At nine years old, an older girl threatened me until I submitted to a sexually humiliating act. At 14, a friend’s mom filled my weekends with porn, dirty magazines, and sordid conversations. At 16, I was violently attacked several times by an ex-boyfriend. A kick to the head, a gun in my face, I fought naked against rape.
As a teen, I attempted to cope by guzzling alcohol and ingesting drugs and engaged in dismal sexual encounters. Desperate for approval, I clung to uninterested boyfriends. I swallowed a bottle of pills to end my life and consistently made poor choices. My parents were unaware of what I had been through, and my frustrating behavior brought them to their wit’s end. Due to my continual defiance, they asked me to leave home. At 17, I walked the town applying for jobs. Men pulled their cars alongside, hoping for a prostitute. I was taken aback and turned them away, but the idea took seed. On a handful of occasions, I deemed it a viable option. I discovered that my sexuality was an instant and very lucrative resource. At 18, I began to work as an exotic dancer, and at first, it was exhilarating. I quickly became dependent on the money and adoration; however, over time the excitement wore off. I despised the customer’s lewd comments, gestures, and pawing hands. If they rejected me, I felt ugly.
Over the years, I had made many significant efforts towards a different career. I earned a 4-year degree, acquired different job training, and bought a business. Still, I continually failed to move on and stayed in the strip club for 18 years total. One night, I cried to God for help, and several months later as I drove to the club, He answered. I was listening to a sermon on CD and sensed God asking me to quit dancing, immediately. Hands were trembling; I turned the car around having no idea how God would help me. God led me in each step: housing, income, church, and supportive friends. Even so, in the hard times, I fought an overwhelming temptation to return. Christ helped me through. He is the reason I never went back again. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2Corintians 5:17)