Saturday, January 19, 2008

Strep Throat Brings Beauty Full Circle

Hmm.... my dear husband is a wise man. To think if he hadn't insisted on my trip to the doctor, who would know that I had strep throat? I've never had it before and I will NEVER again look at someone who says "I had strep last week.' and assume it's no worse than a little cold.

And I'm convinced that there is a distinct purpose to my being sick and no coincidence that it's something quite contagious. I won't leave the house and I've stayed away from my own children. No martyr will risk someone else. I'm so predictable. God's such a genius when it comes to handling us. Due to the diagnosis I obeyed the husband's, ahem... I meant Doctor's order to stay in my room. I chose to read 'the book' I've been avoiding, like I said, for 3 years. Almost to the day, I suppose.

Three years ago I had a tiny little three week old Jacob. Travis was doing anything he could to find extra work and odd jobs, since he had lost his job. I was in constant pain both from my unexpected c-section and the car accident that had injured my back to cause the need for said c-section. Our relationship with his family was strained and painful. We felt very alone, yet were daily working out completely relinquishing our control and trusting God. Such a hard time, but I would go back and change it for anything.
My mother gave me the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge in a stack of books since I had asked her for something to read. Twice I tried to get through the first chapter only to crumble in tears and agony, my heart unable to take on the challenge to even consider such a possibility. Me... captivating...
You see, my husband was in a bitter battle over addiction to pornography. (go ahead and click the link. You KNOW I didn't put porn there!) The battle had been raging for years, but I had only known about it for a year at this point. I was so proud of him for his honesty, and the fact that he was stronger and winning! Yet, it was a bitter time in the struggle. And as much as I knew the truth that it had nothing to do with me, it wreaked havoc in the mirror and what I saw there. So, basically not a time that I really could imagine myself anything remotely resembling anything...captivating.
So there the book sat. I've let several people borrow it over the past 3 years, actually. I always tell them it's a great book and it will change their lives. I knew that from others, so I wasn't lying. I just couldn't ever find the energy to allow it back into my heart. I had to survive.
Well, to be honest I have another friend I want to lend the book to. This woman is precious. But she's broken and aching. She's so special to me and I know that God wants her heart. He had mine, and he hadn't complained much about the scars yet. I guess this time I felt like I should read the book before I give it out again. Which, to be honest, is why the book is still on the shelf when I meant to give it to her two months ago.
Finally under quarantine threats of idle hands, off the shelf it came. I mean, I was going to be miserable while sick, and I was acutely aware that I will be miserable wreck when I read this book. There goes Talitha. The unconventional multi-tasker takes on the two at once. ( and you thought I'd be knitting a sweater while I was sick) Why be miserable twice?
To be honest, I'm not going to write a full review. The book floored me. I cried in anguish, I reveled in peace. I ached in mourning. I sat in awe as it began to dawn on me. I blushed as I realized the truth. My heart raced as the truth set me free. My heart grew into something I've never known. No longer a cliche, the truth is about each of us.
I am beautiful, lovely to the core. I am cherished and precious. I'm a warrior, and a princess. My heart is of immeasurable value. No one has to tell me. I don't have to prove it or fake it.

I just AM captivating.

I can't imagine ever feeling the same again about myself. For the love of God, go! Get the book!


becky said...

Hey T....I too loved Captivating...i actually had a hard time getting into the book but once i did i couldn't put it down. Even bought the workbook...which i need to do still. Never forget how captivating you are, for He loves you so and is so moved by you that He can hardly contain Himself. Get well love....

Christine said...

Loved your blog and loved that book (Captivating)! I just read it in October, after months of shelf life as well. And by the sounds of your blog, you were just as moved as I was. Jonathan & I went to Germany in October (to visit my family) and I was like "I have a 10-hour plane ride and I WILL READ THIS BOOK". Girl, I was crying next to a complete stranger on the plane, but do you think I cared? I found it amazing and God's perfect timing for me to read it when I did. I love how he works out the smallest details. For example, last night, I was feeling down in the dumps and then I read your message about Captivating. And it was like his little reminder that I am captivating to him. Weird huh? So, thank you for that. I needed that. I often think about our times in Atlanta and really cherish those memories (and miss your great haircuts). Hope that you are blessed. Lots of love, Christine