Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Only the Beginning-Part 15 March 1, 2013

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:48 am
Tags: , , , ,

Totally off topic, I want to point out an update on my blog. If you visit my actual blog page you will see my tagline has changed.

It was “Exchanging Darkness for Light” but through a Bible study I am a part of a new friend of mine, Karrie, gave me a new saying after I got very passionate about sharing our Genesis 5020’s with others. She said “my story for His glory.” I loved it and felt it fit my blog’s purpose perfectly.

That is what this blog is about, sharing our stories for His glory. Thanks for the inspiration, Karrie.

Now onto Heather’s Genesis 5020.

Although this is Heather’s last post this is really just the beginning for her and this ministry. I hope you have been touched by her story and moved in someway to either reach out to someone who appears hopeless or maybe you are the one who needs to know there is hope.

Never give up, never stop praying for the your lost love ones, nothing is impossible with God…..Heather is living proof.

god-light-of-hopeWe continued on to the rest of the clubs on the route. All were dark and smoke-filled.

Every time, the girls had the same reaction to the gifts, pure joy and appreciation.

At one club, there were two girls sitting at a bar, one worked there, the other didn’t. The girl who wasn’t working asked me if I used to dance.  I said yes. She said she knew me. 

I looked at her harder, she looked familiar but I didn’t know how she could possibly know me. She asked me where I used to work so I told her I worked in Vegas.  She asked me if I was there in 2007, I said yes. I told her the name of the club I used to work at and she said that’s where she knew me from.

I was in awe.  How could that be?! I had worked with her in Vegas and here we both were in Detroit at a strip club.

I wasn’t able to talk to her very long, the music was loud and it was hard to carry on a conversation but I thought how amazing it was that I was on this mission and someone recognized me.

Only God, only God.

The night brought about some more interesting conversations and a ton of learning experiences as well.

As we walked to the dressing room of another club, I noticed a dancer standing against a wall and a customer standing extremely close to her, I imagine they were negotiating either dances or other propositions. For some reason, anger rose up inside of me, I wanted to deck the customer and tell him that girl is somebody’s daughter; she’s the daughter of the King!

Obviously, I kept my cool and kept walking; I didn’t want to mess up the mission.

At the end of the night, Laura asked me how I felt. It was then that I let the tears come.

I felt sad, my heart broke for those girls. I felt like my eyes were truly open now. I looked in the eyes of the girls and I could see so much pain, I could see my pain.  Even the house moms’ eyes revealed pain.

Strip clubs are very dark places; people go there to hide from several things for several reasons.  The girls working there become someone else while they’re there and if they’re lucky, their true selves can come back out when they’re not working, but most get caught up in their club identity and forget who they truly are, I know I did.

For 4 ½ years while I worked as a stripper and prostitute, I forgot who Heather was, I lived life as Bliss, that was my club name.

I’m grateful God never forgot who Heather was.  God loved Bliss but He didn’t create her, He created Heather, the daughter of the King!

God has called me to be a light in the dark places, to proclaim the Good News and show the girls living and working in darkness His great love!  They, too, are daughter of the King!!

Our next outreach March 30th and I can’t wait! If you’d like to get involved in this ministry in some capacity, check out and see how you can help!  Prayer is always very much needed and appreciated.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be release  and prisoners will be freed. Isaiah 61:1 NLT 

If you have been touched in any way by Heather’s story would mind giving her a bit of encouragement by leaving her a comment, I know she would appreciate it.

Next week I have a dear friend who has offered to share a Genesis 5020 from her life. This will be completely different from all the stories you have heard so far. You won’t want to miss it!


Back to the Club-Part 14 February 22, 2013

Today we hear part of Heather’s experience in the club, next week we will finish it off.

candle-1350399555gnnOn February 4th, I made my way to Connection Church in Canton, MI.  There, I met Laura and Margie, another lady on the outreach team for My Sister Song.  I learned a lot about what we do on the outreach and so much more! 

My Sister Song is much more than a strip club outreach, they have so many resources for women in the sex industry who are seeking help.  Going into the clubs is a vital part of our ministry but the follow-up is just as important.  If you’d like to know more about it, please visit the website: 

The morning of February 9th, a wonderful lady from elem3nt Church planned a prayer service for me.  My friends, my sister, the elders of our church and Pastor Gayle all prayed over me and let me know they were sending me out on this Godly mission but I am not alone, they are behind me all the way! 

What an awesome feeling to be supported and loved through this!!  I am so unbelievably blessed!!

