Stripped Free

9 Mar

04 Walk On the Water (Acoustic)

January-23-2003

She walked in through the main entrance of the club. She signed her name to the empty list of girls that was laid out on the DJ’s desk. She put her bag down where she would get ready for the night and headed to her locker to choose her outfit and shoes. In a complete haze, she returned to her chair and sat there looking in the mirror. She kept staring at the reflection staring back at her as she fought off the tears. Somehow she had to get through this night. She began to think of her son and wonder how she got to this point in her life. He was her pride, and joy and the one thing that has kept her going. She loved his big brown eyes, and round chubby face. She pictured the bright smile that would come across his innocent face when she walked in the room. He was her little miracle. Becoming pregnant at 17 was not what she wanted for her life, in-fact she had planned on having an abortion; little did she know that she would be hospitalized and fed through IVs, her family would find out and she would never make it to her appointment. It was over those nine months that she fell totally in love with the little life growing in her belly. Funny how something she didn’t want at first, had become the one thing she couldn’t live without.

With her makeup and hair done, she walked back to her locker. Inside was a water bottle. In the water bottle was vodka. She took a drink and began to think of her dad. When was she going to hear from him? How could this be happening? How was she supposed to continue on as if nothing happened? He was her dad and she was the sunshine in his life. She remembered the days when life was simple. She thought of all the times he took her to walk the beach to catch crabs under the pier. Or their Friday night tradition that consisted of happy meals at Carl’s Jr, picking out a toy at Target, and rushing home in time for her and her sister to watch TGIF. What happened to the days when their family was happy? The reality of what was awoke her from her haze.

She put on her outfit and did the best she could to hold it together. When did this become so hard? Why was the feeling of suffocation so intense? She couldn’t understand it. This night wasn’t any different from any other she has experienced in her three years there, so why wasn’t she able to drown these thoughts and feelings like she was so used to doing? What was wrong with her? Had her guilt and shame piled up so high that there was no room left to bury it? She took another sip and staggered toward the stall to do another line.

She gave two songs to the DJ and headed back into the dressing room. She couldn’t stop crying. She couldn’t shake these feelings. Her dad, her son, her life, all the shame and guilt, her worthlessness… it was all too much. What if she just came clean with everything? All she would have to do was scream and let out the pain, the lies and the truth she had done such a good job of hiding.  A tall man with brown hair wearing a black suit taped her on the shoulder; she almost dropped the water bottle that she didn’t realize she was still holding. It was her manager and before he could say anything, she heard her name being called in the distance. She had a feeling this was not the first time she had been called to the stage, but she couldn’t do it. She just stood there staring at the stage  realizing how sick and tired she was of pretending.

Pretending had become natural to her. It was how she made a living. She pretended that the way guys looked at her didn’t matter or the way they spoke to her was normal.  Pretending that the guy she was sitting next to was more special than any of other guys there that night. Making him believe that their conversation was interesting and important when really, all she was thinking about was how she was going to make this up to her son? Another night he was without his mom. She became good at pretending because pretending was the only escape left of what her life had become. It hadn’t been until recently that she started hearing a voice asking her “When are you going to stop pretending”? The problem was that she didn’t like the answer to her own question. Deep down she knew it was going to be when it was  too late and she would be sitting in a prison cell like her dad and there would be nothing she could about it then.

She continued to the stage… A stage; ”The platform of a microscope, upon which an object is placed to be viewed.” In three years she never really thought about the events in her life that led her to that stage. She never blamed anyone for what she willingly chose to do. She knew that everything leading up to this moment had been her choice and she was not going to start feeling sorry for herself now. She knew that God had always given her a way out, but she choose not to take them. She knew that in the beginning stripping was a means to support her son, but she also knew that somewhere in between then and now, she got lost.

Her cell phone rang. It was 8:30 and she knew the call was from her son. His little raspy voice came on the line, “I just wanted to say good night and I love you mommy.” She pictured him running to his bed in the same glow in the dark dinosaur pajamas he always wore. Getting ready to watch Toy Story, his favorite movie, and being tucked in by someone other than herself. A wave of nausea came over her. How many nights had she not called him back to tell him that she loved him and wish him a good night sleep? She just wanted to grab hold of him; tell him how sorry she was for what she’d become, and how sorry she was that SHE was his mom. She believed that she had been doing all of this for him; all of this for him; all of this for him??? The words were playing over and over in her mind like a brook record, but they  didn’t make any sense.  If she was doing all of this for him then why did she feel so undeserving of having the title, “MOM.”  The one thing she was living for, she had failed and let down. Tears began streaming down her face and for the first time, she saw things in a whole new light.

It was the first time in the three years of stripping that she was not able to pretend. There was no way of drowning the thoughts or numbing the feelings. It was there that she fell to her knees and asked God to help her! Help her get off the drugs. Help her to find some other way to make a living. Help her to become the mom she once was so proud to be. Help her to change from the inside out.

She doesn’t remember much more of that night. In tears, she drove herself home and to her son. The next day, she knew exactly what she needed to do and where she needed to be. Because her drug addiction had become so bad, she had to do a line of meth to help her function somewhat normally, but that would be the last line she ever did.  She met with her family and exposed herself for who she truly was and came clean about everything she had been holding inside. She prayed that one day they would all be able to forgive her and spent the next years changing her life and has been Stripped FREE!

This is my sisters amazing story. Actually, this is just a tiny piece of the miracle that is my sister’s story. Her healing began the night she realized she couldn’t do it alone and turned her life over to the Lord asking him to change her from the inside out. She wanted God to make her Mess… his MESSage.

My sister is an inspiration! She has an incredible story, but more importantly she has an INCREDIBLE God. A God who is always by her side and wants her to know… “Her Value Far Above Rubies and Pearls.”

Sis… I love you with all my heart. Thank you for letting me apart of this journey with you. I have no doubt that you are about to embark on something so amazing. Never question your potential and what you have to offer those who are where you WERE! I am proud and humbled to call you my sister and friend.

With all my love,

Sam

Jesus doesn’t have a website, but my church does.  If you are reading this post right now and feel like my sister did that night, and how so many of us have at one point our lives, please know that it is never to late to have a new beginning.

“This is not about what you’ve done, But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been, But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel, But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.”

For more stories of hope and redemption please visit, www.iamatreasure.com

 

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