This Time Last Year

This time last year, around the holidays, I was staying in a hotel that had been paid for a week in advance. My pimp paid for the weekly rate because he was going out of town to visit his family. My job was to stay behind, turn dates* and hold the money until he returned. While I was staying at the hotel I met a lady down the hall. She sold me painkillers. Because my pimp was out of town, I had all the freedom to get high.

Not long after, I called an old dealer who sold me more pills. They were supposed to be perc’s 30 mg but I later found out they were schizophrenic pills, by then I had already taken 3. I was out of my mind for 3 days. I called people in my contacts and said crazy, irrational, random things. Apparently a friend of mine came by and helped me sober up before my pimp got back into town. I was too far under the influence and didn’t remember any of this. She informed me I had walked around in my robe and lingerie for 3 days like a wild woman. The flood of return calls and texts from various contacts filled in the other blanks. When my pimp got back I held this information from him, knowing I’d be in trouble if he knew. Luckily, I did manage to make some money and had something to turn in.

I realize now that this time last year I was alone and addicted to painkillers. I was taking anything to cope with my lifestyle and the emptiness inside. I used painkillers to numb the pain, though it was only temporary. Sure, I felt the pain of being in a hotel room on Christmas and turning dates, without any family, my children, or anyone who actually cared about me. But my only purpose was to give men pleasure and make money for my pimp. To carry on, I simply numbed the pain.

But God has showed me that I am more than that, I am a person. I have feelings and emotions and my existence here in life is more than what I was trained to do. God is using Refuge for Women to show me my worth. I’m learning my true value can’t be bought or sold. My value doesn’t come with a price tag, and you surely can’t buy salvation.

This holiday season I’m truly grateful for God and for Refuge for Women. I’ve been given back life that I didn't know I still had. I’m in a warm home, I’m sober, I have a Christmas tree and a healthy support system. I’m rebuilding a relationship with my estranged children and my father. But most of all, I’m finding an intimate relationship with God. And I’m finding new life. God isn’t numbing my pain, he’s treating it.

I’m getting healing and support from people I just met, and the only thing we have in common is our love for God. I’m more than grateful for RFW. I’m humbled by the presence of God here in this ministry and how I get to feed my longing for God through the lifework we have to do here. I have a safe place to get to know God and his character and that what he planned for my life is not in the cards that I’ve been dealt. His plans and intentions were never to hurt me, but to embrace and love me. I find his protection here.

This time next year I hope to be with my family and children in a safe environment. I hope to be using my testimony to help women like me--- to save someone from going down the same road, and to give them hope that it’s possible to get out.

Emma

Jeremiah 29:11 I say this because I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good, and not for disaster, to give you hope and a good future.

*Turn a date/trick: to perform a sexual act


Disclaimer: Please note resident quotes and testimonies are provided for use by Refuge for Women, Inc. and its subsidiaries for the purpose of general communications and updates to staff, volunteers and supporters of Refuge for Women. Identities of RFW residents are protected by alias names. The contents of testimonies should not be used for any professional publications without permission from Refuge for Women, Inc.