That night I met up with Laura and Margie and we loaded up Margie’s van with gift bags and ear warmers and scarfs for the girls working at the strip clubs. We prayed and headed out to the clubs. 

I was so excited and nervous! I knew this is what I was called to do but I had no idea how I would feel going back into the darkness of the strip clubs. 

When we pulled up to the first club of the night, we were greeted by the valet. We gave them some homemade cookies and made sure they knew who we were. We got out of the van and walked into the club.

The smell of cigarette smoke and men and women’s cologne was overwhelming to me. The darkness of the club brought back so many memories, so many emotions

Honestly, I wanted to cry right then and there but I knew I couldn’t, I had work to do, God’s work!

I followed Laura and Margie through the club. We gave cookies to the bouncers and managers. Any girl who wasn’t actually dancing while we were walking through the club, we gave a gift bag to. 

We made it to the dressing room where the house mom was and there were more girls there getting ready to work. We handed the girls gift bags. 

They were so appreciative of the gifts. We talked to the house mom, she’s pretty much in charge of the girls while they’re in the dressing room, she knows how many are working and would make sure each girl got a gift if we weren’t able to give it to them ourselves. 

Some of the girls thought we were selling the ear warmers, it was so awesome to watch their faces light up when they realized they were gifts for them. Laura made sure the girls knew what we were doing there and she told them even if they just wanted to talk to someone who understands what they’re going through, they could call us. 

While all this was going on, I smiled and watched and learned from Laura and Margie. 

Seeing those girls, I was seeing my old self.  I could tell some were high, some weren’t. I could see the pain in their eyes behind all the make-up.  My heart was breaking for them but I knew I was being the hands and feet of Jesus and His presence was among us and among them.

When we walked out of the first club, it took everything I had not to cry, I wasn’t about to mess up this Godly mission. 

I breathed in the night air. I was glad to be out of the smoke-filled club but was sad that I had to leave those girls in there.  I wished I could take them all away from the club and show them there’s so much more than that but it’s not that easy. 

I know all too well, a girl has to want to leave, it has to be on her terms, then she’ll find her way out. That’s where we come in, we’re there when they’re ready.

Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. Luke 1:78-80 NLT

I believe this is what we are called to do once we leave our dark places, our sin. Go back and shine the Light so others will find their way out. How are you shining God’s light today so others can find their way to Him?



Being Brave-Part 13 February 15, 2013

I said this would be Heather’s last week, but who knew my sister could be long-winded? She has a few more weeks of story to share before she is done, which is just fine. It’s amazing to hear and read.

So here’s more of Heather’s Genesis 502o, the updated, happening-right-now part 🙂

I went back into a strip club last weekend.  Actually, I went into several strip clubs. 

Before I tell you about the awesome mission God has put me on, let me tell you how it all got started.

On December 9, 2012, the message in church that week was a video of me reading my Genesis 5020.  That was a very special day for me.  That was the day I officially became free. 

My story was out there, everyone at church knew all the shame I had been hiding under.  I did one of the things I feared most, I put myself out there for all to see, hear and judge.  But something amazing happened that day, instead of being judged, I was loved.  I never received so many hugs in one day my entire life! 

I was finally free from my shame and could talk openly about my past.

As you all know, at the end of my Genesis 5020, I talk about a couple ministries, one of them being My Sister Song, a strip club outreach.  Well, after giving my testimony at church, saying how I would love to help women in the sex industry, I felt like that left me sort of accountable, like I had better actually get involved and do something in some ministry.  But I just wasn’t sure which ministry and what type of involvement that would be.  So I left it alone for a little while and prayed about it.

On January 13, 2013, I went to church just like I do every Sunday.  I thought the only thing special about the day was that it happened to be my birthday, which seems to get less special every year because I’m only getting older. 

But as I sat in church that Sunday, God stirred something inside me.

Pastor Gayle spoke about Joshua and how he led the Israelites to Jericho.  How they marched around the city and blew their horns and the walls of the city came crashing down.  (I am not doing the sermon justice, if you’d like to hear it for yourself click here.

 But then he asked us what was our Jericho?  What walls in our life did we need to knock down?  Are we going to be like the ten men who went into the promised land and came out saying there’s no way we can take over that city or are we going to be like Joshua and Caleb, who came out saying, this is what God wants us to do, so let’s do it!  Pastor Gayle challenged us to be strong and courageous, just as Joshua had been.

God was working on my heart, especially that day.  I decided I was going to be like Joshua, strong and courageous. 

So, that evening I went to My Sister Song’s website.  I had checked it out before, I knew what the ministry was all about. 

