"Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul". Those very words captivated my attention. I remember when I picked this book. I was a mission retreat with my late grandmother. There it was, laying on a table behind a sign advertized "Free Books". I simply couldn't resist! I was 24 when this book came into my life, fast such a crucial time too. I just graduated college, looking for a job in my career field, and hoping to be meet that special someone who'd sweep me off my feet. I had so many plans, but for some reason, God had me at a standstill. Admittedly, I was still trying to find my place in the world, hoping I would better understand who I was; then God placed this book in my path, I was never the same.
"Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul" by John and Stasi Eldredge helped guide my process of understanding myself and the divine purpose God intended for me as a woman. Womanhood is so complex, especially as you grow older. So often womanhood is portrayed to focus on our appearance. In a world full of natural hair tutorials, styling hauls, makeup tutorials, weight loss journeys, and social media photo filters; women are taught to place so much value in maintaining our appearance but neglect the maintenance of our spirit. No, I'm not discrediting these entities, I love a stay updated on new protective hairstyles. However, it becomes unhealthy when it grows into our main focus in life. I'm guilty of giving in to the pressure of altering my appearance to win someone's affection. I wasn't fully aware of how much God TRULY loved me. I thought "If my hair was curlier like my mom's or if only I was thinner, perhaps my crush would notice or others would accept me." This is such a toxic way to think. Soon, I realized there is so much more to me than a hear full of curls, fluffy curves, and lavish clothes. I am a woman with a heart eager to know more and more about the true and living God! I am created with a purpose beyond myself. You are as well! My dear sister, our worth was never intended to be measured by what others see or think about our physic. As the book eloquently puts it, "Every woman was once a little girl. And every little girl holds in her heart most precious dreams. She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irresistible role in a great adventure, to be the Beauty of the story. Those desires are far more than child's play. They are the secret to the feminine heart."
As I read this book, God redirected my focus and pulled me closer to His heart. It unraveled the pieces of me I didn't know existed. While it exposed all the gunk that the world dumped into my heart, it enlighted me to see God as a romancer and how he earnestly pursues our hearts. God delights in showing us how much he loves us! Chapter 7 is my favorite part of the book. Stasi shared that her husband experienced a captivating moment with God. During his alone time, he walked and prayed along a beach. Once he sat in the sand to watch the waves, he was interrupted by a great gush of water pouring in the sky, followed by a ginormous humpback whale reaching the surface of the water! Her husband accepted this as a gift from God, reminding him that he's loved. Stasi, elated about her husband's gift, was compelled to ask God for the same experience, so she too could be a reminder of how much God loved her. However, she didn't see a massive whale, but God blessed her with a gift equally special. There on the northern rocky coast of Cali, God put in the midst of zillions upon zillions of starfish! She burst into laughter as she was surrounded by an array of purple, orange, blue starfish; all in many sizes! I can only imagine the joy and love she felt in this moment.
Reading this inspired me to pray and ask God for a similar experience. I can't tell you how often God has since then opened my eyes to see how great His affections are for me! Whether it watching the spring's sunset at exactly 7:45pm (it is the best time to catch all the purple, pink, orange, red, and blue hues in the sky! I love love LOVE IT!), watching baby gophers frolic through the grass, watching birds soar in the sky during my morning jog, or snapping a picture of wildflowers by the curbside; I treasure these precious gifts and reminders of God's love for me. His captivating pursuits are available for anyone willing to receive it! "God delights in revealing Himself to those who actively seek Him with ALL of their hearts. he is an extravagant, abundant Lover, and He loves to reveal His heart to us again and again" (Eldredge, 2005). 2 Corinthians 9:15 "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" My beloved sister, God is actively pursuing your heart. I hope you will surrender to Him and seek to know Jesus more and more! What's even better is we don't have to do anything to earn God's love! He freely gives it away! Willingly, God is eager to wrap us in His arms and give us peace of mind and peace in our spirits! I pray you will come into the full knowledge of knowing God as your loving, supportive friend. I pray that you will understand how God values you and that He will reveal the life he has called you to live! I pray you will I highly encourage you to read this book, in hopes, it will help you in your spiritual process rediscovery and embracing your feminine heart.
Why do we desire to beautiful? Is it really for people's approval? Is it really get that cute guy's attention? Or is it the natural desire that God embedded within us? Could this reason be to show the world His beauty through us? There is only one way to find out! Add this book to your summer reading list! You are never too old or too young to discover God's intended purpose for the feminine heart.
Here is the link for the book: http://www.clcbookcenter.com/Product.asp?sku=9781400200382
I love you sisters! Stay encouraged!
May Gods Grace be with you!