Stasi Eldredge in Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul.
“Every woman possesses a captivating beauty. Every woman.”
“Unveiling our beauty really just means unveiling our feminine hearts.
It’s scary, for sure. That is why it is our greatest expression of faith, because we are going to have to trust Jesus–really trust Him. We’ll have to trust him that we have beauty, that what he has said of us is true.“
I read most of Captivating by Stasi Eldredge. I really had a hard time believing that my soul is beautiful. All I see lately is a tarnished, dirty vessel. One that is cracked and about to break if it isn’t broken already. One that is tired of breaking. How could there be any beauty deep within me? I’ve done so much to break the heart of my true Prince and King of Kings. I think of just lately how I knew exactly how I should behave, yet I knowingly chose to defy the law of my Love. So, if I am sooo stained with sin, how can I have any beauty that He should desire? Why would Christ desire my heart? My heart, to me, was not beautiful.
About three weeks ago I was enjoying a relationship with Christ that was magnificent! I was literally enjoying HIM. Yet, I have one temptation (at least…) that continues to plague me! I put my relationship with Christ on hold to enjoy this sin for a season. Oh, how I wish I had been like Moses who chose rather to suffer affliction than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season! However, since I failed, I’ve longed to come back and have that relationship that I was sooo enjoying with Christ. Yet I wonder, am I sorry enough for my sin? Have I actually repented? Had I the chance would I repeat my actions? I honestly don’t know. I know this though, I hope sincerely that that answer is ‘no’. How I long to be strong. Strong enough to resist, strong enough to fight, strong enough to make my Redeemer proud. Strong enough to make me worth a relationship.
I could go on a whole different subject matter with that last statement (its dripping with self-centeredness and pride)…but I digress…
However, in the last week my Bible has been something exceedingly special to me. Just looking at seemed to give a sense of peace. Knowing that in those covers lay redemption and forgiveness. I began to pick it up, not reading and studying like before but rather just picking out a chapter a day. Soaking the words in like a dry sponge thrown in water. I took my Bible in my car with me for a couple days and would just have it near me. I knew it held what I so desperately needed. I didn’t have the heart to search for hours for what God had, but instead I just consistently came to the Word. I was holding on to the fact that God did have something to show me!
(I was remembering a quote from my dear Mrs. E. : “The very fact that it’s melting you into nothing is key. God knows your weakness…that’s why He’s right there near it lol. It’s not about pass-fail, it’s about some wonder He would like to show you. Rest, girl!!!!!! – RELAX -into His heart and look for what He wants to show you – it will be worth it.”)
So, one night I happened upon Isaiah 25. Something was drawing me to Isaiah. I love that book, just the beauty of redemption, the prophecies and the poetry contained therein. Isaiah 25 was beautiful to me that night for it was something of a song of praise to God. Yet, I had no idea what it held that I was supposed to see.
The next morning was when I read chapter 8 of Captivating. I began to think the thoughts recorded above about how I was not beautiful. How could God desire me? I continued on with my day until I came back up to my room a few hours later, and I saw my Bible. Again I was drawn to it almost like a magnet. I opened to Psalms but I hesitated about what particular Psalm because I had already read my Psalm of the day (Psalm 13). So I just read at the page I had opened to. On that page were Psalms 127-135. I think I actually read 135 first then backwards until I saw Psalm 130 which I had underlined.
Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD.
Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications.
If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgivenss with thee, that thou mayest be feared.
I wait for the LORD, my sould doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plentous redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
When I read this Psalm, God reminded me of Isaiah 25 and a verse that I had read the night before. I excitedly turned there…
O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; they counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
For thou has made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.
Therefore shal the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.
For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
I encourage you to read the rest of the chapter!
Verse two was what originally stuck out to me. Now I see as I was typing it out that I actually misunderstood it. I had read it that God had made a city from a heap and a defenced city from ruin. Actually, the verse says the opposite. However, the verse reminded me of the story in Nehemiah how the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. God does rebuild things out of heaps and ruins.
The verses showed me that God can take the ruins of my heart, and HE can rebuild and make it beautiful. As for my sin, there is forgiveness with the LORD. The end of Isaiah 25 and Psalm 30 both talk about waiting on the Lord. I did wait on the Lord for what He wanted to show me in HIS Word. I am so thankful for what He showed me. There is forgiveness with the LORD.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, will we be glad and rejoice in his salvation.