Captivating Honesty

June 17, 2011 · 30 comments

As I mentioned before, I am in the thick of reading Captivating. I’ll be through the entire book after one more chapter.


A friend gifted this book to me a few months ago, realizing how much I needed something like this in my life. I, admittedly, was a little hesitant, but was so thankful my friend cared enough about me to give me Captivating.

I tend to shy away from patronizing books that seem to preach to me through its words. I’ve grown up Episcopalian; I am strong in my faith and my beliefs, but I don’t respond well to “preachy” pieces telling me what I should think and believe. I like advice, not demands.

This book was different.

Captivating roped me in with its introduction, which prompted me to grab my highlighter and furiously mark and doggy-ear message after message.

“As a new Christian, the first book I picked up to read on godly femininity I threw across the room. I never picked it up again.”

…That’s one of the first sentences of the book. I realized I could identify with the author, so I kept reading. The next sentence hit me hard.

“God has set within you a femininity that is powerful and tender, fierce and alluring. No doubt it has been misunderstood. Surely it has been assaulted. But it is there, your true heart, and it is worth recovering. You are captivating”

The way that few sentences struck me was alarming. Yes, I burst into tears (not unfamiliar for me those days), but for the first time in a really long time, they were happy tears.

“I really, really needed to hear that” tears.

Having just been through a rough breakup with the person I was so sure I would spend the rest of my life, I was a complete mess. And I was so surprised a simple book would hold a message strong enough to help me get back up (Sidenote: I know you’re wondering; he doesn’t read the blog).

“tha-tha-tha-that don’t kill me can only make me strongah”

I was defeated, sad, and lost. I’m pretty sure you guys couldn’t even tell, cause I wasn’t strong enough to admit it here. I wanted to keep this my happy place. 🙂

Captivating gave me a leg up in healing myself at first, but then it taught me so much about myself, about the way I’m “wired” to love, and about what I could have possibly done wrong in the past.

Here’s the other alarming thing: I learned so much about the way men and women are made to love. It made me realize why my ex felt short-changed sometimes. It made me realize why we fell apart. It made me realize what I need to do in the future to make something work to its full potential.

At the time, I thought I treated him like a king. But looking back, I realize that I just didn’t know or understand what it meant to be everything he needed. And maybe in the end, that went both ways. And it’s so hard knowing that now – too little, too late.

I write this with a lump in my throat, because it still makes me emotional. The hardest part of making these realizations is the “what if” feeling I get. What if he knew what I know now? What if he knew what I know would fix things?

What if we just weren’t ready for each other?

What I do know: God gave me this challenge to teach me. I’ve learned so much in these past few months about loving myself, about how to love another, and about not taking anyone in my life for granted.

And there ya go. Maybe God gave me this knowledge for who I’m meant to be with. Who I will spend the rest of my life with. Wherever and whomever he is.

What happened to my relationship is a baby tragedy (think “Story of Us by my homegirl T. Swift), but there’s a plan, and I’m pretty sure it’s greater than anything I had in mind.

For now, you can find me praying for wisdom, praying for God’s will, and thanking God for this message I so badly needed.

It’s possible that some of my readers are reading this and are feeling/have felt similar feelings. There’s nothing like a breakup to disrupt and rebuild your life in the most painful, beautiful, and unexpected ways.  But, thanks to this book, support from my friends and family, and my bloggity-blog, it hasn’t beaten me.

It’s made me better.

And that’s why I laugh to pieces with friends, dance my pants off, cry tears of hurt and happiness, and run my heart out.


Smiles only from here on out.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 theAlmostRunner June 17, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Awesome! I have ALWAYS wanted to read this book but just have never picked it up. I did just read Love and War by the same couple, though- a few weeks ago I picked it up in a bookstore and read the whole thing right there.

So, when are you coming to Nashville?

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2 samantha @ fresh n fit June 17, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Seriously, Lyssa? You. Are. Incredible. Times a gazillion. I’m so impressed that you not only took responsibility for the way you were treating yourself, but also the way you were treating your ex. I honestly think it’s an incredible sign of your maturity and is an incredible testament to how this book impacted you! After such a strong recommendation from you, I think I might have to pick it up f0r myself! I’m with you baby girl — smiles only!

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3 mego@watchmegorun June 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This is perfect! You are so strong and you’re an amazing girl. You deserve only good things!

