Well last night was a wonderful, short but hard-won visit. And by hard-won, I mean that it was God that made it possible for this visit to happen.
I'm going to have to give you a little back story this time. Yesterday afternoon while enjoying the beautiful weather with some friends, I seem to have been stung by something. My finger started swelling up faster than anything I've seen (at least on me - the only other time comparable is when Josiah was accidentally hit in the face with a plastic bat by another kid at a party), and I was immediately scared that a) my finger would keep swelling until it exploded and b) that I would have to postpone the Cherished visit. I really didn't want either of these things to happen, so I ran to the medicine cabinet, grabbed some children's benadryl and proceeded to misread the directions and take 3x the recommended dose for an adult. That is very bad. Thank goodness for my friend Stephanie who said, "Um, Jessie, are you sure that's how much you're supposed to be taking?" or I might have taken more. Teaspoon is significantly different than tablespoon.
Fast forward an hour, and I'm starting to feel loopy. I had my friend Natalie drive us to the club, and on the way there, I called TJ's aunt (who is basically a doctor) and she told me I needed to throw up immediately. Natalie and I prayed, because I've never been able to do that before, and ran into the Paddywagon. I know it might not seem like much to you, but I was able to throw up everything in my stomach right away, and for me it was an answered prayer. Thank you to everyone at the Paddywagon for being cool. We went back to the car, prayed, and then went inside.
This month's gifts for the girls were copies of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Again, if you haven't read this, do it. God loves you, and he's proven it over and over again. For the guys working, Natalie made some great cookies. When we went in, everything seemed a little chaotic and busy. D (the dj) was drilling something into a wall, there seemed to be at least one customer, and several other guys running back and forth who may be new staff. I was still feeling a little loopy, but I think God gave me the grace and control to not show it. "J" immediately ran over to us and gave us hugs, and we headed to the dressing room. As we passed the dj booth, I saw a new guy sitting in the chair and a new girl talking to him. J grabbed her, and pulled her into the dressing room saying, "You've gotta meet these girls!". The new girl gave us her stage name and I was able to talk to her a little and tell her we came to bring a gift to say that God loves you, and we love you. She was really sweet and was quick to tell us that she is just doing this short term. She said that she and her husband attend church and like it. I think she said she has an interview for a waitressing job this week, so we encouraged her in that. However, she did seem like she was on something. While we were standing there, another girl, "A" came in and gave me a hug and seemed excited about the book. I told her it was my favorite and that it was based on a book of the bible, all about how much God loves us. She said she likes to read, and was looking forward to it. We talked a little about her two kids, and how she wants to get into EKU and become a veteranarian because she loves animals. She said her husband doesn't work, and she supports the family. She was as high as anyone I've ever seen, and it broke my heart to hear her dream is one that might seem impossible to her in her present situation. Please pray that she understands her value and gets the strength and will to change her circumstances. While I was talking to these girls, Natalie had a really great conversation with J. J told Natalie that she had had a miscarriage this week, but that it was probably a good thing because she isn't living the way she should. She didn't go into detail about what that meant, but Natalie told her even so, it hurts to lose that little life. They had a very sweet moment together. Natalie was actually able to give her a copy of the book that she had written in and prayed over. Please pray for J, that she sees that this isn't a good environment and she can get another job. Please also pray for the pain of losing a baby. Even if she think it's for the best, it's such a hard thing to go through.
As we headed back out for the door, I saw "P" sitting at the bar and went over to give her a hug. She was drinking, and had probably had a few, but was very excited to see us and excited about the book. We started talking about reading and she shared that she loves to read, but they are the bad romance kind. She also shared something her boyfriend said that was "a joke", but pretty borderline lewd. I just felt a sense of the addiction and perversion that comes with the life some of these girls live, and how it can just affect every area of who you are. After that we headed out, and Natalie took me home. I called Poison Control and they told me to eat food, drink a lot of water and sit with my feet elevated. I cannot say enough about Natalie last night. I leaned heavily on her, and she was great. At the club, and then at my house where she helped me get my kids settled, made me sandwich, cleaned my kitchen, went out and bought juice for me to give to Stella. Then my wonderful little brother James came and played with Josiah until bedtime so that I could relax and rest.
Please pray for all the women who receive a book, especially the ones we didn't get to talk to. Please pray for continued favor with the new management. I hope that as our visit was short, they saw that we aren't a problem (for their business) when we come in. I'm pretty sure that's who the new guys running around were. God has really kept the doors to the club open for us, so please pray that that continues. Thank you so much for your prayers and support.
By the way, I feel much better today. No more benadryl for me. Children's or otherwise.