Few books have ever changed my life, read my mail, rocked my world, kicked my butt, re –shaped my perspective the way Captivating did. God’s truth through that book hit me in a way nothing else has before or since and oh, how I love sharing its good news with others in various forms. I’ve been thinking about its message a lot lately for various reasons, some for me and some for others in my life.
One of my favorite revelations from that book is the different ways that men and women reflect their heavenly Father. I loved the notion that just as your two children might reflect parents in different ways so men and women reflect their father in different ways. Men reflecting and revealing the strength, might and power of God women revealing the tender, beautiful life giving aspects of God- together we tell the story of the one who saved us. The last year of marriage has made me vastly aware of this nature inside of us both and how beautifully it can work together for God’s glory.
I only have to sit in a room with one of my girlfriends for a minute, talk to one on the phone briefly or watch a Mother comfort her child in the store to be captivated by them, by their beauty, by the healing life giving power of the nature God gave women. Put a room full of them together for a bible study and it’s a powerful thing. Its amazing. The other amazing thing is how unaware each woman will be of her own value. I mean her real, true, God given value.
The summer I read Captivating I was planning on doing something else, starting training for an awesome new job Id been praying for. But at the final stage the job didn’t come through. I really needed it and quite honestly I was devastated. I was running that morning as I often did in that more physically fit season. I was asking Jesus what it was I should be doing with all this empty time. I went to the pool and started reading Chapter three of Captivating. It wasn’t long before I could no longer sit still and a foreign substance was running down my eyes. Someone had their hand in my soul and was digging around. It hurt. I went to my apt and began praying, reading, crying, journaling. I felt like the Lord asked me to describe myself in one word. I offered up several options I’d heard others use to describe me. He passed on them. I was reading a chapter that talked about the enemy’s hatred of our reflection of our maker, of his desire to destroy our beauty and inflict wounds that brought with them lies, which were repeated and we believed. I couldn’t imagine that there were any of those present in my life. I wrestled, unsure of how to describe myself. I thought of all of the bad things I’d done in my life… and there sitting right behind them. I found it, sitting in the corner behind everything I wanted to be, I found the one thing I believed to be true about me…The one word? BAD. I was BAD. Immediately the Lord said. He agreed that I had done bad things but that those things did not define me. I was not bad. There was a picture of me as a little girl hanging on my living room wall. The Lord asked me to look at it and tell him what I saw. Again, I offered up what Id heard about myself as a little girl ( she talks to much, she’s annoying, she’s needy) The Lord said no, not what you’ve heard.. what you see when you look. She looked like a fun girl to me, a girl who could light up a room, a girl who delighted in people, a girl people enjoyed, The Lord agreed and added that his plans for that little girl were great, so great that the only way the enemy knew to stop her was to convince her that she was none of those things… and she had believed him every day of her life. I went and stood in front of the mirror, stunned. I had spent 28 years believing lies about myself, acting out of them- that had never been true. It was that day, that moment that I determined not to spend another believing the devils lies about me and to spend the rest of my days helping women expose the lies the devil had sold them. It never ceases to amaze me, the things the devil can convince us women are true about us… or the things he can convince us are only true for other- prettier, better, more deserving women. The plans he has for us are good! Why do we forget this? Why do we believe a lie that says we’re useless? Not as good as that other lady? Its time for us to step out and reflect and reveal the nature of our heavenly father, to share with others the life, the gifting that he’s placed inside of us. Women, you are beautiful. A gift to all around you. Walk it out today. Throw off the lies of the enemy, refuse to waste another moment acting out what isn’t true. Rejoice in the wonder of all God made you to be. Breath in the excitement and expectation of the good things to come… and don’t forget to spread the good news… that YOU ARE CAPTIVATING!