This week, Juli Slattery, the president of Authentic Intimacy, shares why she is taking on the challenge to hike with us in Wyoming this July

We all have different roads that have brought us to the Freedom Challenge. Maybe a friend invited you or you heard about it at an event. My invitation to climb came through a larger invitation to form a ministry partnership with the Freedom Challenge.

I am the president and co-founder of a ministry called Authentic Intimacy. Starting Authentic Intimacy was a step of faith, requiring me to leave my dream job on the broadcast team of Focus on the Family. Coincidentally, Authentic Intimacy and The Freedom Challenge were founded at exactly the same time, the summer of 2012.

Setting women free

While Freedom Challenge rallies women to raise awareness and funds for the oppressed overseas, Authentic Intimacy exists to set the average American and western woman free. They may physically appear to be very free, but most women I meet have invisible chains of bondage. They walk around with guilt, insecurity, the pressure to please people, broken relationships and wounds from past trauma.

Tina Yeager, the director of the Freedom Challenge, realized that many of us who feel called to be engaged in a climb do so as an expression of our own journey toward freedom. While our bondage and suffering may pale in comparison to those trapped in modern-day slavery, our pain can still be crippling.

Spreading hope

The partnership between Authentic Intimacy and Freedom Challenge has two components. First, women who have experienced God’s freedom through the ministry of Authentic Intimacy want to spread hope. We have 11 women on the Authentic Intimacy Freedom Challenge team for Wyoming. They will be climbing with gratitude for freedom and as a symbol of the healing they continue to pursue. I can’t wait for you to meet these courageous women. I know they will inspire you as they have inspired me.

The second aspect of our partnership is to speak into your freedom as you climb. During our time in Wyoming, I’ll have a chance to share with you about your own pursuit in healing. I know that many of us come to this challenge with heavy burdens. Maybe you’ve carried your burden so long you don’t know how greatly it weighs you down. My friend, it’s time for you to be free.

I am excited to share with you the Freedom offered to each of us… freedom from shame, freedom for performance demands, freedom from the past, and freedom from an empty life.

Impacting our world

As a clinical psychologist, I understand the impact of trauma, rejection and abuse. However, I truly believe that identity and sexuality represent a spiritual battlefield. The women we climb for overseas are impacted not just by money raised but also by our prayers for God to bring justice, righteousness and healing to our broken world.

Thank you for making the commitment to train your body, ask your friends for money, and spend a week of your life with the Freedom Challenge. I pray that God blesses you with great healing and freedom as you pursue healing and freedom for others.

Find out more about Authentic Intimacy at www.authenticintimacy.com

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