From Erin: Hey girls! I’d love to introduce you to Promise Bradley. She’s a super-cool girl who loves Jesus like crazy, is passionate about teaching God’s Word to young women like you, and feels specifically called to minister to those in the sex industry. I’ve met Promise a time or two at events and because of her passion for Jesus and willingness to go wherever He sends her, I just knew I wanted to introduce her to you. It’s my hope that she will stretch you in your idea of what it means to love others and serve them in Jesus’ name. Check it out!
She wouldn’t tell us her real name. She didn’t trust us enough for that yet. Instead, she gave us her stage name. It was the same name she gave to dozens of drunk, lustful clients night after night who drank her in with ravenous eyes, pawed at her with greedy hands, taunted and cooed at her in the same breath, and flung crumpled money at her feet. It was a name that kept her soul at arm’s length from them even while her body was up for grabs. She hid behind that name. It was a castle that kept her safe from the torrent of lust swirling around her. It protected her true self from a life she was never designed to live.
My Name Is Promise
My name is Promise. That’s really my name. All my life I’ve had to tell people that upon first meeting them, but never so much as I do now that I frequently visit strip clubs. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s quite helpful at breaking the ice. The women I meet all have very creative stage names, and there’s a story behind each one. There’s a story behind my name, too. And I absolutely love connecting with them over our names. I love hearing their stories and sharing my story with them.
You see, I reach out to and serve women who work in the sex industry. My team and I go directly into strip clubs and make real one-on-one connections with the women and men who work there. We do NOT go with the goal of condemning, picketing, convincing people to leave their jobs, or to shut down their clubs. We go with the simple goal of serving. We make friends. We show the unconditional, no-strings-attached, extravagant love of a father that God has shown to us. And lo and behold, the Word of God proves to be true: His goodness really does lead to repentance. And His light really does shine in the darkness. And His mercies really are endless. He really does set captives free, heal the brokenhearted, and bring dead things to life. He really is the One who so loved the world! And we really are His ambassadors of reconciliation.
This Promise Is For Everyone
That’s why I get excited every time a woman working in the clubs asks me how I got my name. It’s from the Bible. Acts 2:39 states, “The promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (emphasis added). The promise is the Holy Spirit. What the Scripture really means is that the Holy Spirit, God’s presence here on earth, is for everyone, even those who are considered by some to be far off.
Yes, God is for strippers! And though it might surprise you, in every strip club I’ve ever been in, He, the Holy Spirit, eventually shows up! That’s because God absolutely loves people no matter what they’ve done or are currently doing. And He absolutely loves revealing Himself to people through you and me!
Called To Be a Light
Now, you might not be called to go into strip clubs, but you are called to be a light to a lost and broken world steeped in darkness. We all walk through dark places. For many of us, it’s our schools, for others our workplaces, and for some our own families. And maybe you’re like me. I used to think that being a light in such deep darkness was difficult. But what serving the sex industry has taught me is that it’s incredibly easy: simply fall deeply in love with Jesus and go serve His lost sons and daughters like crazy!
Once you start to shine like that, the lost and broken people around you will be poised to discover that there is one name above all names; a name that is the one and only truly secure hiding place. That name is Jesus. At that name, every knee bows. Darkness bows its knee. Brokenness bows its knee. Insecurity bows its knee. Pride bows its knee. Lust, greed, fear, anger, vanity, addiction, depression, and regret bow their knees. Even religion bows. In His name, the lost find shelter, safety, and a hiding place. They can come to know the love of a Father who would seat them in high places with His Son, Jesus, forgiving all their sins and showering them with affection.
Discovering God’s Name
I’m privileged to witness women discover His name all the time. They discover that His name is an impenetrable fortress. And no one can touch any part of them in that name.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe (Prov. 18:10).
Eventually, she did tell us her real name. It’s a beautiful name. But even if she hadn’t told us, it wouldn’t matter, because God knows her. Her name is written on the palm of His hand (Isa. 49:16). And now her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev. 21:27). Yep, you can be sure that God knows her name.
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