I have always wanted to read a novel or enjoy a movie where the heroine was a normal, average-looking woman with an ordinary life who was not a concert pianist, brain surgeon, underwear model, or superhero in her spare time. I want to read about a woman like me. A woman like you. And I want to learn from her.

 

If you choose to do this Captivating Bible study—by yourself, or better still, with a group of women—you will get that opportunity! You will learn from the stories of women like yourself, and women not so like you. If you are doing this in a group, covenant together to make this a place of safety and confidentiality, a place where each woman is quick to listen and slow to offer advice. (Receiving advice often feels like people trying to fix us . . . when all we really long for is to be understood.) But whether you are working through this in a group or alone, take your time! Journal through the questions. After all, this is for you.

 

We women share so much. We have much more in common than most of us realize. It’s true. For one thing, we live with the mystery of hormones. Often, just when it seems we begin to get them figured out, they change on us. Most of us love to shop and all of us love a bargain. We don’t so much like our hair, and we really don’t like our annual appointment. (You know the one.) We love a good story and we love certain smells, and we love to go to the bathroom in groups.

 

And then there’s the other side to us . . . the deeper side. There are times when we wake in the middle of the night to sorrow, loneliness, and an ache for something more that largely goes unexplained. We stop at red lights and while we wait, the ache rises to the surface again—ignoring our efforts to shame ourselves into wanting less. We are women. We think no one really understands. We tend to believe there is something deeply wrong with us. We think that if we were better somehow, then life wouldn’t be so hard, painful, lonely, fill in the blank.

 

But what if the ache is a gift?

 

What if God is calling to us through the cry of our hearts that urges us to reach for that “something more” we all long for? What if the truest thing about us is that we are magnificent and meant to be the heroine of the story? Really.

 

Let’s risk taking a look at the “what if.” Come, journey with me into a realm of wonder and possibility, beauty, and hope . . . into the very heart of a woman.

 

 

Stasi Eldredge is a New York Times bestselling author, and her books have sold nearly 3 million copies and changed women’s lives all over the world. A teacher and conference speaker, Stasi is the director of the women’s ministry at Wild at Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God’s love, and learn to live in God’s kingdom. Her passion is to see lives transformed by the beauty of the gospel. She and her husband, John, make their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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