Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

The Brokenhearted-Part 5 December 21, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
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For the next two weeks I will only be posting on Fridays. I will resume Write to the Point Wednesdays on January 9 with a fresh batch of authors.

I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas with your family. I am humbled everyday that you choose to read this blog. I pray this year you have been blessed in some way through these ramblings and you will find your own Genesis 5020. Embrace each moment and remember who we celebrate.

Today we continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020.

281-12141089520ahwThe summer of 2008, I met a man who happened to be a drug dealer and I fell for him.  He was living in a halfway house.  He was doing time for selling drugs and stealing cars. 

I didn’t care what he had done, he made me feel so special, I hadn’t felt that way in years, I hadn’t felt anything in years. 

He spent as much time with me as he could living in a halfway house.  When he was supposed to be working, he would hang out with me and sell drugs.  Eventually, he got in trouble and had to go back to prison. 

I was heartbroken when I didn’t get to see him everyday.  But he called me and wrote me letters.

In January, 2009 I was able to go visit him in prison  I was able to see “my love” again.  At our first visit, he told me he needed me to bring him drugs and explained in great detail how I should do it. 

I foolishly agreed, I would do anything for him. 

So the next time I visited him, I transported drugs to him. It was so easy and the thrill of the danger was addicting.  He promised me he would have people send me money for the drugs I took to him.  He said the price of drugs in prison was so much higher than on the streets.  I did get some money from some people here and there but never anything like he said I would. 

Even so, I continued to take him whatever he asked of me, no matter what the cost to me.  Spending all this money on drugs for him took a major toll on my finances that were already doing poorly. 

At the end of March 2009, I didn’t have enough money to pay my rent so I was evicted from my apartment.  I am thankful I had a true friend who took my daughter and I in and let us stay with her for  about 3 months. 

It was a stressful time in my life, moving and my daughter having to switch schools but it was nice to have support from someone who cared about us. 

Even though all these horrible things were happening in my life as a direct result of the poor choices I had made, I still had no desire to make any changes

I found myself pushing even harder to find customers I could sell myself to, I was even taking less and less money for my services. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but my self-worth was nothing, I didn’t value myself at all. 

My customers saw me as nothing and I saw myself as worthless, only good for one thing.

I had one customer in particular that saw me as nothing but his slave.  That was his thing, I was his slave and he was my master.  He would beat me severely on my chest and my back.  I never had to have sex with him but I always had to take a beating.  One time, he even burned my breasts with a cigarette over and over.  He truly made me feel like I was nothing. 

 My boyfriend made me feel good most of the time but I knew deep down that if he truly loved me like he said he did, he would not ask me to take such risks for him.  I was risking my freedom, my daughter. 

If I got caught taking drugs to him, I would go to prison and my daughter would go into foster care.  Getting caught never crossed my mind, my head was clouded by the thought that someone actually loved me. 

I moved out of my friend’s house in June 2009. 

In September 2009, my boyfriend got out of prison.  I picked him up and he came to my apartment. He spent most of the day with me.  I thought we were going to be together. We had talked about marriage and having kids and possibly moving to California together. 

That night he went to the store and never came back. 

I waited for him all night, hoping my gut instinct was wrong but it wasn’t. I never heard from him again. 

All his letters to me about how he loved me, how we were going to have a family, all of it was a huge lie.  He said all those things and made me feel so special just so I would do what he wanted me to do.  He never cared about me or the chances I took for him. 

All of that for nothing, just to be left. 

He didn’t value me at all, he was worse than my customers, at least they valued me enough to pay me. 

That was my thinking back then.  How sad was that?

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18 NLT

Heather and I started talking via email in January 2009. My brother had found her MySpace page and we knew she was dancing. I emailed her and told her she didn’t need to hide from me because I knew the truth. We talked on and off.

In March, when Heather got evicted from her apartment, she emailed me to ask for money. My husband and I talked about it and consulted a few trusted friends about what to do.

We decided, instead of throwing money at her, we would offer to pay for plane tickets home and let her move in with us.

She declined.

It wasn’t time yet. But soon, very soon.

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

 

Behind Bars-Part 4 December 14, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:03 am
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We continue with Heather’s story. Last Sunday Heather shared this entire story with our church. Words cannot describe the powerful message she delivered. I am so proud of my little sister 🙂

If you have missed previous weeks you can click here for last week and from there you can keep clicking to find the first one.

old-rusty-lockOn February 14, 2008, I was invited to go out with a girl I knew from the club I was working at.  She told me how she had been going to night clubs and meeting men and making money by hanging out with them or going to their hotel rooms with them. 

I thought that sounded easy enough and I was getting tired of working at the club every night so I ventured out with her. 

We had a drink at a bar at one of the casinos and meet a man who said he was from out of town and wanted us to go to his room. 

