we're currently reading emily p. freeman's book, Grace for the Good Girl. feel free to join in!
"my idea of who i should be is at war with who i am. i want to be perfect in every situation. i just do" (17)
"not only do i want to do everything perfectly, i want to look perfect while i do it. ... all the time." (17)
"my solution to the disconnect between my perfect, imaginary self and my real-life self is to force life to look the way i want. ... and so i work and i labor and i do the right thing. i stay strong when i feel weak and i fake happy when i want to cry because my ideal image has everything to do with put together and nothing to do with falling apart." (17)
"i desperately want to manage your opinion of me. nearly everything i do is to convince you i am good. ... i must have worth, and it is up to you to give it to me." (17-18)
"fear of rejection drives me hard, eating away at my courage. and so i am cautious in my love. ... i long to be seen, but i feel safe when i'm invisible." (18)
"i want to let go, rest, and believe, so that god can hold, refresh, and redeem. but what if i do and he doesn't?" (19)
"my fear becomes my truth." (19)
oh, my goodness. i could just keep listing quotes upon quotes, but my list would quickly become exhausting and so overwhelming. while reading this book, i'm continually underlining, circling, and writing (!!!!) next to lines. this book is wrecking me in such a major way.
i always knew i was a "good girl". i grew up in a loving home with parents that cared about me, but we had some unique struggles (like every family ... more on that later). on the outside looking in, it seemed like i lived a "storybook" life growing up. i was voted into student council more times than i can count. i was always the girl that gave the speeches at assemblies or graduations. i was on sport teams and i got good grades. i graduated in the top few of my class. i was president of key club and president of our senior class. i even spent time outside of class and sucked up to our vice principal by filing papers for her. i was on homecoming court and was voted prom queen.
listing all of that makes me so uncomfortable and feel ashamed. i thought all of these things were so important. and i definitely acted like they were important! i was the nice + quiet girl, but i definitely thought i was better than everyone else because of my long, running list of "good things" and accomplishments. i could befriend anyone (and was friends with everyone), but i neglected to build many lasting friendships. i felt alone. all of these things and hard trying catapulted me into a full-blown eating disorder throughout all of high school + college. if i couldn't "wow" people with my achievements, i sure would do it with good looks! when that didn't work, i continued to work hard throughout college by acquiring internships every semester in lofty businesses in large cities.
i graduated college scared and worried. worried that i didn't "live it up" enough during my 4 years there because i was so busy chasing and achieving and proving. this fear drove me to volunteer to open a coffee house. (because, of course, to make myself feel better and i had to achieve more. then, people would like me and i would feel better about myself. ugh.) our church was wanting to open a coffee house in our downtown, and they needed someone to step up and take charge with all the planning, implementing, and actual running of the business. after careful prayer, i really thought i was the best person for the job. i could do it.
(cue freak out. what?! open and run a business at the age of 22? i had no idea what i was agreeing to. i was out of my mind, but thank goodness god graciously had his hands in this mess.)
today, i still wrestle with where i find my worth and identity, but it is evident how god is working through my story. he continually pulls me closer and closer to him and his view of me + my life. i struggle with regret for how i lived my life in my past, but the freedom i feel when walking right along with god breaks me down and reminds me how empty that way of living is. it's a daily battle.
i'm only through the first two chapters of this book and i can't believe the feelings and realizations it is unearthing in me. i can't imagine what the next few chapters will bring.