“No Man Could Heal Me” at Prodigal Magazine

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I unconsciously hoped for what the media portrays as the romantic ideal: a wounded girl is rescued by a kind man who teaches her to trust and hope again. I wanted someone to do the healing work for me. Problem is, the movies and books don’t tell you that no man should have to carry that burden in addition to his own burdens. You’ll both be tangled in each other’s demons in addition to your own.

Writing at Prodigal Magazine today on why “No Man Could Heal Me.

If good men will come alongside and you don’t put an unrealistic burden on them, they can help you be strong for all those times the knight in shining armor missed his entrance (or exit). You are comrades who love, not lovers.

“God, How Could You?” at Prodigal Magazine

godhowcouldyousmPerhaps it began at age fourteen when I visited Morocco’s slums and started taking Paxil. How can a good God let innocent children suffer? The question grew louder when I realized human trafficking still existed–in the States. Read more. 

This morning “God, How Could You?” was published over at Prodigal Magazine. It’s the piece I mentioned the other day.

I’m not one of those “write a little every day” sorts of people. For me, I want every time I write, and every finished piece, to push me in both the craft and content. I couldn’t pull that off every day. But when I do it, I want it to be a step forward. A strategic movement toward the High Places

This one wore me out, both in the living and the telling.

He wasn’t asking me to deny anything I’ve experienced or believed and unbelieved. He challenged my despair by reminding me that I don’t have the full answer or perspective on my questions. He challenged me to keep searching and fighting.

“Further up and further in” (as C.S. Lewis says) things will look different than they do right now. Was I willing to believe that my search wasn’t over?

I’m trying. Read more.

Purity vs. Innocence

whitedressWearing a white dress is not a bride’s prerogative. The primary images for Pursue the Beauty focus on women wearing white dresses. This is no coincidence or a mere sentimental nod. It is in part because of the exquisite taste of Jamie Marie, but there’s more.

Other women deserve and need the opportunity to experience what a white dress symbolizes: beauty, purity, hope for the future. Sex slaves. Women who have been raped, molested, or abused in any way. Feel free to add to the list.

Purity is not a physical condition. It  can sometimes involve our bodies, but purity is not defined by the possession of a physical attribute or lack of certain physical experiences.

 Purity is not a physical condition.

On February 1, many supporters of the White Umbrella campaign wore white as part of White Out for Freedom. For me, it served in part as a reminder of the accurate definition of purity.1926_WhiteUmbrella_SharableImages_480x268_3

There is a marked distinction between purity and innocence. Don’t believe me? You’ve never had someone touch you against your will. The difference is everything. Unfortunately, the girls who have experienced forced intimacy struggle to believe it, too. Truth is, sex slaves are no less pure than you or me, but their innocence (and far more) has been stripped away and nefarious lies pounded into their bodies.

This is a horrific crime.  There is no way to make restitution for lost innocence. But they need a chance to wear white and know beauty. To feel safe and clean.

Do we care enough to fight for this?

Top photo courtesy of Jamie Marie Photography

Project Rescue

projectrescueMy first introduction to Project Rescue came in picking up the book Beyond the Soiled Curtain (unfortunately out of print) at a thrift shop in the Ozarks. Before I had time to begin reading I searched online for Project Rescue and read everything I could find on the organization. Wow.

Here were people with a similar passion as the International Justice Mission which I have supported through the years specifically because of their work with young girls who are sexually exploited. Why had I never heard of Project Rescue before? They are helping the girls that some would never touch; they are battling an evil some will not even acknowledge as existing. Human slavery has not ended in America, much less other parts of the world such as Asia and Eastern Europe. Did you know that one million new children are drawn into the commercial sex trade every year? Can we even comprehend such a number? Do we even care?

A girl who is purchased by a trafficker for as little as $150 can be sold to customers as many as ten times a night and can bring in $10,000 a month profit. With minimal expenses, police as co-conspirators, and almost unlimited victims to prey upon, trafficking for sexual exploitation is surpassing the sale of illegal drugs as the preferred industry for criminals. In India, there are approximately 10 million prostitutes, and an estimated 300,000 – 500,000 of them are children. In the city of Mumbai, 90% of the 100,000 women in prostitution are indentured slaves. – from Project Rescue

I am selfish and stupid if I ignore reality. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I know it exists. This organization’s purpose to Rescue, Restore, and Prevent is one I whole-heartedly support. The need and magnitude of this issue could easily seem overwhelming and too difficult. I may not be equipped or able to save one million children this year from slavery, but I can do something.