They all looked at me with weird facial expressions. “What could she be doing in such a holy gathering?” They might have wondered. They left a whole pew for me and I sat there all alone.
“I surely was in the wrong meeting,” I thought to myself.
My name is Selly, I was a high-class prostitute. Well, that was what I was, but how I found love is just so amazing that I want to share it with you. Follow keenly, you will learn a lot from it.
I never knew my parents so I was automatically an orphan. Apparently, I was picked on the street somewhere by a good Samaritan who sent me to one cruel house. The couple whom I lived with never failed to tell me that I was picked from the street. Truth be told, they weren’t pleasant to me at all. Even once, the man attempted to sleep with me when I was just eleven. I refused and that increased the torture.
So a year later, I fled away never to come back to that house. As I walked about on the street, I met two ladies who welcomed me into their small chamber and hall apartment. They promised to help me go to school. They said I could pay them back later. I didn’t understand what “Pay back later” meant. I was just excited at the news of going back to school.
I was a brilliant student but had to drop out of school after class 5 because the couple I stayed with said that they had no money for me to continue schooling. So I was really excited when the two ladies decided to take me to school.
Every night these ladies will leave home for work and come back the next morning when I was leaving for school.
“What kind of work is only done at night?” It would occur to me but I would just brush it off.
Several years passed and I had now completed Senior High School. It was then that they broke the news to me.
“It seems well to us that you are now of age and have enjoyed the comforts of life for a while. Now, it’s time to join the hustle. “Sis Betty said.
“Okay, I can sell pure water at the junction and make some money before I go to the university,” I responded.
They looked at each other and burst into laughter.
“See, we are night workers and we work with men. If you are to continue to stay in this house, then you have to do what we do”, the other lady, Sis. Gifty said sternly.
Then it dawned on me. I was going to be a prostitute. They consoled, encouraged and taught me some tricks. So at the age of 18, I began selling my body for money. I went through University alright but as a prostitute. I had the nice dresses and even bought a car. However, I was the only one who knew what I was doing to get those flashy things.
After some years, I had graduated to a high level prostitute. I no longer went out to look for men; the men came to me in my plush apartment. And when I say men, I don’t mean ordinary boys; I mean members of parliaments, ministers and CEO’s of big companies. They liked my services and I enjoyed their money.
I now had everything every young woman would wish for. I was no longer staying with Sis. Betty and Sis. Gifty. I lived in my own house with several cars. Yet there was this vacuum within. I had no friend except for the men who patronized my service. But I knew it wasn’t friends that I needed. I needed something more than that.
One day, I went out to a shop in my neighborhood to buy airtime. A woman approached a lady who was standing right beside me in front of the shop and started speaking to her about Jesus. She never bothered to greet or talk to me. Apparently, I was too sinful for the good news she carried.
She spoke to the girl about the love of God and how that Jesus died to set her free. She, then, told her to visit her at church for more. The way she spoke about Jesus sounded good to me. “This is what I may need”, I thought to myself as I walked pass them after buying the airtime.
The next Sunday, I dressed decently for the first time in a very long time and entered the church the woman spoke about. When I entered the church, all eyes fell on me. Then I heard several chuckles. I saw some of the women whispering into the ears of the other women. I felt really bad but I couldn’t go back, could I? So I sat on one of the pews behind.
Soon, the service began and as people entered, they stared at me in awe. Nobody ever came close to me. It was more than racism. I have been in countries where there was racism and any dark-skinned person could feel the discrimination but what I was feeling in the church was worse than that.
Wasn’t the church a place for everyone anymore? Wasn’t it a refuge and resting place for those who were heavy laden anymore? Hmmm!!!
Soon the man of God stepped up to preach and his first words came right at me.
” Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:9)
He quoted it word for word and went on to talk about how every sinner should be shameful of their lives and how they ought to turn away from their sins.
I was a little confused. I wasn’t a fun of church but at least I knew John 3:16; ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
“Was that no longer in the bible?”
As I sat through the service, it was all condemnation and judgement.
As I recount this story, this comes to mind, “If a sinner can save themselves then why did Jesus die?” It’s like someone drowning in the sea. They are gasping for breath with their hands held high for a savior and you stand there saying, “Don’t you know you are drowning, don’t you know you will die, c’mon get out of the sea.” How can someone who is drowning get out?”
