Last week I saw a movie that has beautifully illustrated my journey of transition from the lifestyle of an adult entertainer. There have been so many versions and interpretations to the popular and critically-acclaimed musical, Les Miserables. The fact that this production is in the “musical” genre has kept me from having any interest in seeing it. When I came across this particular version, I let my guard down because I couldn’t see Liam Neeson or Uma Thurman belting out a whole movie. I am so glad I gave it a chance because this genius piece had no singing. This movie was literally the most cathartic, encouraging and gut wretching thing I’ve seen in a while.
Les Miserables illustrated why there are people in the world who rule with an iron fist. These people have heavy-handed judgement and hatred in their hearts and attached stigmatising labels to brand others socially with an inescapable spiritual death sentence. This movie contained prostitution, desperation, incarceration and redemption. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who is interested but this movie was amazing to me because of the focus on the concept of redemption from a person’s past, protecting loved ones from a bad past and how society labels and condemns people, trapping them in a time warp where whatever they do, they can never live down their past mistakes. There may be times where the past will stalk, threaten and bind up a person, even if they make peace with it. Only until a person surrenders to, own and embrace their past, with no need for revenge or having feelings of resentment and shame will they remove the power and negativity of the label.
This movie reminded me of a few concepts the Bible teaches us about the price Jesus paid for anyone to start new in him. For anyone in transition, I want you to know God wants to extend His hand to you but you will not be the same. When you get the opportunity to start over, you will choose your new actions for your new life. You are no longer subjected to responding the same way you did before. When one of the characters did something wrong and blamed it on the label the world saw him as, someone told him he was redeemed through Christ. We are instructed to renew our minds and in this film, I saw how a new beginning was embraced and a new creature lived but still had to suffer for the actions of the old creature. I was moved by the necessary loyalty to the decision to change even when some situations threatened life itself.
“Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19 AMPC
One of the other concepts that hit home with me was protecting someone from their past so they can live a label free life. Protecting the innocence of children, family or even a spouse is a difficult and taxing task on the relationship. The sacrifice and protection it takes to ensure someone has the opportunity to have the advantage of an untarnished name is crushingly painful as it requires the installation of secrets and strict adherence to rules nobody else will ever understand without the threat of exposure. Once the exposure happens, the relationship is at the mercy of society, the results can be devastating if one does not know their identity in Christ. This film also showed how the freedom one feels when the past is finally faced, owned and the consequences are faced with dignity and true repentance can be one of the ultimate lifetime achievement. There is redemption in God.
“For I will restore healing to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast.” Jeremiah 30:17
I want every dancer, especially one in transition, to watch this movie. Watching the characters in this movie struggle to etch out a life on the brink of society’s acceptance of their humanity was sometimes hard to watch and triggered me with feelings of depression, anger, despair and reminded me of the cold isolation I endured during the beginning stages of my transition. As each dancer watches, I want her to remember that there is freedom on the other side of her struggle as long as there is a strong will to become dedicated and determined to truly allow herself to be organically renewed. Another key is to humbly endure life.
For me, reconnecting with God through his Holy Word was a huge factor in reconstructing my identity while in transition to a life without the strip club. Get your copy of Scriptures for Strippers from Amazon or from http://www.ScripturesforStrippers.com in order to learn how to apply The Holy Word of God to the situation you are in right now as an exotic dancer. Your life will improve when God’s plan for your life is implemented. God will give you peace in the middle of the storm if you let Him.
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