[This post is a part of the WikiConference 2014 series of posts]
Polly lives in Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas with her husband, twin teenage daughters and her corgi, Cowboy. She is the founder of We Are Cherished, a ministry that reaches out to women in the sex industry. Polly is passionate for women to know their true worth and value, discovering who they were created to be.
What are the first 3 words that pop into your head when you think of women and men that have been impacted by the sex industry?
The sex industry impacts people in our congregations. It impacts both men and women in our churches, including those who are in the sex industry and those who are consumers of it. As Christians we are called to create, to walk alongside, to disciple, and to love well.
Loving well hurts.
Polly’s desire in telling her story was to passionately call us as church leaders to love others extravagantly. There are people in our congregations who are dying inside. They are fearful to be honest about their struggles and their stories because of what people might think.
60 percent of men in our churches struggle with pornography, including pastors. It’s a hardcore addiction.
Polly shared her story out of the sex industry, which she also shares on her blog:
I graduated from high school and headed to college. For the first semester I was the art major who led my dorm in parent’s day activities. On the inside and in my “other life” I was a stripper. It gave me a sense that I was invincible. The men drooled over me! They wanted me and I could say “yes” or “no”. I had told myself I would be the one in control of the situation, and I definitely thought I was in control of the men. Dancing gave me a feeling of self worth in such a deceptive and destructive way I had no idea I was spiraling into a pit of hell. For two years I lived this life. Sleeping with countless men, failing out of college, and completely losing who I was and what I’d become, I hit the bottom and tried to commit suicide. I quit dancing, left college and moved out of state where I quickly learned that your problems follow you wherever you go.
By this time in my early twenties, I just wanted to be loved for who I was, not for who I was running from.
I was told about Jesus during those tumultuous years but did not listen. I hated God. What kind of God would allow these horrible things to happen to a child? So I shunned Him. After all of this Jesus Christ still wooed me. He pursued me. He loved me madly, even though the world looked at me and turned away ashamed. He was never ashamed of me. He knew me before I took my first breath. He knew the path I was going to take but still wanted me: shamed, sinful, lustful, and prideful me.
What is God’s calling for you when it comes to loving others affected by this issue? Christ’s love is not cautious, it’s extravagant. It’s not your job to save them, but it is your job to love them.