That was how I felt as I sat there on the lonely pew. Right after the service, I rushed out. That day at home, I cried my whole being out.
“If this is how it feels to go to church, then I better stay in my house with my sin,” I thought to myself.
Deep inside, I knew something was wrong, this isn’t how Jesus treated people in the bible. At least I could remember some stories from Sunday school. I remembered the story of Zacchaeus, how Jesus went to dine with him and caused his life to turn around. What about Mary Magdalene? She was just like me, I thought, but Jesus didn’t condemn her, rather he enjoyed her calm gesture.
“The church may condemn me, but Jesus, I know that you do not condemn me”, I said amid tears.
Then the story of the Samaritan woman came to mind. My Sunday school teacher was good, you know. She taught me well, ha-ha. This Samaritan woman had already married five men and was currently staying with a man who was not her husband. Jesus knew it but never condemned her.
So l lifted my hands and said “Jesus, I know I have been bad. But I don’t think that matters now. Right now, I’m dying. There’s this empty space in me which I know only you can fill. You didn’t condemn Zacchaeus, the prostitute or even that Samaritan woman, so I know you don’t condemn me. Is it possible to have you in my life? Is it possible to have a brand new life?
My life right now is a mess; I took this path but right now I wish I could have a new life. However, I’m not sure if that’s possible? If it is, please let me know, I will be willing to pay anything for it. I don’t care what it costs, I will give anything and even if you want this body which is worn out from sexual slavery, I will turn it to you. Kindly let me hear from you, Jesus,” I prayed.
It wasn’t long than I heard a knock on my door. I was reluctant to go and open it. I was tired of the old life of bondage and being certain that the knock could be from a customer, I didn’t want to answer it. However, it persisted. I went out to open the door finally and there was this young man.
He smiled and said, “Hello, Are you Selly?”
“Yes and how may I help you?” I replied.
“Well, I was in the neighborhood and decided to pay you a visit”, He responded.
“And how do you know me please? How did you enter through the gate?”, I asked a little surprised.
He smiled the more and said, “Well, your gateman opened it for me. I just want us to be friends. This is my card. Kindly call me so we talk”.
Then he turned to leave. I called him back and asked of his name. He said his name was Kharis. He seemed strange yet very nice. I went back to the hall and sighed. I was still expecting an answer to my prayer.
“I need a new life badly”, I cried aloud.
I laid down thinking about the strange gentleman who just knocked on my door. How did he know my name? Could he be the answer to my prayer? If yes, how? As I thought about it I fell asleep. It was about 5pm.
For the first time in a long time, I slept for quiet long. I woke up around midnight and sent a message to my new-found friend on WhatsApp. However, it wasn’t until morning that the reply came.
It was then that I got the whole scene. He had heard some people in the neighborhood gossiping about me as usual. According to them, I was not only a prostitute but was also involved in rituals for money. That was how I came by such a big house with no siblings or friends.
It hurt me so bad. It’s so amazing how people can craft rumors to fit you perfectly. Hmm! On hearing the gossip, this guy decided to find out who this notorious woman was.
“You are very daring”, I typed.
“Yes! I’m very daring, I’m just like my dad, you know,” He replied.
“Who’s your dad if I may ask?”
“Oh he’s this loving person everyone talks about. Once, there were certain people whom he really loved. However, they disobeyed and left him. They got themselves into a mess and needed someone to save them. My dad knew about it all along. Do you know what he did? He asked
“Unless you tell me”, I replied.
“Just try a guess”, He insisted.
“Well, that moment was good to point their wrong to their faces and leave them to their fate. After all, they were reaping the results of what they’ve sown”, I replied.
“You are very sincere, he said, but my dad didn’t do that, he let them know he loves them and did everything necessary to save them. It was very costly but he went ahead to do so. That’s very daring you see”.
“Who is this dad you are talking about?” I asked feeling a bit intrigued and curious.
“Oh I’m talking about God. He’s my dad”, he replied.
How can a person be so intimate with God and refer to him as dad? Could I have God as a dad too. I wanted to ask him but felt a little shy to do so.
