I got a lot more out of the weekly meetings, the book, and the retreat than I even thought I would because the topics we covered were so comprehensive. It wasn’t just a matter of “do we sin sexually or not”. We looked at what where our hearts were at, what are we withholding from God, what are we hiding from in relationships, where do we not trust God’s best design, where do our thoughts or emotions need to be filtered through the spirit of truth.
And then on our retreat we got to learn more about the design of our sexuality, outside of even having/not having sex, where it is being lived out rightly and where it can go wrong. And then break off ties we’ve made or that have been made for us over the years. It was hard work but good work! And we got to do it alongside women that we get to have greater intimacy with. We were looking to our right and our left thinking “oh it’s you guys that I sort this out with. It’s you guys I stop hiding from. It’s you I get vulnerable and walk out this love with”. The price was already paid for all of our freedom, we just needed to learn how to fight for that better and reclaim what is already ours. It was amazing to have a time dedicated to doing just that. It was an automatic invitation to leave it all out on the table and in the light!
I once had a conversation with a young woman who told me she was very frustrated with the role masturbation played in her life. She shared that she had been doing it habitually for several years. After a long conversation about it, she was more frustrated. She said to me, “I honestly do not lust when I masturbate. If anything I am celebrating how cool it is and how creative God is while I am doing it.” She admitted there are times when there is lustful “stuff” going on, but for the most part, her habit is strictly physical. She felt hopeless because she wanted to fight spiritually as the thoughts came and take care of the emotions that were fueling it. The problem was she couldn’t see the lust and emotions clearly and was convinced they weren’t even there.
We finally got to the bottom of it. She had been introduced to physical stimulus at a very young age by a family member. It was a very brief encounter, but it was the first time she was made aware of this part of her body. Naturally, as a child, she became very curious and began to innocently explore. I wasn’t long after that she had childlike questions that went unanswered or silenced because they were “dirty.” The emotions she had following that were humiliation, fear, confusion, loneliness, and the list went on. As she and I continued to talk, we both quickly realized that the reason she masturbated up to that day was because Satan had gotten a foothold into her life and spoken lies to her that said this part of her was dirty, out of control, and something to hide. Once we saw that, we replaced those lies with God’s truth and celebrating how she was created. The power behind the years of habit was gone.
What she was convinced was just a physical habit that she felt hopeless about ended up being much deeper. Through much prayer, confession and worshiping of God’s truth, masturbation began to take on a whole different role in her life. In times when she would normally be tempted to masturbate, she was able to journal out praises for how God created her and choose to believe the truth about who she is in Him. Now the physical desire quickly dwindles each time she does this, and it not longer controls her. This is just one story, but I hope it helps those of you who might have some of the same thoughts or feelings.
The truth is that for us as women, almost everything that goes on with us physically can be tied back to a thought that triggered an emotion. Because we have so many different emotions stemming from our thoughts, we can be sure that many of those thoughts are not based on God’s truth about us. So as we come full circle, we find ourselves once again confronting our thoughts. It’s time to stop giving in and “feeling” everything so much. We need to start praying, fighting and allowing our mind and emotions to be refined and used by God. We as women are so complex, intricate, beautiful, and COOL! We don’t have to live bound to our emotions. We can take our thoughts captive and live free in the truth.
- Jamie Book
Unveil provided a space for conversations that previously felt like they either couldn’t be talked about or were not ones that left you wallowing in your own bondage and brokenness. Being able to have weekly meetings going through the book not only shed light on God's design for us in our sexuality as women, but allowed me to see the same grace and freedom exemplified and extended through in the women around me.
The Unveil retreat left me with so much more understanding of Gods designed for sexuality and womanhood derived straight from the Bible. This partnered with practical understanding of our minds and bodies left me with the ability to walk out my freedom from soul ties and lies in my everyday life.