That summer, into the early fall, proved to be a very difficult one for our family. We had moved into a very expensive 3 bedroom apartment, which was perfect for the family, but draining on the finances. It was the only apartment that would give us enough space for our family and still allow us to move in on such short notice. I started working Sundays, and going in very early during the rest of the week, and yet still we were just scraping by.
On top of that, the immense amount of driving that I was doing every day for the delivery job had greatly strained my back, to the point that it became painful to even drive.
In early August, the pain had become so bad that I was constantly dizzy while in the van, and finally I had to tell my job that I needed some time off to figure out what was going on.
For the next two months, I went to a chiropractor that was covered by my car insurance. The pain somewhat diminished, but I still couldn’t shake the intense dizziness that I had. It became obvious to both Annika and myself that I would need to find another line of work. Even if the physical strain had not become such a major issue, the amount of hours I was putting into the job prevented me from spending any time with the family except for shabbat.
By the time I officially quit my job, the fall feasts had arrived. Though we barely had any money, and didn’t know how we would pay next month’s rent, I decided to not start looking for a job until after the feasts had ended.
Tabernacles turned out to be one of the most joyous our family ever had. The children helped us pin a makeshift tent made of blankets, right in the middle of our living room. The boys cut out a huge sign of cardboard and used crayons to scrawl out: Feast of Tabernacles. For the next 8 days, we forgot about our troubles and worries, rejoicing before Yah.
Toward the end of the Feast, as I was laying on a couch beneath the pinned up tent, we had received a notice from our apartment that we needed to pay our rent or face eviction. I shut my eyes, rubbing my head, asking Yah what we should do.
Suddenly I remembered that our car insurance might provide a means to get us by until I found a job. The workers comp insurance from my delivery job had rejected our claim, but maybe our car insurance wouldn’t.
“It’s worth a try,” Annika said and called them.
Within 24 hours they had accepted our claim and provided us with just enough to pay our rent while I went to search for a job. In miraculous fashion, Yah had come through for us once again.
It only took another few days for me to be called into an interview for a sales job at an Internet Marketing company close to where we lived.
As I sat in my car parked in front of the building, having just finished my interview, but unsure as to whether or not I actually got the job, something beautiful happened. From the radio, the most heart-piercing version of Amazing Grace swept through my car, bringing me to tears. I knew, no matter what the outcome, His amazingly comforting grace would bring us through.
“Hello?” Annika answered the phone a few days later. “Who is this?”
I looked over at her as she smiled and handed the phone to me, “It’s that internet marketing company you applied for.”
I had landed the job. The hours were perfect -- 9am -4pm, Mon - Fri, which would not only allow me much more time with the family, but if I managed to do well at my sales, we would have much more money available to us as well.
Over the next two months, Yah would help me become one of the top salesmen at the company, and not only were we able to pay our current bills, but we were slaying one debt dragon after another, finally climbing out of a financial hole that had dogged us since we had moved back to Portland.
Everything seemed so hopeful at the end of 2007. Politics, which we had long since shunned, drew us back as a candidate named Ron Paul, who promised to restore the nation back to the Constitution, was rising in popularity. My new job was turning out better than either one of us could have ever expected. We had located a possible home that we could now afford, with a huge yard for the children. Life seemed near as perfect and golden as it had ever been.
And then the darkest night of my life occurred. This story has now come full circle. For in early 2008, spanning throughout the year and into the Spring of 2009, are when the events described in chapter 2 took place: “The Making of a Love Warrior”.
While it is not my intent to rehash the events of chapter 2, which you can read here:
I do want to now continue on with immediate aftermath of what occurred.
As I said toward the end of chapter 2, this was not the end of the story, but just the beginning.
After the divorce was finalized and it was clear Annika had no intention of returning to the marriage, I emphatically told her that I thought what she was doing was absolutely and totally evil. We exchanged several heated emails.