However, after some time of speaking to him, he kept mentioning “My dad this, my dad that” till I finally gave in.
“Can I have God as my dad too”, I asked once when he visited me at home.
He said, “Yea! Why not!”.
Then I broke down before him. I told him of how I wanted a new life and how messed up I felt.
“That’s not much of a deal. It’s a done deal as a matter of fact. Jesus already made the provision for you to have a brand new life. You just have to receive it”, he said.
“How do I do that?” I asked desperately.
Then he opened the bible and pointed out a verse to me which I read out loud
Romans 10:9 (NLT)
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
“Is that all it takes?” I asked.
“Yes! Or do you read any other there? Okay read this too. He opened another bible verse.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Or you can look at this too;
Romans 10:13 (NLT)
For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
I broke down into tears. I didn’t know that it was that easy to be saved. I thought it was something I had to do myself.
” What about abstaining from sin and all those stuff?”
“As we read, we are saved by grace and not by works. That means that it is not our doing right or abstaining from sin that saves us. It is the Grace of God that saves us.”
“Wow, how come I never heard of this?”
“You see salvation is not in abstaining from sin, although, sin is bad. Salvation is about believing that Jesus took your place of sin, died for you and resurrected for your justification. To be justified means to be declared righteous. It means to have no record of sin.
All you have to do is to believe in Jesus and received forgiveness for all your sins. The moment you believe in him, there’s no record of your sins no matter how grievous it is. It is not because God is light on sin; it is because he became a man to take the punishment of all your sins.”
I couldn’t believe my ears.
“So you mean God can forgive all that I have done and give me a new start?”
“Better than that, my dear. He has already forgiven you through Jesus Christ. You just have to receive the forgiveness he has made available to you. Also, he is not just giving you a fresh start. If he just gives you a fresh start, you can mess it up again. He wants to give you a new life, his very life.”
“Wow! This is mind-blowing. What did you say I have to do again?”
“Just believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised for your justification.”
“Kharis, you know what? I believe! I have never heard of all that you are saying before. Somehow, I knew God could be better than most of the things I heard about him. But what you are saying is just over the top. It is too good to even believe.”
“That’s the gospel, my dear. It is news too good to be true. You are saved just by believing in Jesus. As you have believed in him, you have received salvation. Declare this with me as an affirmation of the salvation you have received. “Jesus, thank you for the gift of salvation. I believe that you died for me and was raised for my salvation. I believe I am saved, I am born again and a child of God. Hallelujah!”
I repeated it after him.
“So what next?”
“You are saved.”
“Really? Just like that?”
“Thank you so much”
I couldn’t hold my tears. It was a beginning of a new life. Daily, I grew in my fellowship with God through studying the word and praying. Of course! It was possible with Kharis’ help. He thought me how to read the bible seeing Christ in every page. As I did so, I found myself growing in the knowledge of Christ and becoming more intimate in my relationship with God.
It was two years after this wonderful new birth experience and I heard something else that stunned me. Kharis wanted to marry me. I wasn’t sure if I could believe that.
“You want to marry me”, I asked. I was a prostitute, remember, no decent man would want a prostitute for a wife and see I have….”
“Shhhhh!! Just stop it. It’s not needed. I knew that prostitute and I saw that prostitute die that day when you accepted Christ. So what the big deal? Afterall, I am the one who has decided to marry you”, he said.
“Would your parent accept me if they knew about my past?” I asked still not convinced.
He laughed and said, “If God, my heavenly dad, accepted you as you were then you don’t have a problem with my parent. The same God lives in them and will cause them to accept you”.
Stunned, I agreed. Miraculously, his parents agreed to it after a long while of hesitation. Finally, we got married. Today, we are happily married with two kids and I’m investing my time in letting them know about this love God who does not condemn but gives us his life and changes us from within.
Friend, God does not condemn you. Release yourself from the guilt. Don’t condemn yourself. Accept Jesus today and launch into your new life.
Jesus says to you, “I DO NOT CONDEMN YOU.” Believing this is the step to overcoming that sin and coming out of that defeated life.
(NB: This isn’t a true story. It’s purely fictional. Any resemblance is purely coincidental)
By Kreative Sandy.