For one semester in 2009, I was able to attend Focus on the Family’s Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs. Ever since then, I have had a lot of respect for my teachers, and I have held dearly to the truth they spoke into my life. In particular, Juli Slattery taught me a TON about relationships and life through her Marriage & Family course. In fact, I was learning so much that I would journal it for my future husband! Whom I had not met! Things I knew would help us, give us insight, and may soften those bumps in our path.
A month of so ago, I saw her update her facebook status. It said something about being in Ohio. To me this seemed like a strange coincidence. First, I meet her in Colorado Springs. Next, I find out she’s only thirty minutes away from my hometown in Illinois for the Hearts at Home conference; And now, I move to Ohio and she’s coming here?! I was stoked, and decided to look more into it.
I had not realized, but Juli had left her comfortable job at Focus to start a ministry all about SEX! If you haven’t yet, you should really hear the amazing story of how God called her to this new place in life- It is a story that only God could be the answer to. So, this ministry is called Authentic Intimacy, and their first big huzzah is their Bible study Passion Pursuit. Passion Pursuit is all about confronting the devil’s lies, the cultural views of sex, our past, our husband’s past, the abuse, the hurt, the pain… and slowly dragging ourselves through this journey, into healing, into redemption, and back into the intimacy God created for us to have with our spouses. But it doesn’t stop there. This study is also about creating the same authentic intimacy with the God who redeemed us, who is our groom, who we have been anxiously awaiting.
It is extremely evident that this ministry needed to happen. When culture is soo loud about sex, but Christians are soo quiet- where can we find answers, healing, or truth? The world is full of pornography, high divorce rates, blurred gender roles, rape, and affairs. Just during this weekend’s conference my niece-in-law would elbow me and say, “Oh my goodness, that’s so you!” Then just seconds later, I would look back at her with a knowing eye. Just moments after that my heart would whisper the names of other dear friends who were not with me. I am so thankful that someone has taken the first step, and broken ground on this issue in a highly intelligent, sympathetic, hopeful, and challenging way.
I will keep you posted on my own walk as I start the study! I do hope you will take a look at it. As intimidating as it may be, everyone is a sexual being, and everyone is being affected in this spiritual battleground.