Annika took these emails to the court and was immediately granted a restraining order. Though I tried to repeal the restraining order, the judge told me that any decision DHS made would trump what he did anyway, and he wanted to leave it in their hands.
But a week later, DHS dismissed our case, effectively leaving me cut off from my children.
It is hard to describe the deep frustration, anger and hurt that filled me. But rather than pleading the Blood of YahShua over the situation and seeking His Face, I took matters into my own hands.
I quickly wrote an email, asking Annika to return to the marriage for the sake of our children and for His Kingdom. I sent the email to my mom, asking her to send it so that I wouldn’t violate the restraining order.
That evening, I received a call from the police. “Mr. Lee, did you send an email to Annika Lee through your mom?”
Stunned at the phone call, I said -- “Yes, I did. But it was to be passed on through my mom. What’s the problem?”
“When are you going to be home? We’d like to speak with you.”
Later that night, when I arrived home, three cops emerged from the shadows. I explained to them that it was my understanding that as long as I sent this email through my mom, everything would be okay.
The cop shrugged, “Would you mind if we came inside and looked at the email?”
“Of course not.” I invited them into the house, printed out the email and showed it to them. “As you can see, I addressed it to my mom, asking her to pass it along.”
“Mr Lee, you didn’t realize this is 3rd party contact? That’s prohibited by the restraining order.”
As the police slapped the hand cuffs on my wrists, and led me to his car, I remember a great wave of the Ruach filled my inner most being, and an intense shalom quieted my spirit. Something was about to happen that I didn’t quite understand, but it was as if Yah were saying -- “Be still, I have a mission for you.”
Late that night, I was placed into a large, cement holding tank. One drunken man lay snoring on the floor. A dark faced hispanic man, knowing just enough english to communicate with me, smiled as I sat down next to him.
As we spoke in hushed tones, I realized how much the acoustics of the cavernous room echoed our voices.
After sharing my testimony with the man, I asked, “Would you mind if I sang some praise songs?”
“Not at all, go ahead.”
As I began to lift my voice, praising YahShua, the song echoed throughout the room. The hispanic man smiled peacefully at me.
Suddenly the thick metal door clanged open, “Stop the singing! It’s disruptive!” An officer snarled.
“I will not stop praising Yah. I’m not bothering anyone!”
Two officers burst into the room, grabbed me by the arms, and drug me down the hall. I continued singing out to YahShua as they roughly threw me into solitary confinement.
“You think the praises of Yah bothered you then? Wait till you hear this!” And I pressed the intercom button on the jail door, belting out praises to Yah,
Within a minute, 6 officers burst into my room and spread out my arms, handcuffing me to the cement bench.
“He’s probably on drugs,” one of them remarked.
As they checked my fingernails and arms for evidence of drug use, I said -- “I didn’t take any drugs. I’m praising the Creator of the Universe!”
“Well, when you stop your stupid singing, we’ll remove your handcuffs.”
They left the room, shutting the door behind them.
For the next 6 hours, until the crack of dawn, Yah gave me the supernatural strength to continue praising Him, exalting Him for His goodness.
When the early morning sunlight speared through my window, a female officer entered my cell. My muscles ached, my bones were stiff, but my spirit soared within me.
“Mr. Lee, would you please just cooperate with us?”
I shook my head, “They told me I would have these cuffs removed if I stopped praising Yah. I’m not willing to do that.”
“Well, okay, I’m a different shift. I don’t agree with how those guys handled this at all. Tell you what -- you can keep singing as much as you want, but can you promise me that you won’t touch the intercom button?”
“Yes, of course,” I said, so grateful that Yah had sent someone much kinder into my cell.
She released me from my handcuffs and offered me some breakfast.
“No, no -- I’m planning on fasting for the time being,” I said.
“Okay, thank you.” And she shut the door behind her.
It was then, with weary joints, cramped muscles, and an intense weariness, that I knew Yah would use this time in jail for His glory.
As testimony to both the wicked and the righteous.