“Karlie, don’t do this.” He held her hand and nodded towards the building, “None of this matters to me. Let’s get some dinner and talk about it some more.”
“Jeremy, this is something I’ve prayed about for weeks. I have to go or I’ll never be free of it.” Karlie broke his grasp and ran up the stairs.
As she entered the smoke filled room she shivered. Memories of another time in her life churned. She almost bolted right back out those double doors—but she had to know how strong she’d become. It was a personal test. Could she sit at a table and turn every man down that asked her to dance? Not drink a single drop of alcohol? She tested her resolve and wove her way through the smoky room and cat-calls to an empty table nearby. As she sat, she looked around noticing what a good vantage she had of the band and the dance floor. The air vibrated with the rhythm of the bass guitar.
It was dark and she felt alien sitting with her plastic cup of Sprite. She remembered back to wilder days at this club. Motioning with one lazy, manicured finger to lure men in. She had no idea how she did it, she hadn’t felt pretty at the time. Karlie did know this-- she had reveled in the power she’d held over the poor sailors that climbed over tables to get to her first.
Back then she’d told herself a thousand times that she was taking a vacation from her beliefs. That she would go home and repent after she got the wild-thing that haunted her out of her system. But the days soon turned into months and she felt herself dying inside. That’s when her life finally took a turn…after she had hit that bottomless pit called hell on earth. Thank goodness Father had sent angels to show her the way back.
Swept out of her reverie--a man whispered, “Was wonderin’ where you’d gotten yo’ sweet self to. How’s about a drink sweet thang?”
The Cajun accent made Karlie close her eyes and repeat her favorite scripture…“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
She opened her eyes and answered a simple, “No thanks,” and he left. Karlie did the same to men who asked if she’d like a drink and more. She felt her self- esteem grow each time she wasn’t tempted. She was past all that had muddied her spirit. She was ready move towards her future now.
She stood and took one last look around the room, the patrons, the band and the gloom and turned her back on it. She wove back through the room nodding at the bouncer on her way out.
“Hey Karlie! When are you coming back?”
She stopped and smiled. “Hey Sam, I won’t be coming back. Have a nice life.”
“I knew you deserved better, young lady.”
“Thanks!” Karlie pivoted on a stiletto heal--pushed the doors open wide and left the darkness behind. At the bottom of the stairs, Jeremy waited in the moonlight.
“You waited!” Karlie beamed.
“You knew I would. I’m a man of my word.”
His warmth and kindness always amazed her. She went to him as quickly as she could--to a place where she would always be safe and cherished. His arms opened wide. Just as the Savior’s had when she had been so low. She knew that life would be good married to a man who loved the Lord as much as she did.
“How was it, Karlie?” Worry-lines formed between his blue-green eyes.
She reached up to soothe the concern she saw. He swept her hand from his forehead, kissing her palm.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’m stronger now—different. But I needed to do this just to know for sure.”
“I know, I was praying for you the whole time. God is good and you know that now.”
“Yes,” she lifted her chin to kiss him, snuggling into the warmth of his arms. “Let’s get out of here. I don’t ever want to see this place again.”
“I love you Karlie.” He kissed her then wrapped her hand snugly in the crook of his arm and led her to the car and helped her in.
Karlie sighed with relief as she looked at the shimmer of the crescent moon above. “Thank you, Jesus, for taking this burden from me.”
KJV Bible John 8:31-32
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
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