Carol Rogers: Wild Girl Gone Good
By Audra Smith
The 700 Club
"I started stealing at nine. I started skipping school and I started drinking at age 12," Carol Rogers said. "I was so out of control that my mom thought she should keep an eye on me, so she took me to work with her. There I learned how to make money stripping."
Carol Rogers' father went to prison when she was a toddler. Her mother spent her time working at night clubs.
“I was around a bunch of burlesque dancers. They were all prostitues, strippers, and they taught me how to sell my body,” Carol said. “I was taught how to drink and feel good and loosen up. We took pills at first. I drank a lot, of course, because I was really shy back then. By the time I was 15, I would do it own my own and I was selling my body for a lot of money.”
Carol’s destructive behavior was rooted in the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather. It started when she was only five.
"I just hated myself. I was very angry from all of the stuff that had happened to me as a child," Carol said. “I was always trying to hurt myself. I was ashamed of myself. I cut my wrists. That’s the way I was releasing my pain: cutting my wrists and crying, just wanting people to love me. And, I couldn’t get that love from anybody. I married at the age of 21 and we fought all the way to the justice of the peace. He was verbally abusive and I was strung out on amphetamines."
Two years later, Carol separated from her husband. In the years to follow, she drifted from one man to the next. Still working as a stripper and prostitute, she also started manufacturing drugs with her new boyfriend. And she continued cutting.
"I had sores all over, from head to toe. Literally, just inflicting pain on myself because of the emptiness I felt inside," Carol said.
At the time, Carol had four children. Because of her drug addiction she sent her four children away to live with relatives.
"I really wanted to be a good mother because all of the abuse that I experienced as a child," Carol said. "I wanted to be a good mother, but I did not know how. I really hated what I did to my children, just not being there for them and just leaving them behind. I really believe that was a breaking point."
After years of run-ins with the cops for prostitution and drugs, Carol finally went to prison for a DWI. In prison, one of her cellmates invited her to a church service.
"This girl said, 'Hey, do you want to come to this service?' She asked me what I needed prayer for and I asked her to pray for me," Carol said. "I told her that I didn’t want to be a stripper anymore and I just wanted a relationship with my children. I knew that I needed so much forgiveness. She prayed for me and literally, whenever she was praying for me I felt something inside of me change. I could feel God supernaturally softening my heart. I started reading the Word of God and I got on my bunk and I said, 'God, if you are real then I will serve you for the rest of my life.' I had to have that confirming word. And from that day on, He just swept me off my feet - like I was a princess. Day after day, for a whole year in prison, He made me feel like I was a princess."
"I got out of prison. I stayed there a year flat. As soon as I got out of prison, I got in church," Carol said. "Only God could fill that emptiness that I was trying to fill through men, through drugs, through alcohol. It didn’t work and the emptiness - only God could fill that void."
In 2000, Carol married again - one of the pastors from her church. She is reunited with ALL of her children. Today Carol is a chaplain at a county jail.
“Well, the girls in prison said, 'oh Carol, you will be back preaching to all of the prisoners.' I said, 'I am NOT coming back here [laughs]. Years later, after being out and being in church, I knew that after I was off parole I could go back and serve in the prison ministry, and as the chaplain," Carol said.
"It is just so awesome to go back and teach to the inmates and tell them that 'you can make it.' It's just so rewarding to talk to the prostitutes, the drug addicts, the women that have lost their children and where they think there is no hope," Carol said. "When I go in there, I give them the hope of Christ. If He can do it for me, then I know He can do it for them."
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