Lessons on Self Love and Finding My Identity in Christ: From a former stripper and self sabatoger

This is my story.  Please check out the video on the lessons that I learned and finding my Identity in Christ

As I stood on the stage with nothing but a swimsuit on and money in my garter belt.  I closed my eyes and danced like no one was watching.  I could smell the smoke, and alcohol.  The stage was made of wood and very hard to walk on in heels that I wasn’t used to wearing.  The disco lights were bright but the club was dark.  The music was loud.  The first song finished and I was told by the manager to go directly to the next stage.  This bar had 3 stages and 3 women all danced at the same time.  The men focused on whichever lady they preferred.  I became completely numb up there and I just zoned out.  While I was on the 3rd stage the manager of the club came up to me, handed me a dollar and whispered in my ear.  “You have done this before haven’t you,” he said.  I immediately felt creeped out but the look in his eye made me realize that I had a chance to do well at this.  All the good sense in me told me to run far away.  I told that good sense to shut up as I was counting the money that I made on stage.  This was my first time stripping.  I had entered an amateur night that I seen in a local newspaper.  I sat in the crowd after I was finished dancing and watched all of the other ladies dance. I got increasingly nervous after I danced.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous at all before I danced.  I was numb.  My childhood had taught me to turn off those nerves and just survive the moment.  I ended up winning 3rd place that night and I left with cash in my pocket, an offer of employment at that club and the paperwork to get an adult entertainer license.  I was 19, desperate, and I had no idea what I was in for.  In some states you have to get licensed.  The state where I started down this path of destruction was one of them.  I had been without a job for months and my grandmother was pressuring me to get a job.  I had moved back into her house after living in a battered women shelter for months.  Coming out of a very toxic and abusive friendship and I was desperate.  I had given legit modeling a try for about a year and had gotten nowhere.  While I was waitressing one of the kitchen staff suggested that I try stripping.  She ensured me that the men couldn’t touch you unless you wanted them to.  I laughed at her and didn’t think of it again until I found myself with my back against the wall.  I had been applying for jobs for months and was having no luck.  I originally thought I would just do that one night to make some money and then go back to job hunting but the money made by stripping was too easy.  I was hooked and decided to give it a try.

I got my adult entertainer license the next week and got on the schedule at this club.  I still remember my first day.  I was amazed at how nice most of the ladies there were.  They took me under their wings and showed me the ropes.  I didn’t have any of the appropriate clothing but one of the girls let me borrow from her and told me to go to the nearest adult sex toy store as soon as I made money.  I followed her around the first night watching how she worked the crowd, how she approached the men, how she danced for them.  She taught me the ropes and was never competitive about someone stealing her clients.  I would love to say that I started making hundreds of dollars per night right off but that is not true.  That should’ve made me quit but I saw some of the other ladies making lots of money and I just figured it was because I was new.

As I mentioned before, I was living with my grandmother after being out on my own for over a year.  I had a very strict curfew of 2am.  The first time I worked a night shift I came home at 3am and my grandmother was waiting for me and was very angry.  I couldn’t tell her why I was out that late so I just told her that I was at the club with friends partying.  The next day, I switched to the day shift.  I was able to successfully hide the fact that I was stripping from my grandmother.  She thought that I had gotten a legitimate job and just worked during the day.  Eventually I changed to the night shift at a club much closer that closed at 1am so I was home before curfew and I began working an office job during the day to hide the fact that I was dancing at night.  I would dance 3-4 nights per week and work my office job Monday through Friday.  I struggled to stay awake most days but I survived.  I continued to dance for the next 3 years as I moved away for college.  In college I started off only dancing on the school breaks.  While everyone else was relaxing on spring break I was taking all of the shifts that I could and would return to school with thousands of dollars to help me get by to the next break.  After awhile I couldn’t maintain my apartment, bills, and groceries only working every couple of months so I began driving to a different city and working on the weekends.  I drove about 2 hours one way every weekend night just so that I could avoid seeing someone from my school.  That didn’t work.  One day one of my teachers came in there and a fellow student came in as well.  I can remember running and hiding in the dressing room.  Both of them were very nice about the situation but it became very awkward going to class with that teacher for the rest of the semester.  It became very awkward seeing that student on campus and he would ask me if I was working that weekend.