Ihere’s a place on the website where you can send them an email.  So that’s what I did.  I sent an email saying that I am a former stripper/prostitute and I would like to be involved in their ministry in some capacity.

Later on that same night, I received an email from Laura Urenda, the founder of My Sister Song.  She had a few questions for me and wanted to know more of my story.  So I emailed her back, answering her questions and gave her what I called the short version of my story.

The next day, she emailed me back asking for my address so she could send me a care package that she sends to girls who are or have worked in the industry who contact My Sister Song.  I received the package the next day. 

gift-331280343755JVC1It was filled with lotions, body spray, earrings, information about Connection Church, which is the church their ministry is based out of.  It also contained a book by Harmony Dust who is the founder of Treasures, a strip club ministry in California (My Sister Song and  other ministries like it have been trained by Treasures staff), the book is called Scars and Stilettos. 

It also had a little book titled, Jesus Loves Strippers.  Laura also included candy and crayons and a coloring book for my little girl.  The care package was an expression of Jesus’ love, I totally understand why they send them out!

There was also a cd in the package.  It was Laura speaking at Celebrate Recovery.  She told her story of how she worked in the sex industry and how she got out but she also talked about the various reasons girls find themselves working in the industry. 

She gave a lot of statistics as well.  It was very moving.  I emailed her back after listening to the cd and told her that I was a little jealous of her being able to speak like that.  That’s something I just don’t think I’m very good at but would love to have the courage to do someday. (Whoa, did I just say that?)

So then she said if I felt like I was ready to go back into the strip clubs, she knew a great way I could get involved in her ministry.  And if I wasn’t ready to go into the clubs, there were several other ways I could be involved.

When I read that, I jumped up and down for joy!  

I’m ready, so ready to reach out to these women and let them know they have a Heavenly Father who loves them dearly, and not only that, even though that’s all any of us need, I love them and understand what they’re going through.  

This is what I am called to do!  I felt it all throughout my body. 

I emailed her back and said sign me up, what do I need to do?!  She set up a training class for me on February 4th.

It’s your turn to be brave.

Heather does have a few more weeks but I need someone who is willing to share their story after her. Will it be you? Have you been trying to talk yourself out of every time I ask but it keeps coming up, “Maybe I could share.”

If it keeps coming up  then you are supposed to share. Someone needs your story and it’s not really yours anyway, as Heather said last week, it’s God’s story, you’re just living it. Email your story to: 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot)com


This is my Story-Part 12 February 8, 2013

flower-on-the-bookThis is the last week of  the original story Heather wrote for me and shared with our church. Next week you will get an update on what’s going on in Heather’s life this very moment. You won’t want to miss it!

Another Wounded Heart group started in September and I knew I had to be a part of it again.

At first I didn’t know if I’d be able to due to child care issues but God took care of that and had a wonderful lady step up and volunteer to do child care for the group.

I knew God was getting me ready to tell my parents by having me go through this group again.

After our fifth week, I shared my story of shame with the group of ladies and I once again received love. Three days after that, I shared my story with my parents.

I was so scared but I only received love from them. They don’t look at me or treat me any differently. After I told them, I felt so free.

See, God had freed me from all the shame of my past sin, He unlocked those chains I was in a long time ago when he forgave me but I still carried them around. I felt like I had to, I didn’t deserve to be completely free. But now I know, it doesn’t matter if I deserve to be free or not, because I don’t deserve anything, but it’s God’s grace that makes us free.
From the time we moved back to Michigan to present day, I have seen how my irresponsible, selfish behaviors affected my daughter.

She has been in trouble numerous times at school and has severe emotional issues. This is not a defect on her part but a direct result of my behaviors toward her when we lived in Vegas. I was an absent mother, I wasn’t there for her.

Although we have come a long way from where we started, we still have a really long way to go. I know God is writing her story as well and He has plans to give her hope and a future too. I just keep praying and thanking God for all He has done and is continuing to do.

There are so many songs I can relate to but one that really makes me think is Never Once by Matt Redman. Click here to listen.

Every horrible situation I put myself in, God was there with me. And He is right there with you too!
God has allowed me to start doing something I haven’t done since I was a little girl and that is dream.

He has given me a dream.

My dream is to help women in the sex industry, women just like me. When I was working in that industry, I had no hope, no future, no true God. I know that’s how other women stuck in that lifestyle feel. I want to reach them and let them know how truly loved they are by their Heavenly Father.

I’m not sure exactly how God is going to use me to accomplish this, but I know He knows and I just have to be obedient and listen for His direction.

There are a couple ministries I’m looking into and would love to get involved in, they are Hookers for Jesus and My Sister Song. Both of these groups do an outreach to women in the sex industry.

