“Joy, you are so vulnerable and so brave. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I could never be as bold as you to freely talk about these issues.” – Women’s Minister
That was the response I got from a women’s minister as I talked about the growing epidemic of porn addiction for women. Throughout my talk I shared how in 5th grade a friend first introduced me to porn, opening doors of curiosity inside my 11 year old brain. Next, I shared my story of date rape, which led me to turn back to porn out of more curiosity about sex.
In my talk, I was authentic, vulnerable, and bold – characteristics missing from many women’s ministries. If we as women’s ministers are not authentic, vulnerable, and bold, then neither will our women be authentic, vulnerable, and bold. As a millennial, I look for those characteristics in a church and a women’s ministry. Are you afraid of being vulnerable, authentic, and bold with the women you are ministering to? Young women are craving authenticity. They need you to open up and talk about the hard things. (Check out this post by Sarah Bessey: Why We Don’t Need “Women’s” Ministry.)
I know that it is not the norm in our churches to talk about porn, but did you know that 1 out of 3 visitors to adult sites are women? Hey churches, our ladies need freedom!
I know that it is not normal to feel comfortable sharing about your past and the secrets that are buried deep inside of you, but there are a few reasons why I do what I do. Readers, family and friends have all asked me: Why are you so vulnerable? Why do you share your story? Why do you write about such shameful things? What will people think about you?
Why am I authentic, vulnerable & bold? Allow me to share 3 reasons with you.
1. My story is God’s story.
My story is not my own story. If He wants me to share it, I have to share it. Remember that God has an eternal perspective. God knows how each event in our lives will be used to impact eternity! We have to understand that God is so much bigger than our tiny little brains. Our thoughts are smaller than His thoughts. Our plans are smaller than His plans.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11.
2. If sharing my story brings freedom to others, I will share my story.
When I was going through hard experiences, I had no one to talk with and no resources to turn to. I had no safe place. I want this blog to create a safe place for women to find resources for healing, to ask questions, and to talk about things that people are afraid to talk about. (Read how and why our stories are powerful.)
What happened to me has happened to other women.
I share my story because there are other women who have been raped or sexually abused, who have struggled with singleness, or who had struggled defining boundaries in dating. Every single woman needs to know that they are not alone.
3. God gets all the glory.
Every time I am vulnerable and I share my story with someone of how God healed me, I let my weaknesses show God’s strength. I get to give God all the glory.
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:8.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, everyone thought He was a complete failure, except God. They believed that all He had done was a lie and was now dying a useless death. They didn’t know God’s story or look at the bigger picture because they focused on the now. Three days later they saw things differently. God’s plan became clear.
Jesus wasn’t ashamed of His story, and He died a gruesome death.
Ladies, I want to challenge you – don’t be ashamed of your story. Instead, be authentic, vulnerable, and bold.
It will not be easy, and with it comes fears and insecurities. We have to stop caring what others might think. I don’t want to be remembered as “rape girl” or “porn girl.” I want to be remembered as a daughter of God who has been freed from the power of shame and addiction through Jesus Christ. If someone misses the point of redemption and only sees the hurt and pain of my past, how sad! My story is so much more powerful than the words rape and porn. My story is filled with FREEDOM, LOVE, HEALING, EMPOWERMENT, LIFE CHANGE, and REDEMPTION.
Jesus gave me this blog platform. He gave me the gift of storytelling and writing. I will use all of my gifts for God’s glory. He gets all the credit.
On JoyPedrow.com, I will continue to be authentic, vulnerable, and bold. Will you join me in the movement of sharing Jesus’ life changing love with the world through being authentic, vulnerable, and bold with our words? If you would like to be a part of the life change happening at Joy Pedrow Ministries, sign up today!