Just a few short weeks ago I met Marin Stewart at a coffee shop in Mill Creek. We found a table tucked in a back corner and sat next to each other with coffees in hand. I'd never met this woman before, but already I knew this meeting would be one I'd never forget. Without hesitation, she began to unfold her life story to me. Three hours and many tears later, we hugged goodbye and I walked away with a re-established love and dependance for Jesus. I now have new eyes and an open heart to an industry I was always so distraught by, which is something I can’t thank her enough for. This is Marin's Story:
Marin grew up in a family of believers, but due to a series of scandalous events at a very young age, she began seeking love and affection from all the wrong places. By 5th grade she was experimenting with drugs and underwent her first abortion at 15 years old. A few short years later, Marin was beat and raped by a boyfriend and soon found herself jobless, homeless, and shunned from her family. With nothing more to lose, Marin decided to get a job at a strip club to help pick herself up financially, "for only two weeks" she told herself.
Over 20 years went by and Marin found herself slipping deeper into sex work and a heavy drug addiction. She worked the counter as a makeup artist, as a cover, and kept her night life a secret. A few bad boyfriends and abortions later, she became pregnant to her daughter, only to find the struggle to get out of her risky lifestyle became all the more real.
One day, at the age of 41, Marin was finally saved by Jesus. After experiencing the magnitude of his love, she immediately was freed from addiction, false idols, and her promiscuous work life. For the first time in her whole entire life, she was “alive.”
Three years has passed since that day. Marin is now working to help young girls and women facing sexual exploitation, and providing them with resources to seek their true purpose. She has committed her newly found life to act as a vessel, allowing Jesus to shine his light in the very same industry that once left her in so much darkness. She is newly married and working to be the better role model she always wanted for her daughter.
**If you or someone you know is facing sexual exploitation, or fighting to get out of the sex industry, Marin would love to help you. You can reach her by email at email@example.com**
A few words from Marin:
How was the Spotlight experience for you? The Spotlight experience for me was wonderful, it was fun and humbling all at the same time! I loved the opportunity to share my story in order to enlighten people to the situation of sexual exploitation and empower people to fight against it rather than being desensitized to it.
What is your definition of success? My definition of success is overcoming challenges and personal struggles or trauma in a way that equips us with compassion to educate and serve others.
If you could give any word of advice for finding happiness, what would it be? My word of advice for finding happiness is- Every relationship, job, object or experience is at best, only temporarily fulfilling. These things will always fall short of bringing us true, lasting happiness. The only thing that is truly able to fulfill our hearts desire, is a relationship with the One who created it. Jesus Christ. Until we look to Him for fulfillment, we will forever be searching in all the wrong places.