Follow Your Purpose + Giveaway

August 24, 2015

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On March 12, 2005, I'd been dating Sean for just a few weeks. I was taking college courses. I was working as a manager at ULTA.

And I was completely unaware that just a few states south of me, a woman was being held hostage in her home by an escaped murderer.

I'll admit that I hate bad news and don't always keep up with current events, but it makes me sad that only now, ten years later, have I heard the story of Ashley Smith spending 7 hours captive in her apartment.

Captive Ashley Smith

I read the whole account in 2 hours, refreshed by Smith's honesty (her personal life was a hot mess which she openly admits), and stunned at how the whole account plays out. At one point, she reads out loud from Rick Warren's bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life, only to be interrupted by her captor, Brian Nichols, upon reading the line "Listen: God put you where you are for a purpose.":

"Read that again."

She did,  and a conversation better suited to a Bible study group ensued. What was Ashley's purpose? What was Brian's? If you opened the book at this page, you might mistake this for a conversation between close friends.

The moment comes as quickly as it passes, but is one of the book's biggest highlights. Don't we all wonder about our purpose from time to time? Or perhaps we know, but something is holding us back...keeping us captive.

As it turns out, Captive has been on the bookshelves for some time now. Formerly titled Unlikely Angel, the book has been adapted to film (check it out September 18) and re-titled Captive, providing a perfect metaphor for Smith's story: not only was she literally captive in her home by Nichols, she was personally captive to poor decisions she'd made throughout her life.

Though nowhere near as dramatic as being held hostage, I think of captivity in my own life—of how I let my thoughts hold me captive instead of living freely. Thoughts like "it's too hard, don't even try," or "keep it to yourself, nobody will understand you"  are common lies of Satan working to keep us in captivity when there is absolutely no need.

I encourage you to read Captive for yourself and consider your own purpose...or what keeps you captive from it. If you enjoy it as much as I did, be sure to check out the film next month!

One reader will win a copy of Captive the book. Just enter below!

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