My friend did all the talking and negotiating and we walked toward the front of the casino to go to the man’s room.  Then he reached in his pocket and pulled out a badge and told us we were under arrest for solicitation and prostitution

We went to jail at 5am Valentine’s Day morning. 

I couldn’t believe I was sitting in jail and what made it even worse was the fact that I had left my daughter, who was now 10 years old, home alone

I left her, thinking I would be back home long before she even woke up for school.  I couldn’t believe what I had done. 

How stupid was I to listen to this girl and try to make money doing things her way instead of my way that had always been safe for me?  I thought I was at the lowest of lows. 

My daughter ended up getting herself up for school and walking to school that morning. 

I did eventually talk to my neighbor on the phone and she was able to get my daughter after school and keep her at her place until I got out of jail the next morning. 

I again was so ashamed of what I had done. 

From that charge, I had to take an AIDS awareness class and do 30 hours of community service.  My case was dismissed about a year after I was arrested. 

After going to jail for 24 hours, I knew that was a place I never wanted to end up again. 

I continued to work as a stripper but became very cautious when it came to meeting new customers to take outside the club. 

I had quite a few regulars and made most of my money from them.

I even had found myself a sugar daddy.  He lived across the country but would send money to me whenever I asked him to. He was there for me for about a year then he stopped returning my calls. 

I think I had become too dependent on him.  I’m sure he had gotten tired of always having to come to my rescue and he probably wondered where all his money was going, why I could never get ahead. 

The truth was, as fast as I made the money, I spent it even faster.

If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored—so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! Job 22:23-24 NLT

What’s your Genesis 5020? After Heather’s story is done I need yours. Email your story to: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

 

Becoming Numb-Part 3 December 7, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:01 am
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Here is part three of Heather’s Genesis 5020. Click here for last week’s and from there you can follow back to the first week.

Later that same year, I found out I was pregnant with my friend’s boyfriend’s baby

I was still dancing, prostituting and doing all kinds of drugs and alcohol.  I thought a baby would interfere with my lifestyle and besides, my friend was never givensad-woman-1347879026vYL the opportunity to have her boyfriend’s baby, how could I, being a good friend, have his baby.   

I told them I was pregnant and they immediately offered to pay for the abortion

So on December 6, 2006, I terminated my pregnancy.  I was 8 ½ weeks along.  I was very emotionally upset after I did that, which drove me even further into my drug and alcohol addiction.

I continued my reckless lifestyle. 

I turned 28 in January, 2007.  At the end of February, I found out I was pregnant again

I wasn’t sure who the father was, it could have been a few different people this time.  I knew I still wasn’t ready to make any changes in my lifestyle. 

I struggled the way it was to take care of the daughter I had, how could I take care of another child? 

On March 6, 2007(yes, exactly 3 months after my first abortion), I terminated my pregnancy

I was only 4 weeks along but I knew even then, I had murdered another child of mine

The effects of abortion are devastating.  There are no words to describe the feeling of having a life ripped from your body

See, for my first abortion, I was completely under anesthesia but for my second one, I only had the laughing gas so I was still aware of what was happening to me and my baby.  I felt so ashamed and guilty

The only way I knew how to cope with those feelings was to numb myself

I was numb for years after that. 

I refused to feel anything, the moment I started to feel a twinge of anything, I took a drink or found some drugs.  I was dying and didn’t care. 

Any sign of the good, Christian girl I was, was long gone.  I had turned into a monster I didn’t know and had no idea how to control. 

I did anything and everything to stay numb.

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. Job 8:21 NLT

It amazes me to think about how I prayed for Heather during all of this, not knowing what was happening. My prayer was “Do whatever it takes to bring her home.”  Reading this you would think this might be enough. But God, in all His wisdom knows what it will take to bring us back to Him.

Heather’s “whatever it takes” wouldn’t happen for three more years. 

 

Bought with a Price-Part 2 November 30, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:58 am
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Today we continue with Heather’s Genesis 5020. If you missed last week’s you can find it here.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV

I slowed down on going out to the clubs for a little while until I found another friend to hang out with. 

When I was 26 years old, my boyfriend at the time suggested I try dancing to make some extra money as I was struggling to pay my bills.  I dismissed it at first but then considered it after a man I met at a night club suggested the same thing.  So I looked into it. 

I obtained my business license and sheriff’s card and found a job working as a dancer at a well-known strip club.

My first weekend working at the club, I made more money than I made working 2 weeks at my day job.  I thought it was fun. 

I was able to drink, dance and make money at the same time.  I was getting all kinds of attention from men that made me feel so powerful.

A few months after I started dancing, I quit my day job and just danced full-time.  The money was great at first

I was able to buy my daughter all the things she wanted and I was home more during the day so I could be more involved in her school activities.  At least, that’s how I justified what I was doing.

It didn’t take long for drugs to be introduced to me. 

I thought it was harmless. I would only do them before going to work to give me that extra boost of courage to do what I had to do to make money, because drinking just wasn’t enough

Soon I needed the drugs to get through the day, any day, working or not. 

