Today I welcome my IRL friend, Teresa Whiting. She has written an incredible Bible study entitled, Graced: How God Redeems and Restores the Broken.
In Part 1 of our 2-part conversation, Teresa shares why she did NOT want to write this study and why she did it anyway. She gives us a refreshing and Christlike way to view our scars. She reveals what surprised her the most about studying broken women in the Bible. And she encourages us with what she discovered about the heart of God toward sexually broken women.
Teresa is a devoted follower of Jesus who has been married to her pastor husband, Greg, for almost 30 years. After a period of infertility, she grew her family from 0 to 5 children in 3 years. She considers herself a “creative entrepreneur,” as she has dabbled in various creative endeavors throughout her life–selling items on eBay and flipping furniture. Recently becoming empty-nesters, Teresa and her husband have started an Airbnb rental in their home. She is a normal person who enjoys calling herself a friend and fellow struggler. Her faith and love for God have helped guide her through life’s challenges.
Here are the highlights of our conversation:
– The concept of being “sexually broken” is defined as someone who has had something done to them or has made choices that have led to negative consequences
-Sexual brokenness can have lasting consequences for individuals and those around them
– People may also face other hardships such as illness, financial struggles, or betrayal
– No one goes through life without experiencing sin or hardship
Sexually Broken Women in Scripture
– Women in Scripture can provide hope, endurance, and encouragement
– Themes they touch on include shame, labels, forgiveness, worship, and grace
– These themes are relevant to all women, not just those who have experienced sexual brokenness
– Sandy admires Teresa’s ability to handle sensitive topics in her study
Retelling Biblical Accounts in First Person
– Teresa wrote stories of women in the Bible in first person to make them more relatable and come to life
– She was surprised to find stories in the Bible that included rape, adultery, and betrayal
Scars and Healing
– We don’t choose our scars, but we can choose how to handle them
– A Point of Grace song, “Heal the Wound but Leave the Scar,” serves as a reminder of God’s mercy and healing
– The scars of Jesus were kept as a symbol of victory over sin and death
New Bible Study!
– Teresa has written a Bible study called “Graced,” which focuses on how God redeems and restores brokenness
– The title of the book is written as “disgraced” with the “dis” crossed out, (clever!)
– Teresa didn’t initially want to write the Bible study but eventually did due to her own experiences with brokenness
Stewarding Your Story Well
– Teresa struggled with the idea of being known only for a tragic event in her life
– She advises that a woman should only share her story if she feels ready and has reached a place of healing
– She encourages honesty and pointing others towards God’s healing capabilities
[00:01:32] A Jesus-following mother of five who is also a creative entrepreneur and recent empty nester. She and her husband have started Airbnb-ing a couple of their bedrooms.
[00:02:51] Couple adopts two-year-old twins from Romania after experiencing infertility, then later has three biological children.
[00:06:18] Author writes Bible study on five women in the line of Jesus, realizes there are already many similar studies, so decides to share her story of sexual brokenness and shame to help others overcome their shame and trauma, as one in three women experience abuse or assault.
[00:11:15] We can’t choose our scars, but we can choose what we do with them; they can be a reminder of God’s mercy and victory, just like Jesus kept his scars.
[00:13:41] Don’t share your story if you’re not ready, but don’t let pride or shame stop you if you’re at a place of healing. Share your story honestly and point people to Jesus, because he can heal them too. Being open about your scars can help others who are going through similar struggles.
[00:17:31] We all walk a broken road, experiencing sin’s effects every day. Women in Scripture offer hope and encouragement for endurance. Their stories cover themes like shame, forgiveness, and worship, touching every woman.
[00:21:21] The author wrote women’s stories in first person to make them relatable and alive.
[00:25:29] Flexible study structure with creative retelling and historical background, including psalms for comfort, over five days to be done solo or in a group.
[00:26:44] Day five focuses on understanding the heart of God. Each lesson has a QR code linking to resources including video teachings and a podcast. Additional resources such as playlists are also available on a single page for the study of Tamar.
[00:28:39] Jesus had relationships with marginalized women with sexual issues, highlighting God’s unconditional acceptance and love for all.
More about Teresa:
Teresa is passionate about helping women connect God’s word to their everyday lives. As a pastor’s wife and ministry leader of almost 30 years, she has walked with countless women through their life struggles. Teresa has a degree in Bible and counseling. Additionally, she has lived the truths she teaches. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she has experienced God’s power to make beauty from ashes. Her ministry is marked by vulnerability, empathy and compassion while firmly grounded in Biblical truth.
–Graced Guide to Restoration: A free collection of trusted resources from Teresa for you!
–Hope Restored Trauma Intensive.
3 Night / 4 Day Trauma Healing Intensive in Sunny Florida.
September 21-September 24, 2023 // $1,500
For more info, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Teresa’s Website: teresawhiting.com
(Some links of these links may be affiliates)
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