Let’s start with a question: what do you think is the longest distance in the world?
How many of you think it’s the Pan-American Highway? The Pacific Rim trail? The lines at Disneyland? What if I told it was none of these, but rather the distance from your head to your heart.
Today I am excited to share with you my journey so far on this road. One which is far from over.
My name is Elizabeth Beeli. I am a priceless daughter of God, whose value can not change depending on what others think of me. And that is – by far – the most important thing about me.
Although I grew up in a Christian home, well versed on the Bible, we were not a vulnerable family. No one every blatantly said: vulnerability is weakness, but it was definitely viewed as such. So in order to protect myself, I did what I felt most logical, placed my heart in a titanium steel box within a glacier the size of this room.
There my heart was frozen, never spoken of, touched or acknowledged.
Fast forward through my childhood years, I moved to another state to work at a startup. Living on my own meant that every action I took to pursue my faith was initiated of my own volition, not under the umbrella of my family. During that same time, I became friends with a coworker who happened to be christain, she is one of my closest friends to this day, and she recommended the book Captivating by Stasi Eldridge.
How many of you have read the book Captivating?
To briefly summarize, the book’s premise is: every woman is born with a question on their heart: Am I captivating?
As I read this book it was like someone had taken my hand and walked me through a blizzard back to that glacier to discover my heart melting from its frozen state to reveal the beauty inside and discover my identity in Christ.
I could not put this book down.
I would read it on the train to and from work and every free moment I had. As I progressed and got to Chapter Six, which is titled “Healing the Wound”, something clicked and I began to understand the tragic neglect of my heart. While on the 6:15 train home Elizabeth Beeli, the girl who had been trained to hide her vulnerability, wept.
Everyone’s story of coming to Jesus contains many magical moments, that could either be when you accept Christ as your savior or experience a heart change. When I look back on that moment on the train I see the start of a 180 turn in my life. Can you think back to a moment in your life where you experienced a heart change? The Holy Spirit speaking deep into your soul? Who or what was a part of that? Take a second and write that down.
Because the book had such an impact on me immediately after finishing it I told my sister, my mom, my best friend, “Hey, a book it’s going to arrive on your porch in two days, would you please read it?”
As we discussed the book together, it amazed me how much I learned about them, women I had spent years, if not my entire life, with. It goes to show how guarded we can be even with the people closest to us. It was after one of these conversations that I began to hear God whisper into my heart saying, “You need to share this message with others.”
How? I literally had no idea. But soon enough a new job brought me back to Utah and within a couple of weeks, there was a women’s group of a few of my close friends going through the book Captivating. God’s plan began to become more clear: Help women in Utah heal the wounds on their hearts by living their identity in Christ.
And that’s why I’m here.