted no bargains with God, I didn’t offer any deals, I simply repented and left the outcome to him.
I then flopped on the bed and fell asleep.
Well, The Lord wasn’t done yet. That night I couldn’t sleep. I was watching the clock while I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I had to gasp for deep breaths. I got up and paced. I tried to pray. It seemed God wasn’t listening. I lay back down. About 1:30 I woke my wife and said, “I can’t take this. Let’s get back to the hospital.”
This time they kept me in for 24 hour observation and a stress test. As I lay in the bed hooked up to the monitor, blood being taken, prodded by doctors and awaken by nurses, I can only say my bedfellows were fear and anxiety. Despite the feeling of futility, I kept praying to Christ. My prayers were now for, “time,” time so that my life can bring forth the fruits of repentance. I wanted to make up to Christ all the years that I had so selfishly squandered. Not to earn my salvation but to allow him to do in me what he wanted to do decades ago.
About 4 in the morning a nurse woke me up to take more blood. When she finished, I just laid there staring at others in the emergency room, some in terrible condition. I felt like a fool to allow myself to think I could deceive God and get away with sin. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption (in Hell), but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:7, 8). God was making that crystal clear in that hospital.
As I lay in the bed, silently, just staring, the Lord spoke to my heart. “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out. He who comes to me I will not drive away.” (Jn 6:37) I began to silently weep. You see, through this whole ordeal, I felt rejected by the Lord. I felt as if he had washed his hands of me. Like David in Psalm 51, I too prayed: “Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” And this verse was the beginning, the crack in the ice, so to speak of hope for me. I held onto those words all day in the hospital repeating them over and over.
Well after several blood tests, EKG’s, stress test (echocardiogram) and x-rays, the doctors could find nothing wrong except with the possibility of maybe a thyroid problem which had to be checked out by a family doctor.
As the week progressed, my symptoms began to subside. Little by little, I began to feel more myself.
I was sitting in the living room scrolling through my phone checking out some bible verses that I had saved on it. And there were the words that helped me turn the corner. 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Again, more tears.
I then thought, if God is not willing that any should perish, then God is not willing that I should perish. And if God is not willing that I should perish, then that tells me that what God is doing is designed for a positive change, so that in the end, I will not perish but have everlasting life! I slept very well that night knowing God was not out to destroy me, but simply to reprove me. I rested in that.
The next day I asked my wife to go for a drive with me. I poured my heart out to her and told her of all my failure which was not limited to just the cross-dress issue (of which she was not totally ignorant). I failed her as a husband, a prayer partner and as a believer for we are “heirs together of the grace of life.” (1 Pt 3:7). I owed this to my wife. I wasn’t going to sweep this under the rug and just move on, for it affected my marriage and it hindered my prayers as the apostle says in that verse. I wanted nothing between my soul and the Savior and I wanted a clean slate with my wife as I make a clean break from old habits. And my loving wife, of whom I do not deserve was overwhelmingly forgiving.
Well, time had gone on and after a blood test, as I expected, it was not my thyroid. I am confirmed more and more that I was specifically chastised by God, that this was the loving hand of Jesus Christ letting me know that to stay on this path will be sure destruction. It was as if God was saying, “Enough is enough. I’m going to give you a taste of what it will be like when you face your death apart from Me!”
I am here to testify that it is —–horrifying.
I seek only Christ now. I want Him. I want to know Him. I don’t care about “head knowledge” anymore. Let the others debate theology, let the others argue back and forth while putting up walls between themselves. Like Mary, I want to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His word. I want “the one thing that is needed, and chose that good part, which will not be taken away from me.” (Luke 10:38-42)
I am re-discovering the grace and the love of Jesus Christ and am amazed that he did not just cast me away from his presence. This has been a supreme act of love on Christs part by not allowing me to carry this hypocrisy to the grave. And I am done with the idolatry of cross-dressing. That doesn’t mean I am no longer tempted, for I have been experiencing elevated levels of addiction withdraw. But I run to the love of Christ now as my comfort and security, not to the clothing that gave me a false satisfaction. When you stand on the cliffs edge of your life and see the outcome of an eternity in question, you realize, no earthly pleasure is worth eternity apart from Christ.