My Sister Song is actually based in Michigan, they go into strip clubs and give gift baskets to the girls working there and talk to them about Christ. Hookers for Jesus is in Las Vegas, they reach out to women working as prostitutes on the streets and in the casinos and actually work on getting them off the street when they are open to it.

God has given me a heart for these women and I know He will use me in a powerful way when He knows I’m ready.

Sharing my story is the first step toward my dream, so that’s what I’m doing.

God has told me not to be ashamed of my story, He wrote it so it’s actually His story, I’m just living it.

When I told my story, you responded; train me well in your deep wisdom. Help me understand these things inside and out so I can ponder your miracle-wonders. My sad life’s dilapidated, a falling-down barn; build me up again by your Word. Barricade the road that goes Nowhere; grace me with your clear revelation. I choose the true road to Somewhere, I post your road signs at every curve and corner I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me; God, don’t let me down! I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how. Psalm 25-32 MSG

I get teary every time I read that last line Heather wrote, it’s beautiful and so true.

God is writing your story today, will you allow Him to have His way?

If you are ready to let Jesus have His way in your life leave a comment and say “I’m in”! Then watch Him use you in amazing ways.


The God Who Sees Me-Part 11 February 1, 2013

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:05 am
Tags: , ,

DCIM100SPORTCongratulations to Jasmine Augustine who won the seven book giveaway I had last week!

Thank you to everyone who commented, the praises and prayer request were flying, it was amazing.

We will have two more weeks of Heather’s Genesis 5020.

Who will be next? Will it be you? Send your story to: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

The day after I was baptized my brother-in-law came over to my house. He told me he needed to talk to me about something and it wasn’t anything bad.

He asked me if I knew about what our church had been doing the past couple of years with their Easter offering. I said I had a pretty good idea.

Our church takes the Easter offering and uses it to help people in the community, to give others hope. They had paid rent for a year for a single mom and other things like that.

As he sat there and was talking to me about this, I thought he was going to ask me to be part of the team of people that decide who to help.

Then he said that the church wanted to give me some money so I could get a different car.

See, I had been driving a 1988 Cavalier since I moved back to Michigan. It was a good car with very low mileage but had recently started having some issues. I was stunned at what he said. I couldn’t believe the church wanted to help me. I didn’t deserve such an awesome blessing, not after everything I’ve done.

I accepted the offer and he told me he would let me know when a car was found for me.
That night my parents happened to be a car dealership. I had not talked to them that day, nor had my brother-in-law.

For some reason (God), they decided to buy a different car. They were planning on trading in their old car.

While in the process of deciding whether or not to trade in their car, my mom called my sister to let her know they would not be able to attend my nephew’s t-ball game that night. Before they got off the phone my brother-in-law asked my mom if she had spoken to me at all that day. She said no so he told her what he had talked to me about and gave my parents something to think about.
The next morning my mom came over to my house to baby-sit. She didn’t have her car so I asked her where it was. She said that they had bought a different car.

The wheels in my head started turning, could I be getting my parents old car? How perfect would that be? My mom couldn’t tell me exactly what they decided to do with their old car so I was left wondering.
About a week or so later, my parents finally told me that the church had bought their car from them and that was the car I would be getting. What a blessing!!

I could see God’s hand all over that situation.

My old car was breaking down but I didn’t have the money to fix it or replace it, I had resigned to the fact that I would have to wait until I got my tax return next year and look for a different car then.

God said, you don’t have to wait for a different car, I’ll take care of you, I always do.

See, sometimes I forget that God takes care of me, I think, why would He, look at everything I’ve done over the years.

But God looks at me, not the things I’ve done, and He sees His child. He knows my everyday struggles and He takes care of me, He loves me, ME.

In August 2012, I took my girls on a camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, the most beautiful place in America. It is absolutely breathtaking.

We only stayed up there for three days but we enjoyed every minute of it.

Looking at God’s beautiful handy work, I felt so close to God. He made all those beautiful things for me and for you.

I heard him whisper in my ear, this is for you and you will be back many times to enjoy this.

It was the best camping trip I had ever been on, my girls enjoyed it too.
All summer I felt God tugging on my heart to tell my parents my story but I was so afraid to tell them. It was too much, too horrible, too dirty.

At that time the only people who knew my story were my sister and the ladies from my Wounded Heart group. When I told my story to them, I received love and did not feel condemned but telling my parents, how would they look at me if they knew everything?

Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” Genesis 16:13 NLT

What have you seen recently that has reminded you that God created all of this for you? Share with us the beauty you see.


