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Captivating by Jon and Stasi Eldredge

My Gather at the Well, women’s book club is reading Captivating. I’m loving this visit with an old friend. I’ve never read a book twice. If you saw the pile of un-read literature leaning like Pisa on my desk, you’d understand why. Besides, who has time to re-visit, when there’s so much waiting ahead?

Ah… it’s the age-old problem of sucking the marrow out of life, rather than stopping to smell the roses– even if you’re familiar with the rose’s scent.

I first read Captivating soon after it was published in 2005. I was ripe for the message the Eldredges had to offer. In other words, I lived dry and parched every day– a drought desolate land, with no hope of needed rain. My husband was consumed with career. I was consumed by children, home, pressures from within, pressures from going without. I distinctly remember walking most every day feeling quite literally suffocated.

Captivating was recommended to my by our church’s women’s counselor. She and I had been maintaining a phone dialogue on occasion– occasionally I would call her with choked control in my voice, looking for perspective. She would listen, then offer support or direction from an outside-of-my-world-point-of-view. Often I would hang up with a hand full of titles to read.

Re-visiting this book is re-visiting that season. I love the re-visiting. Somehow I wasn’t sure– would it be painful to re-visit? Would I cringe to remember the vulnerabilities I faced? Would ugly pride come knocking, looking to play the guilt card?

No. None of these has happened. Instead, I find myself smiling at scrawled notes, written in margins. Remembering enlightenment within my soul as I read of my irreplaceable role, my beautiful nature created in God’s image– I am His Grande Finale. I am ezer kenegdo.

I also smile at how, sadly, because of sin’s curse, my beautiful, strong essence is attacked daily by loneliness and the urge to control. A fly is always in my ointment– discontent. I smile because, just as I strove to control and fight against vulnerability during my last desert-time, so I’ve done the same again, during my post-adopting time. Not much changes when backed into a corner.

But, at least I can look up and say, “You’ve rescued me from corner-living before! You will do it again.” At least I know to un-clinch the fists– over and over again. I hate being vulnerable, but I hate dying inside even more. These desert seasons are good, for without them, I wouldn’t understand the slow rotting caused from living forever in control. I wouldn’t be forced to show palms and plead deeply for mercy. Willing to risk full exposure so I can receive the healing.

I should re-visit my old friends more often.

Tell me; what are your favorite reads? Do you read them over and over? Talk to me!

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