By Michael Ashcraft —
Theirs was a marriage made in Heav…
Well, maybe not.
Theirs was a marriage made in a strip club.
The first time Kris-Lynn saw Justin Williams, he was wending his way through the crowd at After Hours in Tampa, FL, offering molly, X, weed and cocaine. She saw he was popular and handsome.
The next night, they were consuming drugs together, and from that moment on, they were inseparable.
But the fast life of money, drugs, pimps and stripping eventually slowed down. It had to. After all, she was a wayward pastor’s kid whom the Good Shepherd went seeking.
And Justin got let off a 15-year prison sentence with just one year of house arrest. When the miracle of the lighter sentence occurred, he told Kris-Lynn her days of dancing were over.
Kris-Lynn was a bright child, good with the books. Being raised as a pastor’s child in Florida didn’t mean she knew God. She went to all the retreats, heard about Moses and Daniel and constantly attended church, as was expected.
But when she saw church members doing ungodly things, she secretly wondered if there was any authenticity behind the religion.
“I didn’t like the things that I saw in the church that I knew weren’t God. Sometimes humans can pervert who He is,” she says. “I had a tainted view of what Christianity was.”
When she returned pregnant to her hometown from high school in Gainesville, she faced harsh rejection from the Christians who ought to have had compassion. She was kicked out of homes and wound up on the floor of a local Salvation Army in 2006.
“I was church hurt,” she remembers. “Wow, the people in the church are turning me away when I’m pregnant? If this is the Lord, then I want nothing to do with it.”
Actually, she wanted more than just to disassociate herself from the church. She wanted to disassociate herself from her emotional pain.
“I never wanted to feel like that again,” she says. “So I determined in my mind not to feel anything at all. And to get money.”
Dancing in the clubs was a quick way to make big bucks. And it provided her with access to drugs to numb the internal pain.
Then she saw Justin and was smitten in 2013. She plied her trade, he, his. Together they lived the high life of hustlers.
But God went to work to reclaim his prodigal daughter.
“As I continued dancing, the Holy Spirit would start talking to me. I would run to the bathroom and do a line in the dressing room and yell, ‘YOU STILL WANNA TALK?! Why don’t you just leave me alone?!” she wrote on a Facebook post. “He never did.”
Instead of bucking God, things turned darker.
“I started having visions of Satan in the crowd while I was on stage clapping for me,” she recalls.
Eventually, Justin caught a case and a conviction. As the sentencing loomed, the couple was frightened by the prospect: he could get 15 years.
“Fifteen YEARS in prison!” Kris-Lynn says. “But God showed up in the courtroom and instead he gets put on house arrest for a year following three years of a 10 o’clock curfew. Lol.
“As we’re walking out the courtroom, he says, ‘You’re not dancing no more!’ Lol. I got Isaiah back from my mom, who had been with her for that five month span.”
Justin and Kris-Lynn straightened up. The brush with being locked-up had scared them. They didn’t do everything perfectly immediately, but they got on the path.
A year later, they walked into Truth Outreach Global Ministries in 2015. It was different than what she had known as a child — mainly because she was not being told about God but was experiencing God. Little by little, they stopped using drugs and aligned their lives more and more with God’s will.
They surrendered their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
“The more we fell in love with Him, the less we wanted to hurt Him,” she recalls. “Now we are drug free. His heartbeat became our own.
“People would say ‘Well you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife!’ but I am living proof that God can turn you into what you were CREATED to be in the first place!” she says.
Her husband no longer pursues women and illegal money. Kris-Lynn wakes up in the middle of the night to find him on the floor crying out to God, “Not my will, but yours.”
Justin visits the same trap houses and clubs they frequented in the past to evangelize and help pull friends out of sin.
“I’ll never know why He chased us,” she writes. “The song ‘Reckless Love’ touches my soul. A Love so Reckless that in the middle of a strip club He thought about me?! He chased me?! SMH” (shaking my head)
“All I know is God is REAL. He will never fit in this box that we subconsciously, religiously try to contain Him in,” she notes. “He saved my life. He saved Justin’s life. How could we not follow Him?! It’s not protocol, it’s not a chore, but an honor. He took filthy rags and made us whole. He calls me….me…beautiful.”
Today, Kris-Lynn is a happily married mother of five kids.
As soon as she started serving the Lord, doors opened for Kris-Lynn. She was offered a job at Geico insurance and re-ignited her analytic brain. “I was booksmart before getting lost,” she says. Now, she’s a financial advisor opening an insurance agency in Sarasota, FL.
From fast money to real wealth.
“The Lord has a sense of humor. I didn’t exactly have a resume for SpaceX. I like helping people understand that they don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. Some people think that living in poverty is what the Lord wants. It’s not. I’m helping people create generational wealth.”
So then, where was her marriage made? God was pursuing both Kris-Lynn and Justine while they were in the darkest places. God was orchestrating events to bring them together and then bring them to Him.
“All I know is that He was who He said I was even when I didn’t expect Him to be who He was. It’s a love story of him being who he was,” Kris-Lynn says. “It’s so funny. Where we met is where we met. It is what it is. But the Lord is the real MVP. There’s nowhere you can go to disqualify you from His love. He literally took filthy rags and made them whole.”
So maybe YES!
“The marriage was made in Heaven,” she says.
“Satan ain’t clappin’ now.”
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
In addition to doing Christian journalism, Michael Ashcraft helps people make money, save money and minimize taxes as a financial professional.