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4 Rachel June 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Im gonna have to get that book-sounds amazing. Im going through a bit of a ‘low’ patch myself-no idea why but Im struggling through it. think us blogger friends can help each other out-this is the 2nd blog Ive read today thats lifted my heart and left me tearful (in a good way). hope for more inspiration soon . Chin up girl-we all love you xxxx

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5 Christina June 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Waaaaaahhhh! I love love love this book. Not only does it give me warm fuzzies, but it makes me feel really beautiful! I love the part where it says that we were meant to be romanced and captivated. I would also reccomment reading Wild at Heart, which is the guy version of this but still worth reading! 🙂

LOVE that second quote. Very, very hard hitting points! I admire your attitude about your breakup. And woohoo for you, girlfrand. Things can only get better!

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6 Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) June 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I’ve never seen that book before, it looks like a great read. You are such a powerful woman and I love that you’re just enjoying life for what it is 🙂

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7 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles June 17, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Hey, beautiful girl. I read Captivating in college…at a time when I absolutely needed to hear every word in that book. My husband (then boyfriend at the time) read Wild at Heart (the male version). Very powerful books that help us realize how God has made us to be…

I think I might re-read it now that you have me thinking about it. So refreshing.

You are a strong woman – don’t every forget that!! 🙂

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8 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) June 18, 2011 at 12:13 am

You rock. End of. And I NEED to read this book!! It sounds AMAZING!! God totally has an awesome plan for you, WAY better than anything you can even dream of, so keep trusting in that girl!! Love you!! 🙂 <3

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9 meg @ pinkgiggles June 18, 2011 at 1:25 am

I think I need to read this book.
You are so inspiring
Your blog always makes me smile.
Are those chanel sunglasses I spy in the pic of you in your blue swim suit? I think I have the same ones 🙂
<3

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10 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health June 18, 2011 at 2:42 am

Wow, such a great and honest post! I’m definitely going to look into reading that book 🙂

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11 Taylor June 18, 2011 at 4:53 am

First, I loooove reading your blog!
But

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12 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries June 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

I’m so proud of you for writing this. I know it couldn’t have been easy, but it shows just how strong you are. Break-ups are never easy, especially when it’s with someone you were so certain about – I think you hit the nail on the head when you said this experience will make you a better person for your next relationship..possibly with THE One 🙂 As my mom always tells me: God works in mysterious ways, lady! He won’t let you down 🙂 xoxox

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13 emma green June 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

excellent post and i really like your blog 🙂

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14 Christina @WhoWearsShortShorts June 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I have such a similar story! I broke off my engagement after bring with him for 5 years – that was almost a year ago. I’ve been reading Captivating and am almost done and WOWOWOW what a huge difference it makes! It seriously speaks RIGHT to the heart of women and I love love love it. Thank you for sharing!

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15 Lindsey June 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I am going through the exact same thing right now! It is so hard to wonder “what if” and think about things you wish you had said or you had done, but you can’t do that to yourself! I am not one to speak, but I try everyday to just move on and not put myself through that pain. “Captivating” is an incredible book and really changed the way it made me look at women’s hearts and how we deserve to be loved! God is working in you right now and in me! We can make it through! His plans and his desires for our lives are sooo much greater than we can ever imagine! Thank you for the reminder and know that you aren’t the only one going through this! Thank God for times like this in our lives to learn more about who He is and who we are in Him! Keep smiling:)

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16 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn June 18, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I love love love you. This is exactly what I needed. Recently, I have been going through boyfriend troubles. And I don’t ever talk about that on the blog because I feel the same way — it’s my happy place. I am printing out that quote and putting it on my wall. Every part of being a woman is so easily misunderstood and assaulted. You ARE captivating, you ARE worth it, and I am BUYING this book. I hate preachy religion books too, so this sounds absolutely perfect. I love you babydoll! Just remember — you are still SO young. Who am I kidding, we are both so young! What I’ve realized is that when we live for ourselves and embrace our womanhood, others embrace it too.

Happy from here on out.

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17 Sam June 18, 2011 at 9:30 pm

wow I really feel for what you went through but it is awesome that you are learning, and I truly believe that even the things that feel like the WORST that could possibly happen in this lifetime are happening for a reason. always. Every breakup or loss in my life that was DEVESTATING at the time, I can look back on now and say it happened for a reason and changed my life for the better in the long term. I hope this is true for you as well!

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18 Baking Serendipity June 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Loved finding your blog! I had heard little things about this book, but your review gave me a much bigger picture. It sounds fantastic! I love your attitude on life 🙂

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19 Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry June 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm

This was a really great post…and NOT too heavy. You almost made ME cry! But good tears also, because I feel happy for you 🙂 Hooray for being happy!

I need to get my hands on this book, I think I would really enjoy it…

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20 Erin Kidd June 23, 2011 at 2:15 am

Apparently, I need to read this book. Love you!!

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