Captivating: Healing the Wound of Our Feminine Hearts

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I didn’t know just what was wrong with me, Till your love helped me name it. – Aretha Franklin

Down those old ancient streets, Down those old ancient roads, Baby there together we must go  Till we get the healing done. – Van Morrison

Just an hour ago, a hummingbird was trapped in our garage. They come here to Colorado in the summer, to mate and nest and feast upon the flowers that fill our garden. We love to watch them zipping around, hovering, performing acrobatics in the air. If you get a closer look, these delicate little birds shimmer like emeralds, bright green breasts no bigger than your thumb but glittering like the crown jewels. Others have deep brilliant red throats that glisten in the sun like rubies. They are like living rainbows, flying around our backyard – something out of a fairy tale. Carefree, lovely reminders of God. And then, today, one mistook the open garage door for a new passageway, and once she flew in, she couldn’t find her way back out. Poor little thing. She became increasingly panicked as she careened against a window, desperately trying to get back to the world she could see before her, blocked by some invisible shield. My son Blaine went in to rescue her. His brother Sam’s been able to get a few other captives to rest on the end of a long stick, which he then takes out the door and, whoosh, off they go into life. But this one panicked even further, making a mad dash across the garage toward another window she perceived as a way out. She crashed against the window at full speed and fell to the floor. Blaine picked her up with a pair of gloves on his hands and took her outside to see if he could revive her. For about fifteen minutes things didn’t look good, but then she came back to life and flew away. What struck me was the compassion and concern we all felt for the rescue of this little jewel. The whole family dropped what we were doing and got involved. (Didn’t you feel bad for her as I told her tale?) Now, Jesus said, don’t you think God cares just a little bit more for you than for the birds of the air? “Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26). Indeed, you are.

You, dear heart, are the crown of creation, His glorious image bearer. And He will do everything it takes to rescue you and set your heart free.

The Offer

Stasi and I lived many years of our Christian life in good churches, churches that taught us the place of worship and sacrifice, faith and suffering, and gave us a love for the Word of God. But in all those years the central ministry of Jesus was never explained to us. We understood, as most Christians do, that Christ came to ransom us from sin and death, to pay the price for our transgressions through His blood shed on the cross so that we might be forgiven, might come home to the Father. It’s true. It’s so wonderfully true. Only… there is more. The purposes of Jesus Christ are not finished when one of His precious ones is forgiven. Not at all. Would a good father feel satisfied when his daughter is rescued from a car accident, but left in ICU? Doesn’t he want her to be healed as well? So God has much more in mind for us. Listen to this passage from Isaiah (it might help to read it very slowly, carefully, out loud to yourself)…

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. – Isaiah 61:1-3

This is the passage that Jesus pointed to when He began His ministry here on earth. Of all the Scriptures He could have chosen, this is the one He picked on the day He first publicly announced His mission. It must be important to Him. It must be central. What does it mean? It’s supposed to be really good news, that’s clear. It has something to do with healing hearts, setting someone free. Let me try and state it in words more familiar to us.

God has sent me on a mission. I have some great news for you. God has sent me to restore and release something. And that something is you. I am here to give you back your heart and set you free. I am furious at the enemy who did this to you, and I will fight against him. Let me comfort you. For, dear one, I will bestow beauty upon you where you have known only devastation. Joy, in the places of your deep sorrow. And I will robe your heart in thankful praise in exchange for your resignation and despair.

Now that is an offer worth considering. What if it were true? I mean, what if Jesus really could and would do this for your broken heart, your wounded feminine soul? Read it again, and ask Him, Jesus – is this true for me? Would You do this for me? He can, and He will… if you’ll let Him. You are the glorious Image Bearer of the Lord Jesus Christ – the crown of His creation. You have been assaulted. You have fallen to your own resources. Your enemy has seized upon your wounds and your sins to pin your heart down. Now the Son of God has come to ransom you, and to heal your broken, wounded, bleeding heart, and to set you free from bondage. He came for the brokenhearted captives. That’s me. That’s you. He came to restore the glorious creation that you are. And then set you free… to be yourself.

The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of His people. They will sparkle in His land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be! – Zechariah 9:16-17

Here is the core reason we wrote this book: to let you know that the healing of your feminine heart is available, and to help you find that healing. To help you find the restoration which we long for and which is central to Jesus’ mission. Let Him take you by the hand now and walk with you through your restoration and release.

Excerpted with permission from Captivating: Unveiling The Mystery Of A Woman’s Soul by Stasi and John Eldredge, copyright Thomas Nelson

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Your Turn

Are you ready to fully surrender self-protection, idols, any person, job, possession, or circumstance where we’ve sought to fill that loneliness and ache? Is your heart eager to trust Him and Him alone? Aren’t you wooed as you consider His invitation? We would love to hear from you on our blog! Come share your thoughts about choosing God and being healed by Him.

Stasi Eldredge

A teacher and conference speaker, Stasi Eldredge leads the women’s ministry of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. She is the coauthor of Captivating and Love & War with her husband, John. Her books have sold nearly 3 million copies. Stasi loves the joy and freedom that come from knowing Jesus and longs to see others come to know him more deeply. She also loves getting lost in a good novel; walking in the woods near her home in Colorado Springs; and sharing life with her family, her friends, and her God.

John Eldredge

John Eldredge is the director of Ransomed Heart™ in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fellowship devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. John is the author of numerous books, including Wild at Heart, Epic: The Story God is Telling, Walking with God, Fathered by God, Waking the Dead, Desire, and Love & War (with his wife Stasi). John and Stasi live in Colorado with their three sons.

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