After I met Jesus and asked Him to take the burden of my sins, I had some misconceptions about who I am and about who I was created to be. To be honest, it’s something I still struggle with, but that’s part of the beauty of this journey with Him: I am constantly surprised and delighted whenever He manages to impart correct information into my dense skull. One particular idea in the area of identity that needed repair was my opinion regarding female sexuality and my prerogatives around it, especially when it came to the selling of it. See, I had previously established a business as an “upscale escort,” meaning that I had successfully marketed my product (me) to claim a significant price-tag, thereby establishing myself as a higher-valued commodity than other “gentleman entertainers,” aka prostitutes.
I maintained the mentality that “higher price equals higher value” until the LORD took me on a trek through my memory, back to a point in my nefarious career of about two months when the U.S. suffered a mild financial crisis. Suddenly, we “entertainers” experienced significantly less bookings for, shall we say, “trysts.” Even some of the women’s lib and sex-positive trailblazers of the 70s and 80s posted blogs about the subject, attempting to reassure those in the “sexual revolution trenches” that this was a normal cycle in the industry; that during tenuous times clients tended to hold their wallets close to themselves. They placated us with words of comfort and certainty that the “dry spell” would end eventually.
During that season I had watched streetwalkers and escorts alike lament the lack of money to pay their bills. I, however, had managed to finagle an interesting live-in situation with my patron client that ensured that I did not starve, which was guaranteed had I continued living in expensive hotels. Unfortunately, this was precisely the time that the abuse started. When it became clear to him that no one else wanted me, evidenced by the lack of clients booking my time and talents, my value in his eyes dropped, and he felt free to treat me, instead of regally, as an unwanted and forsaken burden. I learned a powerful lesson about the world’s standard of value versus GOD’s. The world finds worth in that which is highly desired by the multitude, but advertising and marketing are able to puff up value by manipulation techniques such a rarifying, popularizing, or by attaching an inflated price tag to commercial items. In essence, economics tries to tell us that if it’s popular, rare, or costs a lot, then it is remarkable or significant. But something that Jesus showed me was while the men who had stopped booking me (and seemed perfectly content to read about my friends starving on social media), they were still feeding and clothing and buying gifts for their wives and children and girlfriends
This was a slap to the face.
These same men had come to me to whine about their wives and jobs and kids, crying on my shoulder while committing adultery with me, they showed me what they truly valued when the chips were down. They still provided for the people they loved and cared for and were committed to. Financial uncertainty didn’t make them close up their wallets on groceries and shoes and ballet lessons and basketball uniforms and Black Friday deals. They didn’t cancel Thanksgiving because of a precarious state of the union. But they had cancelled dates with me. You know why?
Because I had a price.
And the people in their family they had deemed priceless.
I realized, with GOD’s help, that I had been selling myself short. I had placed my livelihood in the hands of men who thought it was appropriate to “rent” a woman, and my well-being in the care of a man who thought it was his right to debase one. I realized that I was not “sexually free” as I had once obstinately claimed, but had reduced myself to sexual servitude, and forgot how to be treated with any measure of dignity.
But Jesus cares too much about me to keep me in such an oppressed and soul-damaging position.
He showed me that I was designed with the utmost intricacy, with great care and concern poured into the most of minute details. Nothing about me was an afterthought, because He planned my life from before the beginning of time (see Psalm 139:13-16). Even while knowing the things I would do throughout my life, including rejecting Him for a large portion of it, He loved me even before He laid the foundation of the world, and nothing I can do will make Him stop loving me. He is the One who truly loves me unconditionally (see Jeremiah 31:3). While I had been abandoned and rejected by my father, my mother, and a whole host of men who claimed to “love women,” GOD not only accepts me, but acknowledges me as His own and gives me access to His presence. He doesn’t just tolerate me: He welcomes me with open arms into His court (see Psalm 27:10)! Finally, He loves me so much that He died so that We could be together, paying the ransom on my soul to make me His family (see John 3:16; Ephesians 2:19; Galatians 4:5-7).
So it seems that I really am rare, as I am uniquely hand-crafted (see Psalm 139:14), I am popular, as the King of the universe Himself rejoices over me with singing (see Zephaniah 3:17), and my freedom was purchased at the highest price imaginable – GOD’s own blood (see 1 Corinthians 6:19).
Another tidbit worthy of note: wouldn’t the ruler of this world model the standard for His Kingdom, therefore chasing what He sees value in? Which begs the question: if I am so worthless, of such little value, then why does the devil want me so bad?