Loved-Part 10 January 25, 2013

This is my 100th post!!!!!!

Can you believe it? God has been so good since the beginning of this blog a year ago (January 27th was my first post).

To celebrate my 100th post I have a big giveaway for you. At the end of this post you will see all that I am giving away.

Heather’s Genesis 5020:

heart-of-love-1328441023DAUIn July 2011, I was promoted to Assistant Manager for the group home I was working in. I had been working midnights up until that point and it was wearing on me terribly.

With this new position, I’m able to work first and second shift. That was a direct answer to prayer.

Again, God’s plan was playing out for me.

It amazes me that even now when I go to work I get this feeling that I am right where He wants me to be. I love working with people with disabilities, they are so special to me and I know they are very special to God.
In the spring of 2012, my church made an announcement that a group would be starting up called Wounded Heart. It was for women who had been abused and who were looking for healing from their brokenness.

I heard God whisper to me to join this group, so I did. My sister was one of the leaders so that made it a little easier.

Through wounded heart, I uncovered so many hurts that I didn’t even realize I had but by uncovering them and sitting in my pain, I was able to work through a lot of my issues and begin to heal. Notice I didn’t say I am healed, I am in the process, still.

After Wounded Heart was over, I was able to free myself from John. I was able to forgive him and pray for him.

I’ve stopped living in fear of him and worrying that he’s going to find me. I’m trusting the God who saves me to protect me from him.

Also after Wounded Heart, I heard God whispering to me again. This time he was telling me to be baptized.

I’ve always been a kind of shy person who hates being in front of a crowd so being baptized never sounded appealing to me because of that. But I clearly heard God on this so I knew I had to obey.

On June 17, 2012, I was baptized. I was so nervous.

I knew I was doing the right thing but I had to give a brief video testimony about why I wanted to be baptized and I had to do it in front of all those people at church.

My brother-in-law is an elder at our church so he did the baptisms. He can tell you first hand, I was trembling when I went under the water.

I was excited to be celebrating my commitment to Christ but it was also a funeral, a burial of the woman I used to be.

I was happy to let go of my old self but really committing to my new life in Christ was a little scary for me, in a good way. My parents were there and so were some of the ladies from my Wounded Heart group.

I felt so much love that day.

I titled this post Loved for two reasons.

1) Heather was only beginning to feel and understand the weight of Christs love.

2) You are all loved dearly. I thank God for readers like you who have stuck by Patrick and I this past year and supported this blog.

To say thank you I am giving away seven books, some paperback, some hardback.

The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers (has been read once, you can see in the binding)

A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Islandby Cara Putman

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert

Veil of Pearls by Marylu Tyndall ( has been read, the corners of the cover are slightly worn, nothing major)

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

What to do When the Roof Caves In by Marilyn Meberg

Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels

I also will throw in one of those ruffled knitted scarves that are so popular at craft shows. I saw them and thought, “I can make that.” So I did.

As a special thank you to my subscribers, if you leave a comment your name will be entered twice. That goes for anyone who scribes today too 🙂

But you don’t have to subscribe to enter, I just want to do something special for those who do.

******* To enter leave a comment about something God has done in your life over the last year, or leave a prayer request, I would be honored to pray for you. Do this by January 31st at 5:00 pm to be entered. ********


Finding Me-Part 9 January 18, 2013

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:05 am
Tags: , ,

2451-1270391151QGRp[1]You will start to notice that I will begin posting on Mondays occasionally. I am not going to promise a schedule, at least once a month, probably more.

On Mondays I am going to start reviewing books, fiction and non-fiction. I will often have a giveaway as well. Many of these books won’t even be released yet. I am very excited to offer this to you. I hope it will help you add some great books to your library.

Only a couple more weeks of Heather’s Genesis 5020. When will you share your’s? 5020genesis(at)gmail(dot)com

I got off the plane in Detroit where my mom and my aunt were waiting for us.  We hugged and greeted each other.  I really had no idea what to say or how to act. 

I had no idea who I was any more

I felt love from my family, they were happy my daughter and I were back home.

The first Sunday we were home, we went to my sister’s church, elem3nt.  I felt so welcomed there.  Nobody knew my story, just that I had had a hard time in Vegas. 

My sister (and my parents) had been praying for me to come home.  That Sunday while she was leading worship, she shared with the congregation that God does answer prayers and my daughter and I were proof of that because there we were. 

Tears came to my eyes, I was loved, my family still loved me even though I hadn’t talked to them in so long, they prayed for me all this time. 

