By Joanna Delalande
Life was no fairytale but Annie’s story will inspire all women with a dark past
When Annie Lobert heard from a girlfriend in Hawaii how much cash she could earn working as an escort, she knew that something was not right but still accepted the offer to join her.
After a childhood of feeling unloved by her father and a cheating high school boyfriend tore her heart apart, Annie wanted power. She wanted revenge. She wanted to be someone important. And she mistakenly believed money was the answer.
She left her three jobs, flew to Hawaii and on her first night there sold her body as a prostitute.
"It's like I had this ring that I put on and I couldn't take it off," Annie describes in her online I Am Second video testimony.
Charging thousands of dollars an hour to sell herself gave Annie the power she thought would satisfy her.
She also began working as a stripper and met a man who made her feel loved, intelligent, beautiful, and told her everything she needed to hear from her dad, but never did.
When she came home from a few jobs one night in Las Vegas, that same man choked her and kicked her till she bled, telling her he was a pimp and she was going to work for him, threatening her with death if she ever tried to leave.
"That night it's like I died inside," Annie says. She stayed with him for five years. And she did what he told her to do because she knew if she did not she would die.
"When you leave a pimp," she says, "you leave with nothing."
“I knew that I was at death’s door”Annie got cancer a while later, and as a result became addicted to painkillers and cocaine.
At night in the motels she would look at herself in the mirror thinking God must be angry with her.
"I would get in the shower and I would scrub my body and I would think, I will never, ever be clean," Annie recalls sadly.
"One night I decided I would get higher than I had ever been because I wanted to erase all the pain. The pain of my cancer. The pain of my uncle, my sister and my grandfather all dying within three months of each other... The pain of losing everything I had ever made."
That night Annie had a brush with death. "I knew that I was at death's door," she says. "I knew it was over."
So she cried out to God. She said, "Jesus, please save me. I do not know if you are real, but I do not want to die."
When the ambulance arrived the doctor told Annie she should be dead from all the drugs in her system and that God must be with her.
"And I knew," Annie recalls, "that Jesus heard my prayer. I had this peace come over me that was nothing like I had ever felt in my entire life. And I knew God gave me a second chance."
Annie took it. She started reading her Bible and, despite initial fears, she soon felt loved and embraced by people at a church she started to attend. In everything she felt God healing her from the inside out.
"I started to stand on Jesus' words that I am whole, that I am healed, that I am pure. That I am a virgin in Him," she says, referring to her spiritual purity. "And that gives me peace."
She finds confidence in this from the Bible's book of Isaiah chapter 1 verse 18 which says, "Come now, let us settle the matter," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."
Later God told Annie to go back to the strip club where she had worked and to tell the girls there how much He loved them.
In 2005, Hookers for Jesus was founded along with Destiny House, a safe haven for women dealing with the trauma of sex trafficking.
As a survivor of post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic violence, sexual abuse, cancer, drug addiction, abortions, miscarriages, pornography, anorexia, and bulimia, Annie lives to spread the message that transformed her life: "God loves you...No matter how dirty you feel, there is redemption. You are white as snow." •
For more information about Annie visit www.HookersforJesus.net or look out for her upcoming autobiography, Fallen: Out of the sex industry and into the arms of the Saviour.