The I Am Second revolution that is consistently growing with testimonial stories has captivated me since its inception in 2008. With a collection of online videos from well known public figures to not so well known, they all share their dramatic impact story of how they have been transformed by the power of Jesus Christ; How they put Him first and put themselves second in their life. One of the most dramatic, engaging, and impacting stories I have ever watched in recent memory, is the tearful tragic-to-triumph testimony of Annie Lobert. Her testimony which was released in 2012, stayed engraved in my mind for years until in 2015 I came across her name again, this time with a brand new book she had wrote as her memoir titled, Fallen.
Lobert is a survivor of more than a decade of sex trafficking. She worked as an exotic dancer, a high-class escort, and was prostituted in Hawaii, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas. She does not take her freedom from this destructive industry lightly. Her second chance at life, her craving love and obedience for Jesus, her knowledge of modern day slavery, and her heart for the hundreds of thousands of women who are trapped, has led her to become the founder of a non-profit organization called Hookers for Jesus. As her book states, this ministry addresses the harmful effects of prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual exploitation linked to pornography and the sex industry.
I was expecting Lobert's memoir to be a much more detailed and expanded version of her I Am Second testimony, and that was exactly what it turned out to be. While her story on video is beautifully crafted, her story written on paper digs so much deeper to the heart of her life and explains so much of how Lobert ended up in each stage of it. She shares the true emotional and spiritual condition of her heart that was always devoid of; to be loved.
As I look at the cover, it shows an astonishingly beautiful face of Lobert with a vibrant combination of blonde and red hair. She holds a very subtle subdued facial expression. With the amount of torture, shame, and humility she has been through and to courageously be open and vulnerable to share it all in words, her reflective facial expression I would sum up in one word: Honest. The title is brilliant because of its hidden meaning. It is actually the alias she gives herself as an escort for many years. With that known, this memoir is really about the life of Annie and Fallen; two identities, one person.
I fell in love with Lobert's humility and vulnerability. She did not shy away from such a difficult task of sharing her life on this type of platform. Many would not ever dare to write about their life and share in public if they lived the way Lobert lived. It is incredible how true blunt honesty can elevate an author's work. Her writing was so detailed and honest, that it felt like I was reading from an author that penned multiple books. But no, this is Lobert's first ever book. She never comes across as a stubborn know it all in her writing. Many times she blatantly admits her mistakes and realizes how stupid her choices were. One thing to also note was how incredible Lobert's work ethic was. Whether she worked in the corporate industry or the sex industry, she out-shined everyone. Even in her life of sin, she was known as one of the best in her line of work.
It is a surreal feeling when a book can make a reader try to picture themselves in the very same situations as the author writes about; Where the reader actually can go through the same gamut of emotions as Lobert does: Love, Anger, Fear, Guilt, Shame, Sadness, Happiness, while wanting to share those same feelings both in success and failure with her. Fallen accomplishes this rare surreal feeling.
"This is all very painful for me to talk about. It's not fun to share with you how naive, stupid, and brainwashed I was. It's heartbreaking to actually have to write down that, yes, I really did sell myself to gain love. But I know I'm not the only one, and I know this is not the only way we sell ourselves. How many of us have sold ourselves in a different way without realizing it? People date or even marry someone for money or favors or to fulfill an emotional need. Many of us compromise our worth, our integrity, our standards by exchanging it for a temporary fix to feel better. Whenever we trade or sell away the life God has in store for us, we 'prostitute' ourselves." - page 67
"I hate to say this, but men were my fix, my high. I've always loved being in relationships, having someone to come home to, to talk to, to look forward spending time with. Slipping in through my front door in the morning after work, yawning with heels in hand, I wasn't thrilled being greeted by the quiet. As sunlight poured in through the many skylights that brightened the place, I'd crawl into bed. Alone. I didn't like that feeling. Not one bit. Because it was causing me to face who I was and what I was doing for a living. It was shameful and depressing. I was an empty girl trying to find my purpose." - page 127/128
"Material prosperity of the American dream is nothing more than a lie. I see it as corporate prostitution. A massive mirage in the desert! Think about it. If you don't sell your body sexually, you can sell yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses by working long hours, accumulating stress, and never seeing your family so you can continue to live in that huge house and drive that fancy car. You can sell yourself by diluting your mind with idealistic fantasies and theories about how to live a fulfilling life outside of God. This is part of the devil's plan. His desire is for us all to prostitute ourselves in some way, to distract us from our need for God, to sell our bodies, our minds, our souls, and our hearts for what we falsely believe is the dangled golden carrot of the pursuit of happiness." - page 178
Lobert masterfully keeps her language and words clean while still maintaining an authentic descriptive story of her life that is by no means watered down. To show how authentic Fallen is towards its purpose to help combat sex-trafficking, Lobert reserves a section at the end of her book explaining what sex-trafficking is, as well as provide testimonials from women at Destiny's House which is a place women can safely live while they heal and experience transformation.
This is not a book that is a question of whether it is worth buying or not. Lobert's loving and humble words will not demand your attention; they will immediately captivate your attention whether you like it or not. This is not a book that looks for sales. It is an honest true story of a life that lays everything out in hopes that it will translate to awareness and changed lives. Not once did I get the impression this book was to entertain me. I was not entertained, nor did I enjoy reading this book, but I am blessed to have read it. I found this book difficult to read on an emotional level. Lobert's words gripped my heart. I was painfully captivated and engaged throughout her story. It is very rare to come across a published work that I desired to read for its turbulent emotional outcomes, yet also reluctant to read as my heart continually hurt over the repeated violent corrupt outcomes Lobert endured. This world needs more forgiveness, more second chances, and more love for their enemies. Lobert is a rare, beautiful, and precious gem that sets an extremely high bar on what living out the love of Christ looks like.
I was shocked to learn how seriously real and problematic human trafficking is. This is not only an issue that affects various demographics, but all of us, and If we examine our own lives, Lobert reminds us that to some degree we have all prostituted ourselves in different ways. Fallen is an important book that raises the serious ever growing and overlooked problem of human trafficking. In a beautiful story of redemption, Lobert demonstrates how far and deep God's unfailing unconditional love is and the improbable freedom and healing she found through Jesus.
DISCLAIMER: This review contains affiliate links that allow you to find items in relation to this article at no cost to you. This means that if you click on one of the product links, this site receives a small commission. While this helps us make more reviews, the reader is in NO WAY obligated to use these links. Thank You for the support!