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My heart sneaks up on me when I least expect it. I remember one morning, after dropping off one of my sons at school, I was sitting at a red light, impatient for it to change, when suddenly I was overcome with sadness. A longing filled my heart, an ache, a desire for more.

My immediate response to this surfacing desire was to chastise myself. What is wrong with me? I thought. I have a good life. My family is healthy. My husband loves me.

I accused my heart of being difficult, needy, unreasonable. I tried to batter it into silence, to reason it into contentment. It didn't work. Frankly, it never does.

But then, the Holy Spirit nudged me. I felt the invitation of God to be merciful to myself and to come to Him with my aching desire for more. Then God reminded me of a story.

The sun was already blazing, the gnats biting. It promised to be an uncomfortable day. The wind was blowing gently from the south, a hot, soft whisper. It was still early, but the marketplace was alive with activity when another whisper was heard.

This voice blew through the crowd but spoke not of another relentless day, but of hope, of a promise fulfilled. The busy stalls became energized.

"Have you heard the news? That man Jesus has come across the lake! Jairus is with him! Let's go!"

Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, had gone down to the shore to greet Jesus. Well, not exactly to greet him, but to fall at his feet and beg for his intervention.

"Would you, Jesus, please come to my house and lay your hands on my little daughter? For she is dying."

The story is found in Mark 5 and holds a treasure for us today.

Jesus agreed to go, but He wasn't alone. A crowd went with Him. As He walked to Jairus' house, a throng of people surrounded Him, pushed against him, pressed in to Him. Suddenly, Jesus stopped and asked the crowd a question, "Who touched me?"

A woman came forward. She fell at His feet and told Him her story. She had been bleeding for 12 years and was getting worse. Doctors couldn't help her, but she knew that if she could just reach out and touch Jesus, she would be healed.

What was Jesus' response? Was He irritated with her? Was He offended by her boldness? Quite the opposite. Jesus was pleased. He told her that her faith had healed her.

Her faith in what? Her faith that Jesus had the power to heal her. Her faith that Jesus had the desire to heal her. Her faith that she could come to Him with all she was and all she was not and He would not withhold what she desired.

With everything in her, she pressed into Him ... and she was healed. The "more" that she longed for, she received.

Jesus is the same today as He was when He healed the woman with the issue of blood. He still offers to restore us as women—to heal us, to meet us in our place of deepest need. He still has the power and the desire to restore our femininity, which means to restore our hearts.

We have to start there because the heart is the center of it all. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (NIV).

The Feminine Heart 

By God's design you were created with a feminine heart. It is His intention that you carry His image to the world using your feminine heart. And it's that that He wants to restore.

So what is the feminine heart? Well, think about what makes you come alive as a woman. What do you love to do? What songs do you like? What books? What movies?

To get to the human heart, we need to talk about desires. God placed unique desires in the hearts of Adam and Eve, and He has placed them in you. They are not a result of the fall; they are part of your glory.

Although every woman is a unique creation of God, we share an essence at our cores. We share desires. Every woman's heart holds three core desires: the desire to be romanced; the desire to play an irreplaceable role in a heroic adventure; and the desire to have a beauty all our own to unveil.

Because of the desires God placed in woman, every little girl is asking one question: "Do you delight in me? Am I lovely? Am I worth fighting for?" How that question was answered for you in your youth has helped to shape you into the woman you have become. It is the core question in every little girl's heart—and every woman's as well.

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