Monthly Archives: August 2016
Most people have it all wrong.
When people hear about Xpose Hope, they think that we are a “rescue” ministry. We really aren’t. We’re a ministry of support and love.
Let’s face it. We’re a group of women, with few resources, we can’t “rescue” anyone.
We don’t have unlimited funds.
We don’t have huge donors.
We don’t have degrees in psychiatry or justice.
And that’s okay because that isn’t our focus.
What we do is love. We love people in the sex industry. We love strippers, porn stars, bouncers, club owners, prostitutes, johns, bartenders, house moms. That’s our goal.
Some people hear the song “Break Every Chain” and they think we are out to change things, to change the world. Well, in a way we are.
We hope to tell people that Jesus loves them and we love them. We think love changes things.
But it isn’t our job to take girls out of clubs. Some ladies in the industry, believe it or not, like their jobs. (Gasp!) They like their co-workers (What???!!!) Some like their customers and look forward to seeing special customers.
Some do it for the money. The same as some people are doctors or lawyers or food service workers.
But they are all wrapped up in chains. And we hope to break those chains.
How do I know this?
Because I spent my fair share of time in stilettoes. Because when I returned to my very first club recently, it became apparent to me that the reason I had hidden my past profession for so long was the chains that bound me, that hindered me, that pulled me down. (The photo above was taken at that location.)
These chains, this barbed wire, this encumbrance ripped at my soul. It stopped me from going back to others who I cared about and letting them know that Jesus loves them and I love them, right where they are. WHILE. While they are working for a living in lace. While they are in the industry. While.
These fences and wires caused me to hide my past, to be ashamed, to be embarrassed.
But these chains were not placed on me by the industry as many would like to believe. Nope. My shame, my pain, it came from people who believed that in order for God to love me, or for me to be lovable, I had to clean myself up, I had to be different, I had to do certain things to fit into the model of a proper church lady.
Those were the chains that for years kept me from giving a hug when it was needed, praying for a girl who needs to make enough money to keep the electric on tonight, or a club owner who is under stress. Those chains are made in the minds of those who, unfortunately, don’t really get what Jesus came to do.
Jesus is all about grace and freedom. He’s about loving us where we are, and while we are imperfect. Because we are never, ever, even in our best pressed dress with a high neck collar going to be perfect. We will never be “good enough”. That’s why He came. To be perfect. And to hold us when life is just plain hard.
It took me a lot of time and prayer to break free of those chains. Some of them were pretty sharp, and they ripped my soul up pretty deeply. They caused me to hide behind a mask, a fake persona, because I feared being labeled and looked down on by more “perfect” people. Those scars are going to be there for a long, long time.
But the chains themselves, the barbed wire, the barrier between me and my sisters in the industry—those are gone. I stood in front of my club, symbolically wrapped in those chains that Jesus came to free me from—the downward glances from others, the shame, the harsh words that God could not love me because of a job I did. All chains forged by people, never by God. Jesus himself said that prostitutes and tax collectors will get to heaven before the religious leaders he was chatting with. And his lineage includes a famous streetwalker, Rahab.
Those of us at Xpose Hope believe that Jesus can break every chain. He can change perceptions, he can change situations, he can lift us from depression or physical pains. We hope that the ladies and gents we serve in the industry know that we don’t come to judge or to look down on. We come as sisters, the same in every way, in love. We come to support and to care. Our small gifts are a symbol of that, but in the end, it’s about breaking every chain.