(Photo: Courtesy Julie Gorman)
Julie Gorman is the best-selling author of "What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men," a book full of advice and encouragement for single and married women. Gorman wants to support women and tell them of the freedom found in God; she took time to speak with The Christian Post about what led her to write the book and how it has impacted her own life and relationships.
CP: What inspired you to write this particular book?
JG: I actually didn't want to write this book; I wrestled with it. My editor approached me three times and finally asked me to pray about. My reservation was that I was not an expert on men: I was not a psychologist or physiologist who knew all there was to know about men and relationships. What I realized, though, was that there are a lot of women who are broken. God really prompted my heart and reminded me that women didn't need someone who "had it all together." What I ended up doing was sharing my story, much as the woman with the issue of blood found in Luke 8. That woman wanted to take her healing and get away-- she cowered in the crowd. When she realized that she couldn't go unnoticed, she came forward and told all that had happened to her.
We as Christians want to take the healing and not share our testimony or the story of our brokenness with others, but God convicts us. Remember the message, not the mess. When people realize how far God went to rescue me, others will be rescued and find hope. God is the only one who can satisfy and meet our needs. Women are out there and hurting and haven't yet experienced the breakthroughs and the healing, and if in some way I can share the journey and the heartache, the message of God, then it is worth it. I felt such a call to the vulnerability to the call and telling the story, then the lie of the enemy (of isolation) gets broken and people will find hope!
CP: Is there a correlation between successful, independent women and a relationship with God?
JG: At the cry of every woman's heart, whether she is professional and successful, the commonality may be what I found moreso. I don't think there's a distinction between those women caught in sex trafficking or those who are CEOs. What I found in common is the "God Vacuum," which is a cry of the heart to be known and to fully know another person; we have a longing to know that we matter and that our lives count for something. What the book shows and demonstrates is that commonality, whether you are young or old, male or female. No matter how we try to fill it, with a job or kids, there is this desire that only God can fill.
The temptation comes when we as a society is to fill our lives with this business or success rather than stopping and being satisfied with God and an intimate relationship with Him. Isaiah 55:2-3 says: "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare" (NIV). The book just gives this next step to move closer to that intimate relationship no matter where we are in society's standing.
CP: How has the book affected your own relationships with both men and women?
JG: I think there is a mercy and a grace; the person that I used to be (as much as I would like to say I didn't judge, I did). Honestly, any woman could tell me anything and I wouldn't be shocked because of the brokenness. Having to go back and visit places I hadn't done so in quite a while … those places of abuse and do it at such a quick pace, made me identify some places of healing. The realization of my brokenness made me have mercy for men, whom society places stereotypes on and harshly judges. I realized that men and women are both prone to a broken nature, and we need to extend that grace and mercy as God extends it to us.
We need to walk in the mercy of what God has done for us and learn how to practice that towards others. In light of my brokenness, I don't have judgment but mercy and understanding. One of the clearest breakthroughs of grace and mercy was when my father passed away last Christmas; I had forgiven him but never had a close relationship. At the funeral, when I had that moment of finality, I realized that I would finally learn whether I had forgiven him or not. I stood at the casket and had a feeling of a warm blanket covering me from head to toe and saw my son … I saw him as a young man instead of the adult abuser he had become. I saw that he had had aspirations and hopes, but that the enemy had broken in and messed up my father's hopes and dreams. I said, "Daddy, I forgive you" and felt peace.
God reveals a part of His presence in times of brokenness and can take the most desperate and harsh conditions and make us whole from the inside-out. We all desperately need the grace of God and need to extend it to one another. So I have a love and desire to share that message with others, and in the process of writing that book, I included the next small step between knowing and doing. I felt like I needed to provide the next thing of including God in our everyday lives and being quiet to hear God's words to us as individuals, in our own situations. The single permeating truth is that God loves you.
"What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men" is available online and in stores now. To learn more about Julie Gorman and her work, click HERE.