Sometimes it is hard to imagine someone else’s life. How does someone get addicted to drugs, become an alcoholic or end up as a prostitute? There is always a first step, always a friend to introduce you, always a reason.
At youth convention last weekend I got a chance to connect with other ministers, some youth pastors, some speakers, some who do school assemblies. Our conversation kept coming back to the sex slave industry in our own country.
How does this happen? What is the first step?
The stories of the thousands of young women who are living a life of a prostitute or sex slave in the United States seems to be remarkably similar: An older guy (18-20years old) starts paying attention to a 13 year old girl. He texts her, calls her, tells her she is beautiful and that he likes her. He says she is so pretty that he wants to take pictures of her and would that be okay? Sure, she says. So he takes naked pictures of her and tells her that he loves her. She tells her friends that she has a “new boyfriend” and that he is a little bit older. He tells her to move in with him. He tells her that he needs her to go “on a date” with a friend of his. She tells him no, he tells her that he will send all those pics he took to her friends or parents. She goes on the “date”. She runs away from her home and into a new life. Her “boyfriend” takes care of her, buys her what she needs, loves her. All she has to do is go on “a few” dates a night, or over the weekend. Since living is expensive, her boyfriend needs a few more girls to go on dates so that they can afford their lifestyle, but really he loves just her. Bad love is better than no love. Although soon, bad love is exchanged for no love, abuse and total control.
My heart just breaks for these girls.
All they want is to be loved.
It is the condition of the human heart, we all have a longing to be loved. What do we do to fulfill it?
Remember Ali? I told a part of her story in the “Tapestry” blog l posted on last Wednesday. Over the past week, Ali has come to a life changing decision. She texted Brandie last week: “If I really wanted to go, how soon could I?” then “I can’t do this anymore” and finally, “Brandie, this is Ali – I gave my phone back, this is just someone’s phone I’m using, I’m at my grandpa’s and I’m so ready now.”
Brandie set up an interview to get Ali into a ministry home and her off the streets on Saturday. It went great. She was accepted into the home and now is waiting to actually move in.
Please continue to pray for her, we will all feel better when she is actually in there. The waiting is the hardest part. The temptation to go back to “her boyfriend” very well might be the fight of her life. Pray that she remembers she has a purpose from God and that the hope of her new future infuses her with excitement and anticipation. Pray that she will trust God to provide her needs.
Ali was once a young girl that got a “new boyfriend” and ended up as a prostitute. From her perspective, she didn’t stay with her pimp out of fear but stayed with her boyfriend out of love. I don’t think most of the these girls think of themselves as slaves, they think they are being taken care of and…loved. Although, eventually they feel that they are not worth anything better.
Sometimes it is hard to imagine someone else’s life.
Sometimes it’s easy to see that “Only by the grace of God, there go I“.
After youth convention, one of my girls named Kayla tagged me in a Facebook post and I think it sums up perfectly God’s heart for his daughters:
“I have something better than drugs.
I have something better than alcohol.
I have something better than sex.
I have God’s love and I’m not ashamed to post it on my Facebook Did you know that people like Nicole Banks, Cindy Hanson Grasso, Konner Soderburg & Brandon Coleman care about me? I had no idea how much love God has to offer until now.”
How many things do we compromises in our own lives to be loved? Too many. What have you done to try to fulfill that longing? You don’t have to be something your not, or do things to try to win someone else’s approval. You already have God’s.