This past weekend I had the honor of attending the Heeled Conference, which was hosted by Scarlet Hope. The attendees at Heeled were individuals passionate about establishing local movements in their hometowns to walk alongside women in the sex industry. People came from all over the U.S. From Washington to Florida, it was truly magnificent seeing God bringing together people from across the country to this conference.
[pullquote type=”left”]Our lovers are materialism, selfishness, social media, and so many other things. Take your pick, we have so many lovers that we don’t even realize we’re giving ourselves away to – we’re exchanging a part of our soul for something that only acts as a placebo for the real love of Jesus.[/pullquote]One of the speakers was Annie Lobert, a former high class escort, exotic dancer, survivor of abuse, rape, eating disorders, drug usage, and cancer. Annie escaped the sordid world of the sex industry and is now a force of pure passion to inform others about her miraculous story, the grace of Jesus, and the chains of the sex industry which still imprison countless women. People are so quick to judge women like Annie; women who sell their bodies to make a living. Christians, in fact, are notorious for this. However, what we don’t realize is that we ourselves have different lovers every day; we are no different than the women who solicit men with their bodies. While they may have multiple lovers in the physical sense, we have lovers of a different sort. Our lovers are materialism, selfishness, social media, and so many other things. Take your pick, we have so many lovers that we don’t even realize we’re giving ourselves away to – we’re exchanging a part of our soul for something that only acts as a placebo for the real love of Jesus. As Annie eloquently puts it, “Whenever we trade or sell away the life God has in store for us, we ‘prostitute’ ourselves.”
Who is your lover?
Linda, a young woman I know, used to be a prostitute. She sold her body in exchange for money. She was the essence of the definition of prostitute. She and I are the same. She prostituted her physical body while I prostitute myself for the approval of others. For being the best. For pride. I don’t physically give myself away, but I give out portions of myself in order to fill a void deep in my soul. Instead of relying upon the love of Jesus and my identity in Him, I sell myself short. You see, I’m looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. I too am broken inside and I too need to overcome the lie that I need to search for love somewhere else besides the arms of Jesus.
[blockquote type=”center”]I’ve learned about living in Christian community, vulnerability, trust, leadership, confronting in love, and intentionality.[/blockquote]My time with Love Thy Neighborhood has been so incredibly good. I’ve learned about living in Christian community, vulnerability, trust, leadership, confronting in love, and intentionality. This journey has not been without its difficulties; there have been numerous times when I have been frustrated and worn down. However, we all know that God uses our struggles to make us stronger.[starbox id=hannah]