Women’s healing study offered at Northview
BY NANCY EDWARDS
Inside every adult woman is an inner child who still desires to be loved. Many women grew up receiving the love, attention and approval they needed from their family. Others did not and may have tried searching for what they needed in unhealthy relationships and destructive behavior.
Those struggling with feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, depression or self-hatred are not alone. In fact, there are so many women grasping with unresolved issues that Northview Church’s Carmel campus is offering a nine-week study based on the popular Christian book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge.
The Captivating study, in its second year, will be led again by Northview Church members Michelle Leonard and Cathy Herridge. Leonard said the book, which she read for the first time in 2007, has become a passion that has guided her to helping other women.
“The study focuses on the heart and things we normally hide from,” she said. “Maybe there are issues that you haven’t dealt with: recent relationships or the way your childhood was. There is something you’re carrying that you haven’t let go.”
Leonard said she had been going through life feeling as though she were missing something and not sure why. She thought she had devoted herself to God yet did not feel his presence.
“I was not believing or trusting in God and not allowing Him into some deep places in my heart,” she said.
A retreat based on Captivating revealed to Leonard that there were past mistakes she could no longer ignore, yet did not feel worthy of receiving God’s love and kept herself isolated from others. As she listened to God and took the steps He asked her to take in the healing process, she felt a weight had been lifted and a transformation had begun that she was eager to share with others. God has also placed very dear friendships in Michelle’s life during this journey; Cathy is one of them.
Last summer, 20 women signed up for the Captivating study, which was the limit. However, some of the women were so eager they brought friends and neighbors with them, bringing the total number of attendees the first night to 27.
After several weeks into the study, Leonard said she began noticing changes happening in the group.
“There was one woman who had gone through a very difficult life change that wasn’t her choice and she didn’t smile or share much at first,” she said. “Her sister had brought her to the study to go through it with her. Halfway through the study she started smiling; there was happiness in her eyes. It’s neat to see that transformation and to see God’s work happening.”
Captivating will begin this summer on Tuesday, June 19, at Northview’s Carmel campus. The nine-week study will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For more information, please contact Michelle Leonard at firstname.lastname@example.org