ALAINA STRATTON

They told me to be an independent, sexually liberated woman. 

As a young adult, my view of my body was influenced most by the Seventeen magazines I stole from my sister in middle school, experiences in college like my feminist women’s studies classes and the social dynamics of party culture, Twitter and popular media aimed towards Millennials. 

But the decisions I made based on that left me feeling used and unfulfilled. I gave parts of myself away to men who didn’t value them in hopes they would give me what I wanted.

I didn’t know how my body had anything to do with God, so I met my God-given needs, like intimacy and connection, in whatever ways I could.  Pursuing men to hook up with in college always felt powerful at the start — but always left me feeling even lonelier after the fact.  

I was a dance major so I thought I was physically well, but I didn’t really take care of my body — I used it as a tool to get what I wanted. I used it to be impressive. 

I loved the idea of working out and staying healthy, but I found it difficult to ever really make it a habit because on a deep level, I wasn’t convinced it mattered. By my mid-twenties, I was drinking almost every night of the week, staying out until 4 a.m. 

I thought I was fine, but when I see pictures of myself from that time… I don’t recognize that version of myself. She was run down, exhausted, distracted, disconnected from purpose. You can see it my face, in my eyes. I wasn’t healthy. 

At age 26, I decided to follow Jesus. I joined a church and I began a new life. I was transformed by God’s love in ways I didn’t know were possible. Eventually I married a handsome, kind man who loved every part of me: my past, my present, and my future. Our relationship has shown me what real redemption and intimacy can be. 

But when I became a part of the church, I noticed something odd: no one was talking about bodies. 

I began to wonder if my physical body even had a place with God. I questioned if the love I felt God restoring within me towards myself was “correct.” 

Was it even okay to really enjoy and delight in my body or what it could do? Was I wrong for thinking our physical bodies mattered to God?

At first I assumed I was alone in this, being a new believer.

But as I connected with more experienced Christian women, I realized we were all experiencing similar things:

  • feeling awkward in our own skin
  • experiencing pain during sex
  • healing from trauma and abuse with or without enough resources
  • feeling isolated from insufficient or false information about sex and health in our church communities 

Until one day, something changed. 

I was in worship at church when I felt a familiar tug at my heart — something beckoning me to dance. 

I grew up as a dancer. I even studied dance professionally, but I’d given it up years before. Yet in that moment, my heart beat sped up with excitement. I was afraid of being seen in such a vulnerable moment — but my desire to connect with God through my physical worship outweighed my fears. 

And so I tried. Reluctantly at first, I began moving my arms. The more I moved, the less nervous I became as muscle memory kicked in. I stepped forward and back, growing familiar again with the play of weight and gravity. I spread my arms open, remembering the feeling of freedom, of being wholly myself unafraid. I knew that people were watching but I didn’t care — inside the swirls and swoops of arms and legs I found the feeling of home again. I found the presence of God and me, nestled safe within it. 

As I danced, I realized something about the Lord: there was never meant to be a division between our spiritual and physical connection, with him or with one another.

We were never meant to stay so still and so small, afraid of being seen or restraining the parts of ourselves we were created to enjoy. Our bodies could be powerful tools for connection, intimacy, and joy. 

Since that day I’ve been on a journey of understanding embodied freedom: what it looks like when redemption encompasses our whole selves, not just our spirits. 

I knew my body was holy. Now I’m learning the blueprints of the temple — uncovering the truth of what it was always meant to be. 

And as I’m learning truth about my body and intimacy, my heart wounds are healing. As I risk trusting God with my pain and difficult questions, I’m finding greater confidence and peace. As I choose to connect to my body in all the ways it was created to be experienced, I’m learning the unconditional love of the Father and that I can love myself, too. Reconnecting with the Lord enabled reconnecting with myself — I feel healthier, more alive, and more secure in who he’s made me to be. 

My faith and experience of God has become more relational and multi-dimensional. My day to day life and activities carry deeper meaning and purpose — and I’ve discovered an inner passion to see not only myself, but all women, freed from a lesser gospel around their health and bodies. 

That’s why Liberté exists: we were promised miraculous salvation — and even more, we were promised abundant life on earth. God’s design for our earthly lives, including the bodies we live them in, is intentional, detailed, and full of life. 

I want to help you go from pain to healing, from unfulfilling relationships and insecurity to real intimacy and confidence. 

I hope you’ll join me on the mission to uncover truth and have real intimacy in every area of life. For speaking inquiries or just to say hi, please connect with me by emailing hello@liberte.com.