Tonight I decided to lock myself in the bathroom and take a long bubblebath, while I read the online bible study book “Captivating”. Reason #1 for doing this is pretty obvious – I have children. Reason # 2 for doing this – I tend to run from books like this.
This book, however seems different. While in the bath, I decided to highlight the parts that touched me. (More so that I wouldnt forget about them when I blogged about it). Below are my thoughts, my favorite quotes, and my emotions regarding the first chapter:
We’re living in the shadow of the that infamous icon, “The Proverbs 31 Women,” whose life is so busy I wonder, when does she have time for friendships, for taking walks, or reading good books? Her light never goes out at night? When does she have sex? Somehow she has sanctified the shame most women live under, biblical proof that yet again we dont measure up. Is that suppose to be godly-that sense that you are a failure of a woman?
Wow. Again, WOW! This book grabbed my heart right then and there. I have battled with the guilt of “perfection”, but have never quite seen it put in such a powerful way as she did there. I once attended a church, I will leave the denomination out for the sake of respect, but during my membership there, I was defeated. I tried to measure up in every aspect possible. I tried to be like Brenda, baking all day from scratch. Homeschooling all of her children. Being submissive to every aspect of my husbands needs at any given moment. I failed. No, I failed miserably. I still struggle with that failure today. I left that church almost 2 years ago, defeated and bitter. It wasnt until the last few months that I have been able to lay that bitterness aside and really look at the true meaning of being a Mom and a Wife. It wasnt until recently that I allowed myself to be real again.
An underlyng, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough, and, I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women.
Wow again! It is like she reached into the dark hidden corner of my soul and captured my hearts dismay. I, while reading this, got teary eyed. I have felt like a failure for so long. Like I wasnt good enough, and had messed up too many times to be forgiven or loved… much less captivating. Shame is the universal companion of women, and sadly, many women like myself carry this companion for way too long.
Sometimes the idea of living as a hermit appeals to all of us. No demands, no needs, no pain, no disappointments. But that is because we have been hurt, and are worn out. In our heart of hearts, that place where we are most ourselves, we don’t want to run away for very long.
Again- Wow. I have been hiding. I have been fleeing from the joy and the contentment of security. I removed myself from people who loved me unconditionally, because of a few who did not. I abandoned God’s grace because of a few fellow believers who I felt did not view me as worthy, even when I was ugly and dirty. I neglected my soul.
Then the time came when the risk it took
To remain tight in a bud was more painful
Than the risk it took to blossom
My heart clings to this quote. It is time to blossom, despite the pain of the past year. It is time to put aside the bitterness and the anger. It is time to reach out and forgive. It is time to immulate the woman that I know I was created to be.