Disneyland Princess by day, stripper by night becomes girl of forgiveness
Starring in children's theatre, then signed by a talent agency at age 10 for international commercials and TV shows, Breanne Morrow recalls thinking, "I could be a star one day". She could not have known she would work as a stripper and be wracked for years with guilt and shame.
Weeks before her eighth grade graduation, the stable love she had enjoyed as a child unravelled when her parents had a long, bitter divorce.
Living with her mother and hating her dad for his past affairs, by high school Breanne remembers that, to fill the void her father left behind, boys became "all I could think about".
Following an abortion at age 15, Breanne recalls, "My grades weren't as good anymore and I began smoking weed and using recreational drugs. I was dealing with a lot of emotions without anyone to talk to."
In middle school, she began working at Disneyland, partying every weekend and says she "felt in control" when she flirted with and slept with "the guy I wanted".
After moving out of home, insufficient tips as a full-time waitress in a new Disney theme park encouraged her to try cocktail waitressing at a local strip club.
On her first day Breanne danced on stage and was so pleased with the attention and money that she began stripping part-time for the next year.
She would then live for three years with a boyfriend who was physically violent towards her, once covering her mouth and nose to stop her from screaming and breathing. "This was the only time I prayed for God to help me," she says.
Desperate for rent money, Breanne returned to being a stripper, and became a Disneyland princess.
Breanne explains; "I was Snow White and Ariel and did meet-and-greets and pictures with the kids. I loved it but I still wasn't getting the love and attention I craved.
"During the day I was a princess and at night I was a stripper. I had two completely different worlds I lived in. I began using heavier drugs as a way to 'escape' but only to the point that I could still function the next day."
Breanne was still partying, stripping and sleeping around when she began attending the occasional church service with her princess co-workers, who she lived with at a Newport beach house.
Rather than feeling condemned by God, Breanne says, "I could feel God tugging at my heart (to turn to Him), but I did not want to hear what I shouldn't do."
In 2006, Breanne's attitude changed when her co-worker introduced her to "a great guy from a Christian family". She stopped dancing before their first date, so she would not have to lie about where she was, and then told him after their engagement about her past.
"He was so loving and accepting and didn't think anything of it. He showed me real love and said my past didn't change the way he felt about me."
Within two years they had a daughter and son, and were attending church. At one service they watched a woman named Jaime talk about God's gracious forgiveness after her former life as a stripper and her ministry to strippers, called Divine.
"I cried during her entire story on video. I knew God was tugging at my heart to be a part of Divine."
Soon she was volunteering with them, sharing her story with strippers and giving them bags of makeup and treats, but there was one step to go in Breanne's healing.
During a meeting with a church elder, Breanne recalls, "For the first time ever I asked for God's forgiveness for my former life and I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.
"My past didn't bother me any more and now I had girls to talk to who knew exactly what I had gone through.
"God knew just what I needed when He led me to Divine and now I feel I'm really doing big things by sharing my story of forgiveness, grace and healing." •