Torn Between Heaven and Hell on Earth
By Brandice Hudson
The 700 Club
CBN.com - Yakinea Marie remembers her childhood. “In the home we would witness my mom on drugs. Friends would come over. We would witness them with the pipes. Different men spending the night over at the house,” she said.
Growing up in the projects, Yakinea Marie had nothing…and that’s the only life she knew. “I remember one time, my mom went to cook bread and when she cooked the bread there were roaches throughout the bread. So, we had to pick the roaches out of the bread in order to eat the bread, because that’s all we had to eat.”
“We grew up with no food in the refrigerator. Really, no clothes to wear….I remember having to wear her clothes and roll up the dresses and the skirts. Kids taunted us because my mom was on drugs, so I spent my childhood pretty much fighting,” she said.
Though she was still just a child, Yakinea tried to fend for herself but she was powerless against the violence that surrounded her. When she was 9-years-old, she was raped. “It made me hard. It made me angry. But I wouldn’t talk about it. I just tried not to register it. Then I don’t have to deal with the pain.”
Yakinea dreamed of seeing her mom drug free. She asked God for help. “I don’t know how that came about because we never went to church. I used to pray to God, a God I really didn’t know. I used to ask Him if he would take us away from my mom because I figured that if He would take her away, she would get off drugs.”
Yakinea says her prayer was answered. She was removed from her home and lived in a children’s shelter for several years. She was in high school when her mother got clean from drugs. She moved back in, but soon learned, some things hadn’t changed.
“I remember my mother would not come to any of my games. Waiting on her after school, taking hours to pick me up…Just little things like that added to the rejection and the disappointment.”
Yakinea started looking for love elsewhere, and became pregnant at 17-years-old. She graduated high school and started college. She was looking for ways to pay for school and provide for her son. That’s when a friend introduced her to exotic dancing.
“It’s amazing because although I despised what I did, I was driven by money. So I would despise going into the club. I would despise going into the shows. I would despise being in front of those men but after I counted the money at the end of the night it motivated me to do it again.”
She quit school and spent nights dancing in strip clubs and private parties. Yakinea also dated drug dealers who would give her an allowance, sometimes thousands of dollars a week. “Your own place, multiple cars, multiple bank accounts with thousands of dollars in it, shopping. It’s just all about the money. If you cannot pay a bill or if you cannot support me, I cannot be with you. So I was just really hard, really cold.”
Over the years, she maintained a friendship with her son’s father and his wife. One day, the couple invited her to church.
“And I said, ‘Okay, I’ll go to church.’ I was still dancing. So I started going to church, and I liked the church. I’ll leave the church and I’ll dance.’ That’s what I did for 2 years. I didn’t stop dancing, although I felt guilty every time I went to church. I didn’t stop dancing because of the lifestyle. But I didn’t want to stop going to church because I felt like I was getting fed. So that started something…”
One day, Yakinea’s pastor pulled her aside….
“He said, ‘What kind of work do you do?’ And I said, ‘Well pastor, I’d rather not say’, because I was so embarrassed. He said ‘Well, the spirit of God already showed me what you do. So, I’m asking you to pray and ask God to give you the strength to leave that lifestyle.’ And I said, ‘Okay.’ And so when I left church I was like, ‘God I don’t know how you’re going to do this, when I’m used to making this type of money’And so from that moment on I began to pray about leaving that lifestyle.”
Then Yakinea started having visions when she was on stage. “It looked dark. It looked like I died and my eternal destiny was Hell. It was dark. It was dim. It was scary,” she said.
“I felt like God was trying to talk to me. I felt like He was trying to warn me. I felt like He was basically saying, ‘if you don’t leave this lifestyle, you’re not going to make it.’ And I felt like God was trying to save my life.”
Yakinea thought about her future, and where she would spend eternity. The visions weighed heavy on her heart and she knew it was time to make a decision, before it was too late.
“Then on October 24th, that was a Wednesday. I danced that morning, left that night to go to Bible study, left Bible study to go back to the club to work and while I was sitting in the car, I was just like, ‘I can’t do this. I just can’t do this.’ From that point on I’ve never looked back. I believe at that moment He became real to me.”
“It’s an amazing feeling! It’s an amazing feeling to know that in spite of everything that I did He loves me, Jesus, the Lord loves me right where I am.”
Today Yakinea is an empowerment speaker, mentor and author. She says God’s unconditional love transformed her life.
“God loves you where you are. You don’t have to wait until you stop drugs or wait until you stop dancing or wait until you get everything right, but know that the Lord Jesus loves you right where you are, right now.”
“That’s amazing. It’s an amazing feeling. It’s priceless. You can’t put a dollar sign to that,” said Yakinea Marie.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.