Our journey into "the heart of a woman" has begun! It would seems a daunting feat to unveil "the mysteries of a woman's soul" as determined by the authors of Captivating, John and Stasi Eldredge. In fact, society has, through time and space, propagated the belief that women are just too complex to be understood. Is it true? Perhaps we have simply relied on the wrong voices to tell us who we are. In the coming weeks, you will be introduced to a single voice who dares to whisper against the strongest winds that you are captivating!
Our journey begins with a question? What does it mean to be a woman? Today for example, I was cleaning my house in Cinderella fashion, toilets and all, while a friend was hurriedly dropping her daughter off at camp. Another friend of mine was planing a business trip overseas while others sat behind desks and busily clocked the day away. We women occupy different places and spaces. We are different ages and races. Apart from the obvious gender differences, what is it that defines us as women? Through our shared stories, we expect to be challenged to get real, each of us dropping our masks we so deftly wear everyday.
When does the journey into womanhood begin? Do we arrive at a certain age, fully grown and ready to begin a woman's journey? Or, do we begin to understand what it is to be a woman through our mother's journey? What did she teach you? My mother had a hard time relating women's issues to me. She sent me to my aunt to learn the facts of life. I sometimes wonder what her mother taught her. We live in a markedly different time than our grandmother's were raised in. Some of you are grandmother's and you have much to teach this hungry generation. Some of you never had children. Others of you did not have a mother figure at all. Who taught you what it is to be a woman? More than ever we must understand who we are.
Who we are largely depends not on our mood, our fancy or our desires. Who we are is determined by who we believe we are. Take a look at the ladies captured in this picture. Circled around this table sit women who have engineered magnificent events. Someone on this table daily fights for the lives of individuals who have been incarcerated. Another has been successful at cultivating an atmosphere of love in her home. A specific woman has sacrificed her entire being to ensure her autistic grandson is loved and able to passionately pursue his life's purpose. He is now an authentic musician with a published album! What challenges they have overcome. What victories they have tasted. At the same time, they have endured tremendous sorrows. However, at some point they began to believe in who they were. Through these examples, it is not hard to understand why the heart of a woman is indeed captivating.
Nevertheless, I know there are those of you who may be smiling brightly yet ever conscious of the darker voids in your heart. Some of you may be locked away at home, afraid to face the mailbox yet alone conquer the world. Some of you may be chasing a man, career or numbing your hurts with food. Just as every princess comes to know, there is a villain who would dare to taunt your failures and shame before you. He lures you into playing dress up with drab garbs of self loathing. His voice is echoed in the numberless magazine articles that question your ability to measure up. As a young girl I was tormented by the jeers of the boys at camp. I wasn't happy to play dress up in the cabin with the other girls. I longed for an adventure in the woods. In return for revealing my heart, the boys labeled me a "wom-Man" emphasizing the man over and over again. I long wondered if God really meant to make me a woman. Or, had he made a mistake?
The truth is, you and I are desired beyond our wildest dreams. In you, God did not create any mistakes. The story is just beginning and we highly desire your participation on this journey. Our authors firmly believe that stories strengthen community. The villain would rather you isolate yourself. Which path will you choose? Go on, get the book and begin reading chapter one. We invite you to leave a comment and be sure to stay tuned throughout the week as our discussion unfolds to reveal the heart of a woman. Who will be the first to spark this week's discussion. I'm ready to get real...are you?