A couple of weeks ago I mentioned joining a group of women who have come together to promote a new book titled, Pulling Back the Shades. I purposely left out the subtitle at that time because I wanted people to gain curiosity over the content. Today, I share the subtitle as I purpose to review the book as well as reveal the significance of my joining this cause:
“Erotica, Intimacy and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart”
This reads as profoundly as it sounds in this work of much love by its author’s:
- Dr. Juli Slattery a clinical psychologist, wife, author, ministry leader best know for her work with Authentic Intimacy
- Dannah Gresh, best-selling author of books on purity for teen girls and their mothers, and a sought after speaker.
The message of this book struck something within me and I took it as a sign from God, from a place of prayer I’ve been in regarding the book containing the testimony God wrote through me. Moody Publishing and these two women timed the release of this book around the release of the film “Fifty Shades of Grey” which was depicted from the popular series of erotica books by the same name. His timing is everything! I didn’t, nor will I ever, read the 50 Shades series or see the film…even before I opened Pulling Back the Shades, I knew what it was about and what I’d find in these pages…
…or rather the “old [wo]man” … the person I was BC (before CHRIST took up true residency within me).
Pulling Back the Shades is for every woman and man, single or married. It is such because each of us need to understand the lies and deceit fed to us by the world, and the enemy who has led us into the dark. There are topics covered that should be written on billboards about the emotional and spiritual effect blatant sexuality has on each and every one of us, of all ages. It drew tears to my eyes as I recognized my old self at so many turns; but these weren’t tears of pain, they were tears of knowing and gratitude.
My heart was pricked and God spoke to me continually, “My child, I told you the work I did in and through you would not be in vain.” “I told you I had a reason for allowing you to walk through so much. Don’t fret just know that I have it in the palm of my hand.” You see, when He first led me into writing HIStory through me, and it took several years, I didn’t understand why he’d want me to share my dirty secrets with the world. But as I stated above, HIS perfect timing and reasoning are all that we need to grasp.
Regardless of whether you are a Christian, Buddhist or an atheist, here is what you need to FIRST understand about our humanness and our sexuality: “The bottom line is this: sex is sacred and deserves incredible honor. We cannot afford to speak of it in hushed tones, but must walk in full freedom regarding this beautiful gift from God.” (From Pulling Back the Shades, page 114)
Why won’t I read Fifty Shades? Not for the reasons some may think, although they hold true: She’d find it offensive to her Christianity. She doesn’t want to expose herself to such things. Etc…etc…etc. I am stronger than that, thanks to my Lord and Savior. The truth of the matter is this: I don’t need to read it to know what is says because once upon a time, not too long ago, I lived it.
Below is an exert from Pulling Back the Shades (Page 123) that I sat staring at, knowing I had to share with others (also read St. John 4:1-42, discussing the Woman of Samaria, which is the Bible story mentioned in the book):
I lived that lie! My mind was a constant movie reel of explicit images and my body was certainly not being used as a temple for the holy ghost. In fact, it was desecrated at a very early age and kept being as such into my thirties. My fantasy life (the one in my head) was so much better than my actual life, it started effecting the reality of relationships. For about a decade the number of men whom I allowed to get too close to me sends shivers down my spine, but I have forgiven myself because to be quite frank, even though I knew in my soul it was wrong, I could never regain control.
That is the enemy…that was his tactic to keep me from God (whom I had ALREADY given my life to at age 7 or 8) so I couldn’t be used effectively. Praise the LORD he had a plan and He went before me to clear the path to create an effective exit plan for me. I was so elated to discover it that I quickly drove down that ramp, into His open, waiting arms of love and forgiveness. One of the most difficult things I walked through was finally understanding I MUST forgive myself of all the wrong turns I’d made in life, the horrible things I had done to myself, to my ABBA Father, and to others. Because everything we do affects others, whether or not we witness it or they recognize it.
I was deceived! I had not known true guidance in life until I gave my GPS to God and started relenting control to Him. This happens to so many people, and it is addressed in Pulling Back the Shades. It is IMPERATIVE that as women, we stop allowing society to dictate control over us. We have become programmed to believe the way we are publicly and privately distorted, abused and dishonored, and how we do that to ourselves, is okay. It is IMPERATIVE that men understand they’ve been conditioned and deceived into believing not honoring their own and a woman’s sexuality is okay. Coming from experience I am here to firmly say – it is not! We are not created for this! Sex is not created to be had with whomever we have a relationship with, it is a covenant and we need to start treating it as such.
