Hello! I’m Victoria, the blogger and website manager for the Matthew 18 Group!
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and learn about the blog on Audrey’s website. I spent the last year working as a director for crisis pregnancy victims in Alaska until I moved to South Florida with my husband this summer. Now I work in the same field helping a pregnancy center speak the message of Hope.
I am the happily-ever-after-wife of Blake Werner, and the proud toddler-mom of Vivian. My life’s calling is to help women find Jesus Christ and know their precious identity in His vast Kingdom.
I started this blogging journey when I was 16, after seeing the devastating effects of legalism in the Church. But when I looked to feminism and the world for answers, they were trying to conjure up equality and liberation in ways that degraded the very women who needed help! I started seeking answers about my own identity—who am I and do I matter? Is God sexist? Do I have a place? What happens if I make mistakes? Does God love me or judge me? During the research process I realized that these were the questions everyone was asking regardless of gender, background, or faith. The world looks for satisfaction through sexual identity, but the aftermath is shown to be complicated and messy and hurtful. But did the Bible and the Church really have a message of peace for my heart as well?
Many women have left the church because they felt like God preferred men. Many felt as if there was no room for females except in the limelight of a man—and to be honest, I understood how they felt. Was this God’s actual view of women? Did he love me less or trust me less? Was I subjected to be invisible like the women in Old Testament times?
I came to realize that both the church and the world were desperately seeking the same thing and missing it—Jesus.
Upon a deeper search in Scripture, I found that Jesus is the author of our equality and our liberation. He isn’t sexist—He was the first man to liberate women from oppressive social norms. Security in my identity comes from a personal relationship with Him. He is the essence of joy, goodness, peace, direction, and freedom. And to experience those things from Him, we first need to abide IN Him. He then starts to guide us in our life’s calling. This “calling” is the source of our purpose and gives us the reason for our existence. The Woman at the Well was the first evangelist to the gentiles. Martha and Mary experienced a man who commanded them to learn (in a world where Rabbis refused to teach women because of their uncleanness.) Jesus accepted worship from Mary “a sinner” who realized who He was and anointed His feet with oil. He blessed her with a legacy in Scripture for all eternity. It was women who found the empty tomb first, and women like Philips four prophesying daughters who carried on His teachings throughout the New Testament. Jesus didn’t mind being touched by the Woman with the Issue of Blood, when even her own family was not allowed to touch her because of her uncleanness.
Time after time, Christ broke the rules that subjected women to invisibility and uncleanness. Wherever Jesus is seen interacting with women he healed them, saved their souls, treated them as equals, and loved them, memorialized them, and he never patronized or sexualized them. His life and death repealed the stigma of Eve’s sin and in Him we found purpose and freedom and unity. John 8:36 “So if the Son of Man sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Skipping ahead to where God has led me today, I started becoming interested in the purity movement because sexuality is so closely linked with liberation and equality and legalism.
I met Audrey a few days before her son proposed to me. I knew if I married Blake, I’d have a cool mom-in-law, but I also knew we share the same passion for God and women’s issues. Over the past two and a half years her ministry has grown internationally, and my passion has matured into helping women from all walks of life, not just in the church. I am very proud to be partnering with her to bring messages of peace and hope to others who might be hurting and lost their way on their life’s path.
Thanks again for taking the time to get to know us here at Matthew 18!
Genesis 16:13 “You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the God who sees me.”