I was a little girl who had a dream of becoming a lawyer some day. Instead, I grew up and became a stripper. It's easy to accuse those who took advantage of my vulnerabilites as a little girl, but I won't. You see, we are all broken. Some more than others, but it is God who can mend us back together. I often pondered on what my life might be like, or how it would have been different if my father was present. He left when I was 5 years old and I didn't see him again until I was 29. I love my father and I am thankful for our relationship now, but what I remember from a young age was the abuse my mother incurred.
From a young age, I was taught that my body was for pleasuring a man and so I learned how to become more seductive and confused it for affection. I deceivingly was convinced that when a man gazed at me he wanted me and I somehow needed to make him love me. I had no security, but that of my body. I knew I could gain the attention of any man if I used what I had. At least that's the way I was conditioned.
I was 19 years of age when I was first introduced to the sex industry. Scared out of my mind, but quickly I learned that I was the one in control for the first time. I set the rules. I tease the men. I pretend to love them, but used them. I was able to turn the tables around. I became so lost in a world I created for myself with the influence of my past that I remained a stripper for 10 years. Every year as I got older, I made a solid decision that I would quit. But every time a new year came around, I had an excuse as to why I couldn't leave. I had no education or other work experience. No other source of income. Giving my body to men was all I knew since I was 8! Leaving all I have ever known was a death walk. Even if it was all bad, it was still all I've known.
When I was 24 I gave my heart to Jesus. Still stripping for money and had no conviction. I figured since I was a "clean" dancer God would honor me. I thought if I stay away from the drugs and liquor He would be okay with me "just" dancing. Little did I know that Jesus was at the right hand of The Father crying out for me. To deliver me. 4 years I'm a Christian and still in the club. It wasn't until this certain and final night my life totally changed forever.
I was on stage dancing to Led Zeppelin, 'Love Bites' and I am on my way to kneel down to receive money from a customer. As he slips his dollar bills in my grader, something supernaturally happened! 'Love Bites' turned into some worship song we sang at church and I looked to the Dj and knew this couldn't really happening!! No way! I immediately snapped out of it, but then "you were purchased for a price therefore honor The Lord with your body" kept repeating itself in my head. My hands became clammy and heart began to race. I looked out into the crowd and it was as if a veil was snatched off my face! For the first time I could see! I believe I saw what Jesus saw.
Brokenness, hopelessness, rejection, fear, selfishness and darkness. Yet, I still saw His love for the man giving me his money and everyone else my eyes could see. I knew Jesus was praying for me, crying out for me and what He did astounds me. Jesus met me in the midst of my shame!! He didn't care where I was. His love hunted me down. Next, I got off the stage. I didn't finish the song. I went into the dressing room, took my stripper gear off and put it in the locker. I locked it, left it and never went back.
That was my breakthrough. My freedom. My Jesus. My story. I am forever transformed and if He met me there, in the center of my darkness inside the strip club, I know He will meet anyone at anytime. His love has no restrictions. I now serve Him because He is worthy. To take a girl like me and make me clean. Wow!