“God designed sex as a powerful symbol and celebration of covenant love. It is a physical and emotional expression of the deeper commitment two people can make to each other. But sex is more than that. It represents the ultimate covenant love–God’s love for HIS people…Because sex is a portrait of God’s sacred love, satan will do anything he can to destroy the beauty of it. He has tried to twist, tarnish and distort the beautiful and holy picture of sexuality in every way possible. From creating shame about sexuality in Christian women to sexual abuse and prostitution, his agenda is to separate us from ever celebrating sexuality within the context of God’s holy design….Sex trafficking, pornography, friends with benefits, sexual perversions and addictions–they all paint an animalistic and degrading picture of something that was created to be a glorious expression of human and divine love….Evil’s primary attack on sexuality is to simplify it–to separate the physical act of sex from human love and divine design…” (Pulling Back the Shades, pp 44-45)
I bolded that last sentence and underlined the word ‘separate’ because this is how the devil does it. He somehow finds a way to conquer and divide: he conquers our inner person’s desire for true love and intimacy in a way that deceives us into thinking what is false is “real love and intimacy,” He then continues to divide us from what we are truly longing for and numbs us to true love and intimacy. (The media [including advertising] and entertainment industries are his biggest tools.) In turn, we become so separated from our identity we no longer understand or recognize those things, but we still seek them. Which in reality, is us seeking Him (God) because his is the first instance of true love and intimacy we know!
That is what happened to me…I became so numbed to who I was created to be, what I actually desired in my heart and understanding where to find it, my life started to fall completely apart. (Similar stories are depicted in Pulling Back the Shades.) Finally, when I was at my lowest – when I could no longer comprehend any of this – is when that still small voice began to lead me again. It was His guidance in the strangest moments that led me at age 34 to abstain from sex until marriage, that told me I didn’t need to date or let men get within 3 feet of me unless their intentions were good. It was God who pulled me out of the darkness because I could never get myself free from the bondage that had plagued me from inception (yes, that is correct, from inception).
With books like Pulling Back the Shades and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I PRAY wholeheartedly that the SHADES people wear across their eyes, hearts and minds will be shed. That masses of people will understand that this message comes with the utmost importance in mind: YOUR LIVES, those of your CHILDREN and of the GENERATIONS COMING UP!
This book is not light-hearted. It does not hold back from possibly offending or leading people into thought. It portrays a reality that many pretend doesn’t exist. It provides numerous testimonies accounting sexual sin and how it nearly destroyed lives and marriages. It is honest yet it gives hope to its readers that they too can overcome things like addiction to porn and erotica, overcome adultery and escape the bondage of our past and how to reconcile our lives (spiritually and sexually) back to an honorable place. Reconcile us back into whom God intended us to be – free and knowing we are loved well! Free to enjoy sex as it was meant to be enjoyed.
The author’s have created a book study that will launch in the next week, the book is available in print and as an ebook. You can learn more and order at: www.pullingbacktheshades.com
BONUS!!! BOOK GIVE-A-WAY YAY!! :))
If you’ve gotten this far I have a treat for you! I have 1 printed copy and 2 ebook copies of this book to give away.
If you go to the CONTACT page and send me a message, including your name and why you would like a copy, I will give them away to the first three people to contact me. I am posting the link to this on all social media so act fast.
(If you contact me after the first 3 have been chosen, I can relay a special offer to you to in order to obtain a copy of the book.)
I pray this post and outpouring has touched you in some way. Even if you are a person who hasn’t been through this and you’ve remained unblemished (You rock!!) I’m sure you know someone who hasn’t and may need some extra love in this area…I urge you to please share this with them. If you or someone else would like prayer and ministry in this area, please contact me privately – it would be my honor and privilege to serve, In HIS glorious name!
CLOSING PRAYER: Thank you Lord for guiding the hearts of these two women you brought together in Your name, to create such a great resource for battle because it IS a battle. We know that by His stripes (Jesus’) we whom have suffered are victorious and simply desire to war with and for you; to relay the TRUTH to the hearts and minds of other, who may have ears to hear and eyes to see. I pray that you bless this ministry and it reaches a multitude through the warriors who have come alongside to take this message out to the people.
I pray for those who do not know You or do not know your Son, Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior, will consider these words: YOU are so amazing, Father God…your LOVE NEVER FAILS! And by accepting Jesus into their hearts, You can work amazing things out in their lives. I pray they say a simple prayer: “Yes, Lord Jesus..come into my heart today and show me the love I so desperately need and desire in order to feel and become whole! I accept my salvation through you and now I too will be redeemed by your sacrificial act of dying for my sin. I want to know you and give my life to you today Jesus.
In Jesus’ precious and holy name we pray, amen!!