I was speaking at a large leadership conference in Texas when, in the middle of worship, I suddenly found a woman weeping uncontrollably in my arms. I escorted her out of the room, holding her as she sobbed. Then out came Sarah's confession:
"I just have to tell someone. I'm the mom of three beautiful children. I'm a wife, I'm a women's ministry leader—and I'm living a double life."
Over the next hour, Sarah told me about her life of sexual pain and sin that had culminated in a 12-year affair with her boss, and an ongoing 5-year sexual relationship with a woman who was also a leader in the church. Her story was filled with so much pain and shame, how could she even begin to put the pieces together?
Humanly speaking, Sarah was broken beyond repair.
Over the years, I've had the privilege of walking with many women who were deeply sexually wounded. Many of them have histories of acting out sexually with men, women, and children. They confess to habitual masturbation, pornography use that started when they were children, and sexual experiences too horrific to recount. I want to share with you three things I've learned from these courageous women who had enough faith to trust me with their stories and believe that God could redeem the most vile of sins and offenses.
1. The church has believed a lie. The lie goes like this: When you trust Christ as Savior, he can clean up a lot of things in your life, but there is one thing beyond God's redemptive healing power: your sexuality.1