IMC: Paulis I am so honoured to have this interview with you. You know a few years back I had the opportunity of attending a CD launch of yours – I had a great time by the way- and during your performance you took a moment to share briefly about a rough time you had gone through. Were you referring to a relationship?
Paulis: Yes, I definitely went through a very difficult time emotionally and it had to do with a relationship. As a Christian young woman, who absolutely fears and loves the Lord, I thought the deep roots of heartache and breakdown which come from a divorce could affect everyone else but never someone like me. But, there I was a young woman, who loved God, who served Him in the church and who would do anything to please God, facing a shameful and very lonely place to be which divorce is. I fell into a deep depression and my life was exposed and broken down in every area of my life. My heart, my emotions, my finances, even my physical health was impacted by it.
Coming from parents who have been married for 40 years, and love each other through thick and thin I was not raised to believe in divorce nor do I support it today, but I do understand and have so much compassion for those who do face great loss in their lives. That is exactly what divorce can do to a person. You feel isolated from mainstream happiness and begin to feel that your purpose in God is almost gone. This difficult experience gave me a rude awakening of self-reflection and to self-evaluate what needed to be changed within me and to re-prioritize my life and who I was and continue to strive to be in Christ.
It is amazing to experience a healing journey and breakthrough where God begins to rebuild every piece of your heart and of every aspect of your life around you. I am forever grateful for God’s grace!
IMC: You are a popular Latin, Gospel artist who is seen in the public eye, can you tell us a bit more about your “healing journey” and who were your greatest supporters?
Paulis: Experiencing great loss in our lives is difficult enough for any human being. But of course the experience is magnified when you are in the public eye. It became a long journey to simply understand who I was in the Lord. My goal was to rebuild my life, to heal my heart, and to allow the Lord and His Holy Spirit to renew everything inside of me in order for the restoration process to take full course.
Surrounding myself with the right people was key. My family, I am forever grateful for their unconditional love and support. My Pastors and friends, I simply would not be standing here without their wise counsel and their ongoing prayers when I most desperately needed it. Experiencing any type of loss is a lonely place to be in, the only way to swim through it and get to the other side safely is to surround yourself with Godly people who are their to build you and not to destroy you.
IMC: Were there any scriptures that you held onto during that time?
I think the word became relevant each time I heard it. Every word spoken from my Pastor was literally soothing to my soul. It gave me hope. Hope and faith were my biggest crutches that I used to keep going. But one scripture which; I would always say to myself was “ For thou oh Lord are a shield to me, my glory and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalms 3:3
IMC: Oh yesss! I love that one. Paulis, when something as serious as divorce takes place in ones life, it could literally take years before one can truly be ready to date again. When did you know that you were ready?
Paulis: Oh yes absolutely, my family and close friends would tell you that I practically lived in a cocoon for perhaps 5 to 6 years. What I mean by that, was that I was very careful as to who I would open up to. Trusting people was difficult for me, and that was something that God had to deal with me directly. I submerged myself in doing ministry work specifically through music and worship. Worship to me was never a task, it was my refuge and it was my moment of freedom where I could be me, where I was safe, where I was not judged, where I felt comfortable. Where I discovered His presence! I love to live in His presence! No better place.
I knew I was ready when I began to pray about the Lord sending me a life partner. I would never do that before. I would perhaps giggle and joke about it with friends, but never did I embark to thinking anything beyond. I thought happiness is for everyone else, not for me. I realized I had aborted my dreams as a woman. And the Lord began to speak to me in the most unique ways. I began to trust again and to laugh at life again. When my heart was healed, my perspective on life had changed and the Lord began to open up my heart to understanding what it is like to be loved. To understanding clearly how to love and how I desired to be loved back.
IMC: Then you met the love of your life, Abner. How did you meet?
Paulis: Meeting Abner was literally life changing. We met through an online dating website. As a matter of fact, my cousins had helped me setup a profile and one of my cousins literally began communicating with Abner based on his profile as well. Although it started out as a funny and cute thing to do, when Abner and I began to talk about each other’s lives we realized we were so different from one another yet so similar.
We had come from very different paths in life, Abner had made choices in his past that led him to living out some difficult challenges. But he too had reached a point in his life that he wanted change but did not know how this would come about. We met each other in God’s perfect timing.
It was so easy when we spoke. It was never quiet moments in our conversations; as a matter of fact our phone bills were so high, as we would speak for hours on a daily basis getting to know each other. On our first date, instead of doing the most traditional type of dates with dinner and movies, he instead opted for taking me to meet his mother. (IMC: When a man introduces a lady to his mama you know He’s serious..lol:) Here I was sitting in his mom’s living room talking to this wise woman about life and God. We later proceeded to go to the zoo and grab a bit to eat.
From that day on, our story began. A story of love and laughter and yes much prayer. We prayed about everything. We began to ask God to help us make the right choices. Neither one of us wanted to fail. We wanted so bad for the right relationship to be blessed by God.
IMC: Did you have a knowing that he was “the one”? If not, how did you come to realize that he was the one for you to marry?
Paulis: I think it was very early that we both realized, ok this may be too soon to confess it, but no matter what we will not let each other go. We had found each other and we wanted to simply be together. We lived in 2 different countries and of course the challenges of that can be very expensive. But we somehow found a way to make it happen.
IMC: What qualities and/or characteristics did Abner have that really impressed you?
Paulis: Abner overall impresses me. I think he has incredible tenacity in life. He is literally a survivor. He is a fighter. He never gives up. He is a man who knows exactly what he wants and goes for it. He is a man who prays. He is a man who is sensitive to God. He is not ashamed of where he came from or the lessons that life taught him. Instead he uses those experiences as an opportunity to tell many of what God can do to a man who begins to trust Him.
IMC: How did he propose?
Paulis: We went to New York City for American Thanksgiving celebrations with his family and he proposed in front of Radio City Music Hall. A very cold night but definitely a very memorable one!
IMC: What is the best advice that you can offer to your fellow single sisters in Christ?
Paulis: Understand who you are in the Lord first. I know this sounds so cliché and not something a single girl wants to hear. I know because I’ve been there. But, I can assure you, understanding your identity as a woman, as a daughter of the King first is most important, then everything else your heart desires will come to pass and more.
IMC: What’s next for Paulis Sanchez?
Paulis: Hopefully experiencing motherhood. But of course that’s if God allows it. For now, to be happily married with Abner and continue to serve in ministry. We plan to begin planning a third album recording and enjoy this very new season of my life!
IMC: Thank you Paulis, for being transparent with my readers. May He continue to be the solid ROCK in which you and Abner STANDS!
Visit Paulis at www.paulissanchez.com for her newest album “My Soul Mi Alma” and have a bilingual worship experience.
Be blessed by the ministry of Paulis Sanchez