A woman I didn’t even know came up to me after the service and gave me a hug and said she had been praying for me too. 

I was just starting to see Christ’s love poured out through these people.  It was amazing!

I continued to go to church every Sunday and was moved every week by the messages.  I realized I was exactly where God wanted me to be and I accepted Him back into my heart. 

He truly transformed me from the inside out. 

My sexual desires, my desire to do drugs, drink and smoke, slowly went away.  I had an opportunity to be intimate with an old friend of mine but I couldn’t, something was holding me back, it was the Holy Spirit.  I was finally getting it, I was getting to know God on more than just a head knowledge level, I was experiencing God!  He lived in me and helped me through each and every day.

During my pregnancy, John had only emailed me a couple times then I stopped hearing from him.  I was glad he wasn’t looking for me because I didn’t know what he would do to me if he found me.

In the spring of 2010, I had the opportunity to go to Women of Faith with my sister.  It was an awesome weekend. 

The whole time I felt God tugging on my heart to tell my sister about the things I had done while living in Vegas.  I was so ashamed of my past, I thought there was no way I could ever tell her. 

But God had other plans. 

On our way home from Ohio, my sister confessed to me a secret she had been keeping about something she had done.  I had always thought my sister was “the good one.”  Now I got to see her humanness.  That opened the door for me to share with her what I had done.  We both cried and I felt love from her.  She knew what I had done and she still loved me. 

On July 26, 2010, I gave birth to a wonderfully beautiful baby girl.  She was so precious.  She looked a lot like her father.  I didn’t put his name on the birth certificate because I didn’t want him to find out where we were living.

I lived with my parents until December 2010, then I bought my own trailer.  I finally had my own house, it belonged to me. 

My parents helped me out a lot.  They showed me what unconditional love is.  I was learning about the Father’s love through my parents. 

But I have to be honest, there was still a voice in the back of my head that questioned if they would still love me if they knew everything I had done.

God definitely had a hand in Heather going to Women of Faith. My friend, Deanna, was supposed to go, she had the ticket purchased. She ended up having to stay home to take care of her mother.

I asked several other woman if they wanted to purchase Deanna’s ticket so they could go. No one could.

Finally, Deanna said she really felt she was supposed to give her ticket to Heather. So she did.

I will never forget how the Holy Spirit made me spit out my sin. My heart pounded like crazy in my chest. I didn’t want tell my sister, my family thought I had it all together.

It was a very awesome moment that changed the course of our relationship.

God is SO good!

What about you? Have you ever had a moment when you felt the Holy Spirit telling you to do or say something? How did you feel? Did you do it?


Meeting the Redeemer-Part 8 January 11, 2013

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:11 am
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2185-1267672994pRs8The world needs your Genesis 5020. Don’t let anyone tell you your story isn’t big enough. That is a lie. Your story is big if God did it. Share your story with us. 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot) com

Back with Heather’s Genesis 5020.

While we were in route to my uncle’s house, John called and asked me where I was.  I told him I was gone and I wasn’t coming back. 

I told him I couldn’t live with him always threatening me and constantly being afraid of him.  He said he was only joking and wouldn’t actually do those things to me.  I refused to believe, my head was clear and I knew better this time. 

I stuck with my plan to go to my uncle’s house.

My friend dropped us off at my uncle’s house.  He was happy to see us in one piece. 

John continued to call, I ignored his calls.  He finally left a message saying that he left my place but had taken my computer.  I didn’t care, I was glad to be free of him.  We spent the night at my uncle’s house.

The next morning, my uncle had suggested I call my parents and see if they would help me get back home.  I agreed to do that. 

It must have been the Holy Spirit leading me because I always said I would never go back home, never.

I called my parents and explained my situation and told them that I was about 4 weeks pregnant.  They quickly offered to pay for plane tickets for my daughter and me and even for my 2 cats to come back home. 

It was hard to talk to my parents since I hadn’t spoken to them in 2 ½ years but just talking to them brought about some healing.

Later that day I arranged for a police escort to meet me at my apartment so I could gather some of my belongings.  I didn’t know if John had really left my apartment and I wanted protection from him just in case. 

My uncle took me to my place, John was not there, thankfully.  I packed as many of my things and my daughter’s things that would fit into my uncle’s car and left the rest behind. 

At my uncle’s house, while packing my things into suitcases so I could take them on the plane with me, I had this overwhelming feeling that I was doing the right thing by leaving this life I had known for 5 ½ years behind me and going back to live with my family. 

It was a hard reality to swallow. 

I felt like a failure, I couldn’t make it on my own in the big city, I had to go back home to mom and dad and accept their help. 