I kept my dancing a secret from most people so I lived a double life.  I was still a virgin.  Yes, you heard me right.  I was still a virgin.  I was molested as a kid but I don’t count any of that.  Once I was around 14 I became a fighter and made up my mind that no one was taking that from me.  I decided that when I do decide to have sex it was going to be on my terms.  So I was very confusing to the boys on campus.  I would go to parties, smoke, drink a lot, and dance like a stripper, then I would say “Ok good night”  The look on their faces as they realized that I was just a tease and not down for anything more was priceless.  This lifestyle got progressively worse as me and my husband (then boyfriend) got deeper into sin.  I found myself in a lot of very dangerous situations and I still thank God to this day for keeping me safe.  He ended up getting in legal trouble and was required to move back home for probation.  I moved with him and God began to really work on my heart.  By the time I was 22 I was so sick with the lifestyle that I found myself in.  I was smoking marijuana and cigarettes very heavily and drinking every night.  That was the lifestyle of a stripper.  It was almost a requirement to drink every night.  I never really liked drinking so I would smoke before I went in and then I had a deal with the bartender.  When the customer bought me a drink I would have her secretly make it non alcoholic and I pretended that I was drinking.  The first couple of years it really was mostly fun but my spirit craved Jesus.  My spirit knew that I didn’t belong in that lifestyle.  I wanted so badly to go back to church but my highest money making times was the Sunday shift from 12pm to 9pm.  Which meant I had to be there by 11am.  That was when I realized that I had to quit dancing in order to get my spirit back in line with Jesus.  I made up my mind and I quit dancing.  I had worked it out to where I was an “out of town girl” which meant that I didn’t have a set schedule at the club and I could come and go as I pleased so I just stopped going.  I got a $10/hr job and I went back to church.  It was so hard not making hundreds a night anymore but I was back at home in church.

Im so glad I didn’t go back.  As I look back I see how damaging that lifestyle was.  Please check out my video at the top of the page where I talk about the lessons that I learned

 

Storytime: My Christianity Journey

I received Christ as my Savior when I was 8 or 9 years old.  I was not raised in church and I have very few memories of going to church with my mother.  She believed in God but did not attend a church.

We were living in Austin Texas and I had friended the kids of a nearby Pastor.  From that friendship I started going to their vacation bible school.  I didn’t fully understand christianity but I knew that they seemed like their lives were very happy.  My life was very chaotic throughout my childhood and I craved what they had.  They seemed like they had it all together.  I made up my mind then, that I would serve Christ for the rest of my life.  I didn’t know at the time what all that would mean, but I knew deep in my heart that God had talked to me and led me to Him.  That church put some of the foundation in me where I learned scripture memorization, the rapture and what it means to be a christian.

In the next couple of years we moved to the East Coast and then by the time I was 10 we were back in Austin Texas.  At age 11 we moved back to Kansas City.  Moving around opened my realization to other cultures and religions.  My exposure to the 5% Nation of Islam further convinced me that Christianity was the way.  I went to a Catholic Church and even a Mormon church in the next few years.

When I was 16 my friend invited me to her church for their New Years Eve Service.  Their drama team did a human video of “Mary Did You Know.” I cried harder than I had cried in years.  That year leading up to that service I had experienced a lot of pain.  I had moved in with my grandmother, and my mother had been shot and almost died, I felt like God was speaking to me right through that song and drama presentation and I rededicated my life to Christ.  I became heavily involved in that church and for the next 2 years I was in training for ministry.  I went on a mission trip to St Louis and I gave my testimony, I started singing on a worship team and it was there that God spoke clearly to me that I was called to Evangelism through Music.

After high school I found myself very lost.  I ventured way away from ministry.  I began living a lifestyle that was far from what God wanted for my life.  By the time I turned 22 I had returned to church and ministry.

When I went to the church that my grandma attended I finally felt the freedom of Christ that I ha felt as a child.  I stayed at that church for around 5 years and then I moved on to a church that branched off from that one.  This church that I attend now has really taught me about the love of Christ.  I have reached an age where I am much more stable and I can only be excited about where my journey will take me from here.

 

StoryTime Autism Wandering

Autism Wandering

It felt like just an ordinary morning.  My then 2 year old woke up the second that the sun hit the window, jumped out of bed and began to play immediately.  I tried to jump up and my body said “Lay back down”  I was mentally awake but my body was still sleep so I decided to just lay there a few more minutes.  I could hear my son making his normal vocalizations and I could hear him playing.  He had just gotten a new ride on power toy so I thought he was just excited to play with that as he had done the last couple of days.  It couldn’t have been more than 5-10 minutes before I realized I didn’t hear his vocalizations anymore.  I got up and looked around the corner and saw the door wide open.  I flew down my stairs and out the front door.  Watch my video above to see how the situation turned out.