This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read! Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge is by far the best book I have ever read. The first time I read it I found it to be life changing. I was in a healthy "recovered" place then but still dealing with thoughts of not good enough, failure, don't have anything to offer....... Those years ago, reading this book changed my perspective. Those years ago I came away from this book realizing that God made me to yearn for beauty and that I should not beat myself up for longing to see and experience beauty. I realized then that God had given me a voice to use, that He had created me for purpose, and that I had something to offer the world.
Now fast forward a few years to the me who lost my way, relapsed big time and is now pursuing recovery again. I am re-reading the book. It is still well worth my time, and still life changing even at a different stage of life. I have to share a small excerpt that absolutely floored me tonight.
The ways we find to numb our aches, our longings, and our pain are not benign. They are malignant. They entangle themselves in our souls like a cancer and, once attached, become addictions that are both cruel and relentless. Though we seek them out for a little relief from the sorrows of life, addictions turn on us and imprison us in chains that separate us from the heart of God and others as well. It is a lonely prison of our own making, each chain forged in the fire of our indulgent choice. Yet, "Our lovers have so intertwined themselves with our identity that to give them up feels like personal death...We wonder if it is possible to live without them. (The Sacred Romance)"
We need not be ashamed that our hearts ache; that we need and thirst and hunger for much more. All of our hearts ache. All of our hearts are at some level unsatisfied and longing. It is our insatiable need for more that drives us to our God. What we need to see is that all our controlling and our hiding, all our indulging, actually serves to separate us from our hearts. We lose touch with those longings that make us women. And the substitutes never, ever resolve the deeper issue of our souls.
Sorry because I know that was a long excerpt. This part just spoke to my soul tonight when I read it again. It seems so relevant to my post a few days ago where I said I want to get better but I don't want to let go of this to do it. I do seek out my addiction for relief from the pain, it does bring temporary relief and then the chains ensnare me. I do fear letting go of orange because it does feel like a separate identity and how would I live without it? And yet, the substitute never does resolve the deeper issues of my soul.
Some book review, huh? Here I am still talking about me instead of the book! Well here is the verdict. Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy this book. You could get it from the library but I highly recommend owning a copy. My copy has been underlined and highlighted. It has been re-read. EVERY woman should read this book. I personally think men should read it too. It gives such great insight into the heart, the very essence, of women.