As I’ve become a human trafficking abolitionist, I’ve come face to face with more memories of God’s grace in my life.
And since these memories are not horror stories with bad endings, most of them are secrets. Secrets I have kept silent to protect the heart of my most amazing mommy.
But I think part of abolition is EDUCATION. Education about risks.
So here’s a memory…
Today is Fat Tuesday, the end of Mardi Gras. As a lifelong Protestant, I barely know what it stands for.
But as a teenager, I knew it stood for one thing.
In Galveston, only 45 mins from where I grew up, Mardi Gras festivities imitated the New Orleans activities. Parades by day, street parties by night.
As a deceptive teenager, I planned a “night at the movies” with my friends, and jumped in the car with another 16-17 yr old. We headed across the big bridge to the party. We parked on a secluded street and headed into the darkness.
My mom liked to keep track of me, so she paged me at one point, and I hiked to find a pay phone to report that I had gone to a later movie… Oh and could I spend the night with my friend?
She made the same plan. To spend the night at my house, that is.
And we wandered into the night.
No where near where we said we were.
Graciously, God brought me home from this particular night & many others when I did not take my safety into account, going to parties in cheap hotels or houses rented by adults who threw parties for teens.
Honestly, I wasn’t trying to get hurt.
I was just trying to have fun.
I thought my mom was just afraid my car would break down.
I DID NOT KNOW THE RISKS.
I did not know that the world was full of perpetrators.
The people in my life, my family, my community, had always cared for me.
This may sound dumb, but my world was so good I didn’t know about rape or sexual abuse.
My safe life BLINDED me to the real world.
Like I said, this story doesn’t have a bad ending. That night, I came home unharmed. Truly, I believe I was wrapped in the prayers of my mother as a shield around me. She did not know the details of each lie, but she knew I was running from her & from God.
The moral of this story:
1. Pray for your kids.
2. Don’t assume they understand what it means that 12-18 year olds are prime victims for trafficking.
3. Pray for your kids.