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INTRODUCTION

Why are you here? You may have decided to join this group to connect with other women. Perhaps you struggle with relationships—not just with men, but with anyone. It could be that you’re hurting, that you want to find love but are continually disappointed by relationships. Maybe you are tainted by negative sexual experiences and mistakes from your past. You might be feeling distant from God, separated by the weight of shame and regret. Whatever it is that brought you to this group, we’re excited you’re here!

Many women are unable to sustain long-term relationships with romantic partners, family members, and friends. They feel isolated and alone. They desperately want connection—to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. They want to be seen and heard. They want a safe place where they can discover their true identity: the person they are deep inside that they are afraid to show. They want to be known.

This requires risk for each of us: the vulnerability it will take to reach authenticity, the courage to move past the pain of brokenness and strive toward health, the willingness to release control in the hidden areas of our life in order to experience God’s grace, and the strength for all of this to happen through community.

Isolation breeds shame, fear, and loneliness, but community breeds life. Community leads to healing.

“Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren’t rubbed in but rubbed out.1

The goal of Unraveled is that we create a community—a place of grace—where women can find healing regardless of their past behaviors, current circumstance, and season of life. While the foundation and focus is for women who struggle with love, sex, and relationship issues, this resource promotes healing in many areas.

This workbook was written for any woman who has found herself:

  • unable to find and/or keep a lasting relationship.
  • struggling with sex or love addiction.
  • engaging in unwanted sexual behaviors: pornography use, masturbation, hookups,
    affairs, same-sex attraction.
  • met with disappointment when looking for love and connection.
  • having little to no self-awareness.
  • preoccupied with fantasy, to the point where it is interfering with work, family,
    and commitments.
  • wanting to understand why she self-sabotages relationships.
  • unable to maintain many forms of personal relationships with family, friends,
    and coworkers.
  • stuffing down feelings, not allowing herself to feel emotion.
  • compromising moral and personal boundaries to feel loved and accepted.
  • afraid to voice her opinion or speak out, fearing the loss of relationship.
  • with unprocessed trauma, creating problems in current relationships.
  • hiding behind the facade of social media.
  • seeking relationships with unavailable men.
  • feeling so much shame about secrets that she has nowhere else to turn.
  • pretending to have it all together on the outside, but broken inside.

If you see yourself on this list, you are not alone.
We all want relationship. God designed us for relationship. The challenge comes with understanding and recognizing the difference between unhealthy and healthy relationships.
Throughout this study, we will learn why we do what we do: how all of our past experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly—contribute to the choices we make. We will learn how our sexuality and identity are God’s design, but our past experiences interfere with our ability to recognize and live out God’s plan for us. Through the use of
weekly exercises, strategic tools, and self-care focus, we will learn how to live in health— how to unravel the messiness of relationships. We will discover how lifelong healing comes from a greater understanding of who God is and who He created us to be.

God has a plan for our lives: to bring us to a place of health and wholeness. He is going to use this study and this group to help us change and grow. Embrace the adventure!

Allow God to do what only He can do in you and through you.