Resources suggested on this Episode! (Please use our links to support The Way of the Wildflowers!)
Our third podcast is in the books! And what a beautiful one it was! This episode is powerful, real, and very important.
Our guest today, Miss Ashley Montag, graciously and selflessly agreed to speak about sexual healing and vulnerability, a topic she is passionate about herself.
Ashley, originally from Arizona, moved to Nebraska as an answer to the call to serve as a FOCUS missionary. She ministered to many college students during her four years at UNL and hopes to continue being a source of love and hope as she applies to graduate school to be a family and marriage counselor.
Ashley has a great love and devotion to St. Teresa of Avila, the great woman mystic and doctor of the Church. She shared how she connected with St. Teresa so well because she was a woman of great passion and was not afraid to struggle. She shared her favorite story of St. Teersa in which St. Teresa struggled and complained to God that He was not treating her very well by allowing so much suffering. Jesus replied to her struggle by telling her this is how he treats His friends (he shares His suffering) to which she responded, "It's no wonder you have so few!" Ha! She IS a woman of passion but also of sass!
St. Teresa, knew struggle, and so does our guest who opened up with us about a common struggle that she an many other women have that is hidden in silence and shame. This struggle is sexual sin in the forms of pornography and masturbation. Ashley shared that a key aspect to healing in this area is to be vulnerable and allow God to get to the core of who we are and who we are made to be because that is precisely what gets damaged when we are exposed to the lies of these sins.
A huge moment of healing that Ashley shared with listeners was when she chose to go to confession, face to face with the priest, and confess her sexual sins. The priest, instead of being disgusted, looked her in the eye and she felt like her wound was finally embraced and Jesus' light of love shone upon it. Ashely shared how important confession is in learning to be vulnerable with God.
She also expressed the importance of being vulnerable with other women. Often, as most of us probably could relate to, these sins are seen as "man sins" and very shameful, opening up about our own struggles and even just bringing this up as a topic together with our women friends opens the doors to other women realizing it is okay to talk about sexual temptations. It breaks down shame, banishes loneliness, and builds up accountability.
Ashley has so many resources to provide our listeners! View them below. She also wants to offer herself as a resource. Ashley leads a group of women who all need support in this area and is happy to offer personal help to women who just need someone to start a conversation about this topic. Her email is email@example.com .
Resources (please use the links above to support The Way of the Wildflowers):
Harvest USA: Awesome resource with many articles, books, etc.
Integrity Restored by Peter C. Kleponis PHD
Anything with Audrey Assad, listen to her talk at FOCUS SEEK conference here.
Delivered by Matt Fradd
Sexual Sanity for Women by Ellen Dykus of Harvest USA
Prayer we prayed for women in moments of sexual temptation, written by Sara:
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Help me to know my desires to be loved, known, touched, and beheld are good even if I won't act. Help me to believe that only you will fulfill my deepest desires. I give you my hands to kiss. I give you my body to snuggle back to safety. I give you my heart to overwhelm with your love. Teach me that I am good. Teach me that I am loved. Teach me that I am safe.
Teach me that I am yours.
Finally, our WoW moment today was provided by Sara. Did you know that when St. Francis of Assisi struggled with sin and impurities he tried to throw himself into a rosebush to distract himself. Jesus, so merciful, so gentle with us in our sins, upon impact, took away the thorns and the roses immediately bloomed. You can still see this rose bush in Italy to this day. Isn't it comforting to know that Saints, themselves, had intense temptations! We can turn to them always as another support system!
With your hosts-