Did you know that throughout the entire Bible, the word “church” never refers to a building? The Greek word used for “church” is “ekklesia”, which literally means “a calling out” – or, physical people whom God has called. If you call yourself a Christian, this includes you.

Who are Christians? Well, the world doesn’t quite understand us. We are men and women joyfully willing to surrender every last thought, deed, and breath to our Creator, in love. We are men and women confident in the truth of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection; and His promise of eternal life. We peacefully walk in spiritual freedom, embracing our identity as sons and daughters of the Most High King, all while moving in the supernatural power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

Whether gathered in a small living room or a large outdoor space, or even separated across the globe – we are the Church.

So, if we find a particular problem about the Church, only we can enact change within the Church.

I know the Church pretty well, I’ve been a member of the body almost my whole life – we’re not perfect. Yet, though we will continue to individually and collectively transform until the day we see our Maker face to face, one area needs particularly increased attention now.

Well. Here goes nothing!

This is a desperate plea to my fellow sisters in Christ. A plea for transparency in the most sensitive secret place – our sexuality.

You see, the world talks about women’s sexuality; a lot. In movies, in television, in magazines, on Facebook. The female desire for sex – both heterosexual and homosexual – has forcefully saturated every fiber of our culture. As I type, I am even subject to ingest a pride-themed rainbow banner streaming over the top of my WordPress page.

Yet, somehow, this topic has skirted the Church. Many assume that only men struggle with pornography, masturbation, and homosexuality; and that all Christian women simply struggle with is loneliness while waiting for God to reveal to them their husbands.

While the latter is a legitimate struggle for some, for many of us, the scars run much, much deeper. Many of us have never quite felt pure. Sexual wounds from our childhood have led to confusion and premature promiscuous desires. Pornography, whether first seen by accident, by curiosity, or by force, has festered into a shameful secret addiction – scarring personal relationships, distorting expectations of sexual fulfillment and performance, and skewing body image. It has naturally led to the unnatural act of masturbation, and, combined with circumstances and experiences, has planted seeds of homosexual desires. And while we struggle, we struggle in silence, because of our shame, our fear of judgement, and the lack of any conversation or source of help.

God told me to start the conversation.

I am a Christian woman who has struggled with a variety of immoral sexual desires, behaviors, and addictions, and I know that I am not alone. Shelley Warren, in her life-changing book Pure Heart (every Christian woman should read it!), says “Thirty-four percent of female readers of the Today’s Christian Woman online newsletter admitted to accessing internet porn in a recent poll, and one out of every six women, including Christians, are struggling with an addiction to pornography.”

My heart hurts for my sisters who struggle in secret. I know their struggle well.

But, there is a way out.

James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (NLT)

My life testifies to this verse. After a ten-year long addiction to pornography, when I needed freedom as badly as I needed air, God graciously gave me an accountability partner; and the grace to share with this accountability partner.

Now, healing is not a “one and done” deal. The struggle is on-going, the fight relentless. But I am so thankful for His faithfulness in providing – now, many prayer partners – because transparency has reawakened my secret place. It is no longer one of sin and shame. It is a love chamber dedicated to dwelling in the Presence of my Heavenly father. It is where I bask in His magnificent beauty, His peace and joy, and the fiery love that streams from His face. It is my source of strength, always.

And now, my spirit longs to be in Communion with His. Our relationship is a dance, written specifically for me. And He is purifying me day by day in a brand new way.

Though freedom will not come overnight, darkness and light cannot coexist. Shining His light into the deepest, darkest cavern of our souls and remaining accountable to a fellow sister in Christ will lead to complete healing and restoration.

Here’s what I’m asking of you.

If God has healed you from a destructive sexual lifestyle, don’t be shy. Share your victory with your sisters – the girl sitting next to you in Bible Study may be enslaved and your testimony will encourage her to seek your help! For you, this is a call for boldness. This is a call to unveil the work that God has done in your life. Yes, I know it’s personal. I know it’s scary. I know you’re worried about what other people will think of you. But, ultimately, we don’t live to please man, who is here today and gone tomorrow and has but a breath in his nostrils. We live to please God; and that can only be done by faith.

I have faith in the power of His word. I have faith that once a few brave women spark transparency, we will witness a move of God like never before. Years of bondage broken and years of scars healed, in Jesus’ name. For the Lord our God is a consuming fire – He wants all of us. And once our hearts are aligned to His, we come alive, and experience the true freedom of all His blessings.

Join me on a journey of coming more and more alive in Christ.

And if you need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to email me.

In His Love,

Gina Maria Cunsolo