That was what the enemy wanted me to believe.  I didn’t see it then but I do now, God was drawing me back to Him, I was that prodigal daughter who had squandered her inheritance. 

How could my family and especially God, welcome me back with open arms? 

I didn’t understand it but I was grateful.

Before I even got on the plane to go back to Michigan, my mom informed me that my brother’s ex-wife had a job for me at a company I had worked for when my daughter was a baby. 

How could that be, I had been looking for a job for months and months in Vegas and found nothing, and now I had a job waiting for me in Michigan

That was all God right there.  Again, I knew I was doing the right thing.

I called my best friends and told them what was going on.  They were shocked as I had always said I would NEVER move back to Michigan.  We promised to keep in touch.

I boarded the airplane in Vegas a dead woman

I was tired from the life I had been consumed by.  I was so out of touch with my daughter, I had no idea how she felt about any of this.  I was completely disconnected on my end from God. 

I just knew I had fallen too far from Him to be saved.  I was dirty and used up and had nothing to offer. 

And there I was, carrying a new life inside of me, I surely did not deserve another chance, not me, a prostitute, drug addict, drug dealer, stripper, whore, horrible mother, a murderer. 

How could I be getting another chance? 

How could anything good come from me and the things that I had done? 

I just didn’t understand it.  I completely underestimated God and His power to redeem ANYTHING.

Don’t you just want to go “yahoo!!!!!” I still get overwhelmed with God’s sovereignty when I read this.

He is so amazing. He loves us all so much. He goes wherever we are and reaches in and pulls us out. We just need to lift our arms and faces to Him, He will do the rest.

Love it!


Her Only Hope-Part 7 January 4, 2013

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:50 pm
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Happy New Year! I can’t wait to see what God will do in 2013, how about you?

Today we continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020. This is where her “lower” story intersects with God’s “upper” story.

1275-1245719193VBNdAfter he left, I felt better, like I could handle my life again. 

I felt so hopeless and helpless while he was slapping me around but when he was gone, hope began to come back

That feeling only lasted about 24 hours because he came back the next night.  I let him in for fear of what he would do if I didn’t.  He had some of his friends with him but they soon left, leaving him at my place with no car, no way to leave. 

I knew he was there to stay. 

It didn’t take but a few minutes for me to make him mad, he asked me a question and I gave him an honest answer that he didn’t like so hit me right on my nose causing it to bleed badly.  I tried to get up from the bed to get a wash cloth to catch the blood but he refused to let me out of the bedroom, I was trapped yet again

He gave me a sock to hold on my nose until the bleeding stopped. 

I felt helpless and too weak to fight back

This time I didn’t demand that he leave, I just accepted my circumstances and allowed him to stay.  He apologized, said he wouldn’t do it again, all the things abusive men say after they explode.  I didn’t believe him but I accepted his words.  He laid down with me and held me in his arms while I just cried.

Things were somewhat okay for the next couple of weeks, no episodes of physical abuse.  We had a few arguments but nothing physical.  I was miserable and so was my daughter.  She asked me why I didn’t just kick John out.  I told her it wasn’t  that easy but I’d figure something out soon. 

I continued to work at the strip club occasionally but made most of my money from my regular customers and also by selling drugs to a few people I knew.  I continued to look for a real job, even had a few more interviews but still found nothing.  John looked online for a job but that’s as much as he would do.  He would occasionally try to find a customer for me but that usually didn’t work out so well.

I had lost track of my period and wasn’t sure when it was supposed to start but I had a feeling it was late.  So two days before Thanksgiving 2009, I took a pregnancy test

It was positive. 

I knew it was John’s baby because he was the only one I had not been careful with and he seemed especially careless at times. 

I knew I would keep this baby because first, there was no way John would let me terminate my pregnancy and second, I had been wanting to clean up my life and knew that it would take something big, like a baby, for me to make those changes. 

The difference in my previous pregnancies and this one was that I was ready to change this time, whereas before I was still enjoying living in my darkness. 

The day I found out I was pregnant I stopped using drugs and alcohol.  It’s amazing how clear your mind becomes when you stop putting chemicals in your body to alter your perception. 

The day after Thanksgiving John started revving up for another abusive episode.  He started making threats but didn’t carrying them out yet.  I honestly believe that he was coming down from the drugs and was too tired to abuse me. 

My daughter heard him threatening me and called me to her room to show me something.  She really didn’t have anything to show me but was trying to keep me safe.  That night I slept in my daughter’s room and I stayed safe. 

