by Rachel Johnson
We’re back with more from the fearless Crystal Renaud. Learn about her future plans, the healing process implemented in Dirty Girls Ministries’ work, the book she penned, and the advice she gives for women struggling with pornography and sexual addiction (and catch up here if you missed part one).
Q: You’re currently pursuing a degree in Christian Counseling. Tell us about this experience and what you hope to use your degree for in the future.
I am about to begin my junior year in a Bachelors of Psychology in Christian Counseling program at Liberty University. Going back to college was something I never thought I would do. I had quit college when I was only 19 years old and no intentions of going back. But I also had very little intention of doing anything with my life back then.
It was through my experience in working in ministry and working with women struggling with brokenness, the more I realized that God had designed me to counsel others. Following the completion of my Bachelors, I will continue onto a Masters program to become licensed. I have dreams of opening my own counseling practice for women.
Q: Explain your acronym SCARS to us, and tell us how women become empowered through Dirty Girls Ministries.
The steps are comprised of: S—Surrender; C—Confession; A—Accountability; R—Responsibility; S—Sharing
One night I was studying and writing when the Lord reminded me of Thomas in the book of John. Here Jesus was, standing there right in front of him, resurrected, and yet Thomas didn’t believe it was Him until he saw the evidence, the scars, from His crucifixion.
To me, this shows a similar picture of what recovery from addiction looks like. Because pornography and sexual addiction are typically not about sex at all, but instead, about a deep intimacy disorder. We must expose our core woundedness for what it is. When we finally expose it, clean out the junk that’s been filling it up, and fill it again with good, healthy things, over time and with proper care, the wound will actually begin to heal. And in its place will only be a scar. A reminiscence of what was. Not of what still is.
Scars are a reminder of where we’ve been. Scars show others that we know what they’re going through and that we may actually be able to help. Just as the scars on Christ’s hands and side proved who He was to Thomas, the scars left behind from our own wounds prove His healing in us. He is, after all, the only true Healer.
Q: You’ve written a book, Dirty Girls Come Clean. What was that process like, and what message do you want readers to come away with after they’ve finished the book?
Dirty Girls Come Clean is my personal letter to every woman who desires freedom from the bondage of addiction. Through my own confession and the brave confessions of other women throughout, this book journeys with the reader through the various steps necessary for taking hold of a life marred by sexual sin and shame to a life healed by the forgiveness and hope of Jesus. Writing the book was a therapeutic process. Wounds of my past that I thought were healed were reopened and guilt I still carried was lifted. Realizing that God would take the words on the page and use them to speak truth to women in need of comfort was a humbling experience and it continues to be today.
Q: What advice would you give to women struggling with pornography and sex addiction? Additionally, what advice would you give to friends who are supporting these women and unsure of exactly how to help their loved ones?
One of the things I hear most often from women who hear my story for the first time or who stumbled upon our website is, “I thought I was the only one.” Women need to know they are not alone and that there’s hope. They do not need to live in the cycle of addiction. It is the desire of both my book and my ministry to break down the walls that are keeping these women addicted. These walls are shame, isolation, fear of judgment, pain from their pasts, etc. My team and I are committed to this fight and we are here to help women who are ready to surrender and take this journey toward freedom.
If you don’t need my book yourself, I encourage you to pick one up for someone in your life that might. If doing so means the possibility of even just one woman coming clean and finding healing, it would be well worth your time. Grace is a gift. Hope never fails.
Author’s Note: Interested in hearing Crystal speak or in meeting her in person? Attend the WHOLE Women’s Conference in Lenexa, KS, on August 24th and 25th, hosted by Dirty Girls Ministries and Westside Family Church. Register for the event here.
Crystal has obviously used the brokenness in her past to help women know and embrace God’s redemptive love. In what ways have you let God use your messy past to lead others to healing?