Drugs are expensive and sometimes there weren’t a lot of men at the club so I had to take things a step further in order to maintain my lifestyle. 

I became a prostitute

For me, it was easier to sell myself than to sell a lap dance. 

I could usually make more money in less time that way, too.  It was fun and easy at first, since I had always been promiscuous anyway, now I was getting paid to do something I used to do for free and generally enjoyed.

The summer after I turned 27, I visited my family in Michigan.  It was a short visit. 

My dad and I had a huge fight over things that had happened in my childhood.  He refused to see my perspective and I his. 

I took my daughter and left my parents’ house in anger.  I didn’t speak to them again for 2 ½ years.  My daughter didn’t understand why she couldn’t see her grandparents anymore but I didn’t care, they had wronged me and I didn’t want anything to do with them. 

I didn’t realize it then, but see it so clearly now, the enemy had a grip on me and was hard at work helping me destroy my life.  He loved every minute of it while it grieved God tremendously.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 NIV

Although Heather wasn’t speaking to any of us and I did not know the extent of her darkness, I was on my knees daily. My prayer was that God would bring her back to us, no matter what. I asked Him to do whatever it took to bring her to us.

I say this to encourage those of you who are on your knees praying for lost loved ones, our God’s love never fails, never gives up. Keep praying.

If you have someone you would like prayer for leave a comment and I promise you, I will lift up your loved one.

 

What Happens in Vegas-Part 1 November 23, 2012

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:38 pm
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Today , and for the next few weeks, we have a very special guest, my sister, Heather Spiegel. I don’t even know what to say about her. She is amazing. When you hear her story and what God has done and continues to do, I am sure you will be speechless.

Sit back and read Heather’s Genesis 5020 and see how God never let her go, even when she let go of Him.

When I was 25 years old and my daughter was 6 years old, we moved across the country to Las Vegas, NV. 

I had made all the appropriate arrangements, I had a good job lined up, had a nice apartment in a good neighborhood, I had even found a day care at a church for my daughter to attend during the summer before school started. 

I honestly believed God wanted me to move there.  I had prayed about it and even asked Him to stop me from moving if I wasn’t supposed to move. 

God didn’t stop me, as a matter of fact, my plans couldn’t have gone better. 

So I moved.

Shortly after getting settled into my new home, I made friends with some of my neighbors. 

One of them was a married man who had 3 beautiful children.  His wife worked and he stayed home with the kids. 

It didn’t take long for us to become more than friends

He often complained about how he and his wife were not getting along and how bad his marriage was.  He was reaching out to me and I too was reaching out to him, being a single mom in a new city, I was lonely and wanted companionship. 

We soon had a physical affair

It wasn’t long after our affair started that I found out I was pregnant. 

I didn’t know what to do but I knew I didn’t want to terminate the pregnancy.  So I decided I would keep the baby and this man and I would be together. 

He was ready and willing to leave his wife and move in with me.  He had started moving his things into my apartment but I soon realized I liked my own space and didn’t want him living with me.  I told him to take his things and go back home to his wife.

At my 6 week doctor’s appointment, my doctor did an ultrasound to determine how far along I was.  While he was doing the ultrasound, he asked me some questions that led me to believe something wasn’t right

I asked him what was wrong and told him I wouldn’t be upset because I really didn’t want to be pregnant in the first place. 

He told me I was miscarrying and needed a d&c.  I said okay and left his office. 

As I was driving back to work, I started to cry, I had lost my baby.

I quickly recovered from my loss by turning to alcohol and men

I had made friends with another neighbor of mine.  She had just moved to Vegas from Chicago.  We had a lot in common and got along very well.  She and I would go out and hit the night clubs 5-6 nights a week. 

We would drink heavily and meet men at the clubs who we would either take home with us that night or meet up with later on in the week.  We met so many men that we lost track of them

We thought we were having the time of our lives. 

One night, as we were leaving a club, we were both drunk, she started yelling at me and then started hitting me and pulling my hair.  I had no idea where this behavior was coming from. 

I did my best to fight back but I had never been in a fight before so I really didn’t know what I was doing.  The bouncers who worked at the club came and split us up.  I drove home and she had to take a cab. 

I picked my daughter up from the sitters then went home to get ready for bed. 

Shortly after we got home, my friend came to my apartment.  I thought she wanted to talk about whatever she was upset about but she had other plans.  She grabbed my hair and punched me in the face over and over.

My daughter witnessed the whole thing

I told my daughter to call 911 and she did.  Before the police arrived, my friend had left.  I filed a police report and got a temporary protection order against her. 

She left me alone after that.

I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers. Deuteronomy 30:18-20 NIV

Have you ever prayed about something and thought God made it happen but in hindsight see how maybe the enemy had a hand in it instead? Care to share your experience with us?

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