The next day the threats continued and I’d had enough. I knew if I planned on keeping my baby safe from miscarriage, I had to get away from John.  

I quickly planned my great escape

I called both of my best friends but neither one answered the phone. (I later found out that was God’s plan)  I got a hold of another friend of mine and arranged for him to pick up my daughter and me. (I didn’t have a car anymore.) 

John had asked me to get some drugs for him so when my friend called to let me know he was outside waiting for me, John thought it was the drug dealer. 

I grabbed my purse and closed the bedroom door so John wouldn’t see that my daughter was going out the front door with me.  We quickly got into the car and left my apartment. 

My friend asked where he was going to take us.  I had no idea.  Since my friends hadn’t answered their phones earlier, I could only think of one more person to call, my uncle. 

I had an uncle that lived in Vegas but hadn’t talked to him since I stopped talking to my parents.  He was my only hope

He answered the phone and said of course, we could come over and spend the night.

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! Psalm 31:24 AMP

I love reading this part….how God worked it all out, Heather’s escape, her turning from sin and running back to Him.

This is her “whatever it takes”.

God has been pressing in on me and reminding me that He is all I need to put my hope in. What are you hoping for in 2013? What do you anticipate God doing in your life this year?

What’s your Genesis 5020? Share you story at: 5020genesisstories (at) gmail (dot) com


Bruised and Battered-Part 6 December 28, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:28 pm
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prayer-close1[2]I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I pray you will have a happy New Year. Will this be the year you share your Genesis 5020?

We continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020 today.

The day after my boyfriend left, his friend, John, called my phone looking for him.  I told him what had happened. He didn’t say too much at the time. 

The following day John called back.  This time he wanted to know if I could get him some drugs.  I said of course, I had great connections from using myself and from supplying my boyfriend while he was in prison. 

John came over and bought some drugs.  Then he hung out for the day. 

I had the feeling he didn’t really have a place to go so I didn’t rush him out and besides, it was nice to have someone to hang out with after I had just had my heartbroken.  He did leave for a few days but I was having car trouble and didn’t know who to call so I called John to see if he could help me.  So he came back. 

There really wasn’t much that could be done about my car but he looked at it anyway.  I ended up asking him if he wanted to stay with me.  He didn’t have anywhere else to go so he stayed. 

John knew what I did for a living and he said he was okay with it.  He said he normally wouldn’t be but since I was a prostitute when he met me he had to accept it. 

When I would work, he’d stay home and watch my daughter. 

I hated working.  I always had to be drunk and high to go see a customer

John didn’t work, he had been in prison twice for domestic battery so it was really hard for him to find a job.  I had to continue to work as a prostitute to support myself, my daughter and now John.

One night I came home from seeing a customer, I was drunk of course, and John and I got into an argument. 

I called him the b-word. He put his hands around my throat.  I dropped to the floor to escape his grasp.  He then grabbed the hair on top of my head and dragged me from the bedroom to the kitchen, screaming at me. 

I shut up at that point, afraid of what else he would do. He stopped and calmed down after a while.  I told him he needed to get out of my apartment and not come back. 

He packed his belongings and called someone to come pick him up.  While he was waiting for his ride, I sobered up and started to feel sorry for him.  I knew I shouldn’t have said what I did and he really had no place to go.  I talked to him and made him promise to never do anything like that again and I let him stay.

Things were okay for the next couple of weeks.  I worked and looked for a real job.  I even had a couple interviews but was never hired.  John even looked for a job but found nothing.

One day John was laying down and I turned on the bedroom light.  He told me to turn off the light or he would kick me in my face.  I quickly responded, “If you kick me, you won’t have a place to live.” 

I turned off the light then sat down on the bed next to him.  He kicked me in my face. I stood up and told him to get out. 

He stood up and slapped me hard across the face.  Then he threw me on the bed

Every time I tried to get up, he would slap me and throw me on the bed. 

My daughter saw some of what he did to me.  John did close the door when I asked him to so she didn’t have to see what he was doing.  I called a friend of mine while John stood over me telling me that I didn’t matter because I’m a woman and he’s a man so what he says is the law. 

When I made that phone call, John thought I had called the police so he took my phone away from me.  He said that if the police showed up, he was going to beat my face into the ground.  I said, “Oh, so you’re going to kill me then?”  He told me if he got in trouble one more time, he would get 15-life in prison so if he was going to go back for that long, he was going to make it worth it. 

The police never came, John calmed down.  I told him he had to get out.  He packed all his belongings and got a ride and left this time.

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:35-38 Msg

What’s your Genesis 5020? Share your story at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com