I noticed the faint flicker as the balled-up dollar bill flew through the air, grazing my high-heel stiletto platforms and falling onto the stage. The irony was that whomever threw that money at me apparently liked something in the way that I danced, enough to give me money for it, but all I felt was, like a piece of trash was being thrown at me… as if I were trash.
The choice of deciding to strip for a living was the most difficult part in my journey. I had to lie to myself every day, believing that I could strip for money and leave all of my shame at the strip club. I could be romantic about it and say I did it all for the love of my 5 year-old son, but, tragically, I gave away my dignity and respect to an underworld of lonely men.
I made the choice to strip after becoming a single mother, losing my job and almost losing custody of my son. I was desperate to keep us from becoming homeless, so, for approximately two years, I was a secretary by day and a stripper by night. Every night I spent hunting for ‘tricks’ (male customers) while drinking alcohol to hide my irritation, sadness and shame.
What an awesome horror it was to live two lives that constantly pulled me down emotionally, morally and, surprisingly, financially too! I came into exotic dancing with debt and left with even more debt. I quickly grew to loathe the men I stripped for, so I began to worry, how was I going to raise a man if I hate them?
Then, one night in April 2002, as I sat on my bed of money (underneath it were piles of money that I hid under my mattress), I felt absolutely poor. I knew why; I was missing something. I prayed to Jesus all the time, asking Him for all kinds of stuff but always with a back-up plan in my mind. Not this time, though. I told God that I didn’t know what I was doing with my life anymore and that He needed to rescue me. He needed to DO something with my life because I wasn’t living my life right.
HE DID. Jesus saved me, right there on my bed, after my prayer to God. I am certain of it. Actually, 7 years later, it’s the only thing in my life that I am certain of – I am the saved, redeemed daughter of the living God, Jesus Christ.
After my prayer, I dried the tears from my face and began to flip through a Bible that someone had given me months earlier. I told God to “have my life,” and, as I flipped through the pages, I stopped and picked a random verse, and this is what it read… “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are,” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
Well, the tears returned, of course, but now they were the sweet tears of relief. I was being rescued! I was to be avenged, and there is a God that loves me, so much so that He wrote it for all to see.