You’re outreach was a success—you’ve gotten to know one of the ladies and you’re thrilled to have a real relationship with her. She’s given her life to God, and even quit dancing/prostitution and committed to pursuing some real and true healing in her life.
She’s coming to bible study. You meet for coffee regularly. You’ve been to court with her to fight to keep her child from being taken away. You’ve babysat her child as she goes to classes for being a better mother and professional counseling for her abusive past.
You’ve shared countless hours of talks and listened to her about her life and the pain she has endured and how she wants to change it and leave it all behind. She is solid with her decision. You know, andfeel, in your gut that she means business.
You feel love for this girl like a daughter, sister and even a best friend! You’re there for her during this entire process! You’ve prayed with her, cried with her and started to see true breakthrough. You then helped her pursue her GED and apply for college.
And then when she receives an envelope from the college in the mail—the tension mounts as she rips open the envelope only to read: ACCEPTED with scholarship! You then throw a celebration party for her with your team with cake and balloons and heartfelt tears of happiness—and sincerely, life cannot get any better than this. Ahhhhh! This is ministry! This is a changed life! This is what Jesus was talking about when He said: I came that you may have life, and live it to the full, until it overflows….
But…let’s face it, life is imperfect and situations arise. She has a really difficultnight. She’s had hard nights before, but this one is exceptionally different. This night her baby has an accident, and gets rushed to the hospital. In her desperation of neediness she blanks out and instinctively calls the daddy of her baby, which also happens to be her X-pimp. She has his number memorized, even though she had changed her number on advice by you. She knows that it’s not a safe boundary; you’ve discussed it countless times, over and over. But because her baby’s life is in jeopardy, she feels it’s right that he knows.
You rush to her aid—and go down to the hospital to visit with her, but she is completely inconsolable. Her baby is in bad shape, and it doesn’t look good. You pray with her, cry with her, and tell her to call you if she needs anything, and you mean anything.
And then through a tear streaked face, she tells you: “I called him. He’s coming down here.”
You pause. You smile, but knowing the whole time this might not be good. You wait. And wait. You pray, and pray hard. You hope that maybe there is a possibility he will turn his life around too, because his baby is literally at death’s door.
Then you get that phone call. You know the one. The one that tears your gut up to the core and makes you sicker than you’ve ever been in your life, and the one that you never wanted to answer.
“Hey, I’ve got great news! My baby is going to be okay! You know I love you. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me, really. But me and So-n-SO are going to work it all out—our relationship. He says that he will change his life for the baby and me. Guess what? I don’t have to work anymore and I can go to college! We’re moving out of state and we’re going to get married!”
Your silent.You gulp–shocked. Heart racing. You tell her you love her too, and ask her if that’s a good idea–because you know that it’s not, that it’s a ploy of the enemy to take her back to death’s road. But there is no convincing her. She is on an intense emotional high that you just can’t compete with, and no amount of intervention will change her mind.
The stark reality is this: Her broken heart is still in love with her x-pimp and thinks this experience has changed him. Maybe it has, but only God knows, and it’s not for us to judge.
What do we do when we’ve invested our time, energy, and passion into a young lady of whom we’ve seen so much promise and future? What do we do when we instinctively know her decisions can’t possibly be from God, and she and her baby are going to be in for the hard knock ride of their lives?
There is nothing we can do.
We let her go.
We trust God.
And we wait.
In all honesty, from my personal experience from all the girls we have worked with, this is something that we all have struggled with, and this is what makes the ministry so gut-wrenching painfully hard.
The stats say that 5-7 times, a woman will go back to the sex industry after initially quitting it for the first time. Well, I’ve never liked stats much. Stats are too factual and sound too finished.
We exist here to change that stat. And so do you. This time it’s going to be different. This time she knows the truth. This time she understands and has experienced the awesome love of Jesus Christ moving and changing her life…right before her very eyes and heart.
The truth is, love never lies. And she will never forget that love.
She will remember it when the next insult comes, when the time she is slapped brutally across the face and scorned she has to get some money to support her husband and baby.
And you will take her call. And you will listen as she cries. And you will tell her you’re not offended and that you love her through her bad choices and mistakes. And you help her navigate back to where she truly belongs. You will love her home where she met Jesus for the first time. And even if she doesn’t come back to your neck of the woods, love her towards her new Christian friends that will guide her through to the next pruning process in her life.
No matter what happens, no matter what obstacles that arise, no matter what devils come to stop what God has started in any of us, in the end, God wins. We must always show her that stability and belief in her. We must be ready for her to make mistakes, and fall short more times than we can count. We must show her that our faith is real, and if it’s real for us, it can be real for her, too. We must show her that the unconditional love of God is real, by never letting her mistakes separate her from us, and that means no matter how many times she goes back…
Nothing can separate her from the love of God.
I leave you with this, one of my favortite scriptures:
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Love you ladies!
Annie Lobert, Hookers For Jesus
Copyright June 30, 2013