Judy Lamborn: Leaving Las Vegas
By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club
“They hurt so bad. And the marks that they would leave... It hurt. It was painful.”
Judy Lamborn grew up on a farm in the heartland of Iowa. Her family appeared normal, but there was a secret.
“Imagine if you’re a child getting hit with a piece of PVC conduit or a horse whip. You don’t spank your children with horse whips. It was painful. I tried to do everything I could to not make her angry,” Judy says. “I know she loved me, but I don’t think she realized what it was doing to me. The bitterness, the resentment and the hatred that was growing and festering in my heart for her…”
Her parents made sure she was in church every Sunday even though they abused her.
Judy recalls, “I understood about heaven. I understood about hell. I understood that Jesus was the way. I understood that He was the way. You needed to accept Him as your savior, as much as a child can, in order to get to heaven.”
Judy says she wasn’t allowed to date or attend high school functions. When she hit college at age 17, she felt free for the first time in her life.
“The first night in the dorm I smoked my first cigarette, I drank my first beer, and got so sick. I had never been that sick in my life, but I didn’t care. The first guy that came along, that was it.”
After college she left Iowa and moved to San Diego. She was shocked at how much it cost to live there.
“So I started working at this bar. Three weeks, it took me to realize that the dancers were making 10 times as much money as I was and I was working 10 times harder than they were. I thought that’s enough of that.”
Judy crossed the line and became a topless dancer.
“First night I was up on stage I made more money than I’d ever seen in my life.”
Judy wanted to keep her body trim like the other strippers. Soon she discovered their secret.
She says, “I found out that it was crystal methamphetamine -- very, very popular drug in San Diego. So I was introduced to crystal methamphetamine. The first time I tried it, I was hooked.”
She eventually moved to Vegas, but her drug habit had become expensive. With the promise of more money, Judy became a prostitute at a brothel.
“All the customers, they called them johns. Doorbell rings, the johns come in, and you took turns. There were four of us in the house and you each took turns. So every 4th john, it would be your turn.”
She loved the money, but she felt like a part of her was dying inside.
“I got tired of the drugs, the cigarettes, the alcohol, the prostitution. I got tired of that knowing every single night that I was doing something that I absolutely hated and was violating my conscience every day. It just became very cold and very calloused. It was the only way that I could survive.”
One day, Judy met a special customer. His name was Rick Lamborn.
“He was really hurting,” she says. “It had devastated him that his wife had left him. His marriage was over, and he was really hurting. Something on the inside of me could not take advantage of this one.”
Rick recalls, “I was hurting, she was hurting, but there was this sweetness, this innocence inside of her. [It] came out as we got to know each other. It wasn’t evident on the outside, but I could see it on the inside.”
After his business trip, he returned to Pennsylvania, but he couldn’t forget Judy. They talked for hours on the phone.
“Finally he begged Judy to come live with him,” Judy says. “’Leave Las Vegas. Leave that lifestyle. Come to Pennsylvania and be with me. We’ll figure it out.’ I made a decision. No more drugs. No more cigarettes, no more alcohol. No more illegal prostitution. It was old. I was tired of it.”
Judy left Vegas and moved to the north east.
“Got on that plane, went to Pennsylvania, and while I was on the plane, I was making decisions. I want to go back to church. I remember how nice the people were at church.”
Rick and Judy got married. They both agreed they needed to go to church. “We made a decision,” Judy says. “We’re going to live our lives for God. We have no idea what that looks like. We have no idea what to do, but we know it involves church. So we started.”
Through Bible study, prayer and Godly relationships, Judy and Rick discovered the truth of God’s love and forgiveness. In 1991, they both accepted Christ as their savior.
She has a favorite scripture in Luke 4 where Jesus is confronted by those accusing the woman caught in adultery.
Judy says, “After every single one of her accusers had left, He looked at her and said, ‘Where are your accusers?’ And she said they’re gone. He said, ‘Then neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more.’ Luke 7:47 says, ‘She loved much because she was forgiven much.’”
Rick says, “I’m just blessed to have a wife that loves me, two great kids that love God with all their hearts, a wife that does and just a family that is together in unity and unison, wanting to do God’s will.”
“When God forgives, He forgets,” Judy says. “I suffered with horrendous guilt and the years that I wasted of my life, I could never get back. I’ve been set free from that guilt and condemnation. You can live a life that’s free of those things. God is not a respecter of persons. He doesn’t have favorites. What He did for me, He stands ready right now to do for any person that will ask Him.”
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