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Single Mother's New Life Came on Easter

“Easter to me means new beginnings and new life. The old has gone and I’m a new creation. I get to think back to the day that I knew God was real,” said Elicia.

In 1994 Elicia was struggling to provide for herself, when she took a job as a stripper.  Growing up, her life had been filled with disappointment – an absent father, a mother who worked long hours, and she was being physically abused by a family member.  “So my dad didn’t want to stay and then this man was abusing me. So I just felt that it’s got to be me.  I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t pretty enough. That’s why I was always trying to fit in and prove and be good enough. And not make anybody else go away.”

To fit in, Elicia began drinking in high school.  “When I drank, it made me feel accepted. It made me feel a part of and I got attention. Suddenly the boys were all around me. There were times where I was with boys and I was too afraid to even say no to them because I just was so insecure of what they would think or what they would say.”

When Elicia got pregnant at 21, her child’s father walked away.  “So I think that I just always felt I had to fend for myself and that I was never going to have someone who was just in my corner.”

After giving birth, Elicia felt hopeless and overwhelmed and soon turned to partying and hard drugs. She began stealing from her part-time job to support her habit and was fired. Then, she turned to exotic dancing.  “I met a customer who gave me $800 and then I was sold. I just knew that this was going to be the answer to my problems. I was going to go to school for two years and quit and get out and life was going to be fixed.”

But Elicia stayed in the business for 13 years. She thought her life was finally changing for the better when she fell in love and got engaged.  “He was going to be my savior and one day he called me on the phone and said he was done.  I remember the next day I didn’t even want to live. The next two years is kind of a drunken blur.”

She threw herself even deeper into a life of drinking, drugs, and dancing. Then over Easter weekend in 2009, Elicia discovered she was pregnant again.  “Just distraught. ‘Like, What do I do? I can’t have another child.’ I didn’t know the father. It was just this embarrassing, shameful, moment of my life that I was thinking ‘What is going on? I remember contemplating abortion.”

Elicia had gone to church as a child, but now she only attended on Easter Sunday with family. She joined her mother in church the following day.  

“It was someone introducing their production. I heard her say, ‘And the name of our production today is called Eternal Choices.’ I knew in that moment, she was talking to me. And this is God.”

When she returned home, Elicia knew it was time to make her choice. She reached for the Bible she had been given as a gift the month before and began to read about King Solomon.  

“I got on my knees on the floor and I just cried out to God. ‘God, I cannot make this decision on my own. I need You.  I need Your guidance.’ And I literally opened up to I Kings 3:24. The first words I read were, Bring me my sword. I’ll cut the baby in half and give one half to one woman and one half to another. Of course didn’t know my Bible and I was like, ‘What in the world?’ And you keep reading and it says the king says, ‘Do not kill the child. Give it to the woman who wants it to live for she is his real mother.’ I knew in that moment, for the first time in my life, how real God was. Because there was no other explanation why I opened up to that page. I sat there for  about 15 minutes in tears. God was calling to me of like choose Me. Choose Me this time.”

Elicia vowed to keep her baby and surrendered her life to Christ.  “For the first time I felt truly loved and accepted no matter what I had done. No matter who I had been and He had never left my side. I just felt completely loved.”

Elicia stopped doing drugs and walked away from the strip club. She began attending church and growing in her faith. She’s also a pastor and shares God’s love with women in the sex industry as part of As You Are Ministries.  Today she has two beautiful daughters and every Easter she is reminded of the new life she has found in Jesus Christ.

“I get to think back to the day that I knew I was going to have this gift of my daughter. I tell her all the time, ‘You saved my life. You brought me Jesus.’  It’s a time that I celebrate because everything changed. Easter marks the day that everything changed.”

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