before i began to fill up those lined pages with teenage angst begging to know who i was.
looking back, twenty years later, i know now what i was so desperately questioning;
i wasn't longing to know who i was,
i was wanting to know if i could ever be good.
because when you are four years old and you pray a prayer and ask Jesus into your heart, and then the very next year your innocence is taken by a teenage boy in the nursery of a church...
you do everything you can to fix what has been shattered inside.
whispers in the dark of don't tell become dark lies in your soul and you will do anything to keep up appearances for appearances sake.
no one tells you when you are five how to navigate moments like that.
and so the good girl,
this good girl
you have maybe had your moment too - that moment when your soul split in two.
that space in time when your smile was plastered to your face while those secrets began to swirl in the dark and everything seemed off kilter because,
shadow and light become muddled and foggy and you try and work harder so that you can finally make the two marry and maybe, just maybe, make God happy.
because that is what good girls do.
they make everyone happy.
did your shoulders just droop a bit under the weight of those words?
it's a five letter word that everyone seems to pass around so freely - like those sunday morning handshakes or the promises of "i'll pray" that we never seem to keep.
and grace becomes a part of our lingo that we never know the origin of -
we just know that it's a word that good christians say and so we do.
all the while our hearts harden and our eyes glaze over and we keep putting one tired foot in front of the other, trying somehow to earn some elusive approval and finally, finally be good
deep down good.
or maybe that's just me...
i hide behind my smile and my laid-back personality.
i hide behind fine and good. i hid behind strong and responsible.
i hide behind busy and comfortable and working hard toward
your expectations. and if i do not meet your expectations,
i hide behind indifferent. and though the purpose of my mask is
to fool you, don't be fooled.
the energy it takes to live for you is killing me...i want you to regard me.
please, by all means, regard me. i beg you to see me, to notice my goodness,
to ignore my failure, to be inspired by my beauty, to be captivated
by my essence. i want my loveliness to overwhelm you such
that you cannot catch your breath.
grace for the good girl (pg. 18)
because when you know that God loves you, but you don't really believe He means you...
you'll do everything you can to earn that love from Him and her and him and them.
i just want to be liked.
i just want them to be happy with me.
oh goodness, i just want to be finally seen and noticed and applauded.
it has everything to do with keeping myself safe and you happy and nothing to do with Jesus because He is wild and unpredictable and Someone i can never control.
and so i hide,
and i adjust my good face
until it finally isn't enough anymore.
the hollowness and emptiness of the pseudo-good life begins to suffocate and that is what this past year has been for me.
and i wonder if as zeruiah's life began to grow deep inside if that isn't when He began to stir something up in my soul and as she began to outgrow my skin, i began to outgrow my fear and it wasn't enough anymore, to live in the quiet and the good...
i wanted Jesus.
but Love leads.
"now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all that
we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be
glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
forever and ever. amen" (ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
that invisible good girl pushes me around. fear drives,
pushing and shoving. Love leads, working deeply and gently within.
as i risk exposure to receive this Love, i catch a glimpse
of His goodness, i am inspired by His beauty, i am
captivated by His essence. His loveliness overwhelms me such
that i cannot catch my breath. and before i realize it,
there has been a holy shift. my insatiable need to prove my
own goodness to God and the world fades into the background, and
instead i receive truth and offer worship to the only One
deserving of it.
grace for the good girl (pg. 19)
i needed Grace...
(join me again on friday?)