By Anna Beard
Asst. News Editor
The words “lust,” “pornography” and “female” rarely appear in the same sentence, but addiction to pornography and lust among women was the focus of this year’s annual “Finding You at the U” conference to discuss the topics, in its fourth year at Union.
The conference was held March 12 in the Bowld Student Commons. Organizers expected from 150 to 200 women to attend.
Guest speaker Jessica Harris was founder of Beggar’s Daughter, a website dedicated to assisting women addicted to pornography and lust.
In her speech, “The Long Walk to the Well,” Harris used the biblical story of the woman at the well as an example of how Jesus assists a woman living in sexual sin.
A discussion time followed the event, and Harris also met with resident advisers and Life Group leaders March 11 in a small group setting for training.
Dr. Kimberly Thornbury, senior vice president for Student Services and dean of students, hosted a luncheon with Harris today called “50 Shades of Lies,” during which Harris trained faculty and staff in how to best minister to students struggling in this area.
Huelin, coordinator of Finding You at the U, said event planners select a topic each year they believe to be current and relevant to the female student body.
Huelin said she looks forward to seeing a “ripple effect” the event may cause.
“Sexual sins and addictions flourish in secrecy,” Huelin said. “Bringing the issue out into the light can go a long way towards breaking some of the bonds that hold people in these types of sin patterns. We hope that students who struggle will reach out for help and that those who don’t will be equipped to minister to those who do struggle in this way.”
Huelin will host a four-week, follow-up support group for students who may be struggling with the issue or who are interested in learning more to help others.
“This issue is relevant whether or not you’re struggling with (lust); you will meet someone who is (struggling),” she said. “Becoming aware of it and how to help is a wise move on your part.”
Previous years’ topics have included eating disorders, Christian body image and the art of sexuality.
Organizers include Huelin, Karen Taylor, associate director of student leadership and engagement; Keely Beasely, director of discipleship; Kayla McKinney, assistant resident director; Melanie Taylor, senior sports management major; Glenae Nora, senior history major; and Courtney Rankin, senior sociology major.
Visit the Facebook page for more information: facebook.com/ FindingYouAtTheU