Last week I was in Texas for five amazing days. God has rocked my world and has given me a new partner in ministry, Melanie Lloyd. He has shifted my focus and has redirected my energy to equipping other women to teach and He has affirmed my calling to share His truth about sex. I am so excited my head is spinning with ideas and I have a smile that won’t go away.
My trip started in Austin with a visit to Melanie. At the last minute, I had decided to pack my journal because I thought sharing it might be a great way for Melanie to know me and my journey. When she picked me up at the airport, I was a little embarrassed but when I told her, she just lit up in laughter.” I brought my journal with me today too, I don’t know why” – another confirmation from God that we are to partner. Saturday morning we woke early to head to church for the women’s event. Her church had arranged a time to share with the women about intimacy since they will be offering Awaken Love this fall with Melanie. Originally they were thinking about 40 women, and then it was 65, then 95. Saturday morning 150 women arrived. I have never spoken to close to that many women and never imagined that I would. I was strangely calm as we prayed and prepared. God had given me two specific directions for the morning. My words were to be razor sharp with no extra distractions and I was supposed to encourage women to take off their filthy rags. I am not sure that I have ever felt so free during a talk to really connect with those that were listening. I remember at one point seeing a woman with tears streaming down her face and feeling that what I was saying was directed specifically at her. After the talk the women broke into groups of 2-3 women and dug deep as they shared about their own marriage – tears were shed, hands laid and prayers offered up. As we came back together I shared about Awaken Love and then fielded question because we really can respectfully talk about sex out loud in church to encourage each other. That night 50 women signed up as interested in taking the class and Melanie’s church was left wondering what to do.
Saturday night was spent at a potluck with the women that attended Melanie’s pilot class and then teaching an advanced class on using our minds, words and imagination. I was exhausted and had to be up at 5 am to catch my next flight but Melanie and I curled up on her couch until 2 am sharing entries from the last 4 years of our lives. We have very different families of origin and past baggage, but God has brought us on very similar paths of awakening. We have both experienced the emptiness of knowing that there was more and crying out to God. We have both felt the frustration of a husband that could not meet all of our needs and the realization that God was the only one that could. We have both opened ourselves up to living more and feeling more and translating that freedom into our marriage bed. We have both been incredibly blessed to have husbands that love us, even in our muck, and that are willing to stretch.
Melanie is an answer to prayer. Even though I have a supportive husband and friends, for over 3 years I have been walking this walk alone. At times the loneliness was unbearable and I have been praying for a partner. I never imagined that my partner would be in Texas, a woman that I met only 6 month ago over skype but that I had such an instant connection to. As we shared we realized that the verse she has clung to in teaching her pilot class is the same verse in my journal from the first class I taught, 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 – I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
Our partnership has been confirmed over and over by God and we are giddy with excitement to see what He is going to do through us.
The main reason I went to Texas was to attend Shannon Ethridge’s Woman at the Well workshop. So the next four days were spent with 9 incredible women that let me into their life in unimaginable ways. These women came because they were angry, grieving, hurting, or insecure and they wanted healing and freedom in their life and in their marriage. Shannon is an amazing life coach that God has called to share her story and she ministers to women in powerful ways. It was an amazing experience to watch closed, downward cast, bullet spitting women transform to open, radiant, encouragers. I had several personal take aways that helped me understand the insecurities I struggle with but also gave me power over them.
I also had a take away I did not expect. The last night of the session, Shannon did a talk on sexuality. While she was teaching, all I could do was squirm in my chair because I wanted so badly to share. Out of respect for Shannon, I let her teach, but I came away knowing that God has me exactly where I am supposed to be. He has equipped me well. He has given me insight into His design for sex and ways to get there and it is time to be confident teaching.
This last month has been an incredible series of making connections across the globe – from missionaries in Nicaragua, China and Cambodia to an appointment to sit down with a Ugandan to women to talk about how to have an orgasm – I cannot help but wonder what God is up to.
This next year Melanie and I are on a mission to figure out the best way to find and equip other teachers for Awaken Love. If you feel called to teach truth to women about God’s gift of sex, will you please email me at email@example.com because I would love to talk to you?