By Dave Stone
Lindsay Knight remembers the hopelessness. It stalked her as a college student, when she had seen too much and been loved too little. It was in the back of her mind as she chased self-worth in being pretty, thin, a good athlete, popular, and successful. After a long string of abusive, destructive relationships left her homeless, alone, and broke, she took the one “yes” she found—to work at a local strip club.
It didn’t take long for her to see life at the club wasn’t so glamorous—she didn’t make a lot of money and she didn’t like the kind of attention she received there. Though she was savvy enough to stay away from drugs and alcohol, she began fighting nausea getting ready for work every night.
At the end of her rope, Lindsay knew she needed a better story. She reached out to a group of “church ladies” who were actually volunteers with Scarlet Hope, an organization that assists with meals and love for girls working in the strip clubs.
Through Scarlet Hope, she met Joy Peterson. “Lindsay told me she’d been kicked out of where she was living and needed help. I knew I couldn’t fix all that, but I could be her friend.”
Although Lindsay continued to long for a better story, she had a hard time accepting this gift of friendship. “Joy is a church lady, and I was a stripper. I thought a friendship would never work.”
Eventually, through God’s blessing and the help of her new friend, Lindsay decided to quit the club. She got a minimum-wage job at a local restaurant as well as a temporary place to stay with a friend. She began reading the Bible, attending a Bible study at Scarlet Hope, and worship services at a local church.
“I expected people to be unkind because of the life I’ve lived. I was shocked at how accepting and loving people were to me.” Knight now volunteers several days a week at Scarlet Hope, going into the clubs to talk with workers.
“God is using my biggest mess to bring a message of hope to other women,” she said. “There is so much hurt, pain, and distrust in that world. But I’m proof that God can redeem and restore.”
Dave Stone serves as senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville,
Kentucky, and as president of the 2016 North American Christian Convention.