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
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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 MySisterSong.com 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: MySisterSong.com. 

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?

LivingWell

 

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.

 

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. ********

 

Her Only Hope-Part 7 January 4, 2013

Filed under: Heather's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:50 pm
Tags: , , ,

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
Tags: , ,

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

 

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.