Thursday, December 6, 2012

grace for the good girl: #thesamepage week 3




while reading grace for the good girl, one word keeps popping back into my mind -- fear.  fear of not being enough. fear of unknown. fear of failure.  chapters 6-8 really hit on a lot of different masks i have hid behind throughout life because of certain fears i have.

chapter 6 : the rule follower {fear of not being good enough + falling short}
growing up, i was taught that you follow all the rules.  for some reason, i never rebelled against this.  i had this innate fear of not being ___ enough (fill in the blank), so I tried to control my life and any outcomes or situations by abiding to "all the rules".  usually, these rules were ones that i made up in my head at the time.  a "good girl" always smiled and never had anything negative to say.  a "good girl" always was extra helpful to those in need.  a "good girl" should always look nice on the outside, even if she wasn't feeling so nice on the inside.  the author, emily, talks about rules being a "fickle friend and burdensome".  we all know it's hard to keep all the rules, all the time.  and, when we just feel like we don't measure up or we fall short, it's like a heavy weigh is put on our shoulders.  for some reason, along the path of becoming a christian, i decided to adapt my way of "rule following" to how i lived my new christian life.  this mask of discipline and rule following robbed me of being able to see and experience god's true character and understand my need for a savior.  i'm just starting to realize that i can never live up to the expectations and rules i put on myself, nor does god want me to.  i have been shown that this life is about becoming less and accepting shortcomings, failures, and messes.  it's about accepting that we are never enough, but our savior is and we desperately need him.  there is such great, great beauty in this realization!!

"the law was designed to expose our heart condition, to make us see our guilt.  it was never meant to make us righteous." (62)

chapter 7 : hiding behind strength and responsibility {fear of weakness}
oh boy, this is a big one for me.  who doesn't want to appear strong and put together?  who doesn't want to take care of everyone else?  this tends to turn into an unhealthy area of my life for me and i think it stems back to my childhood.  my older sister is autistic, so i felt this intense need to be extremely responsible and mature from a very young age.  i didn't want to cause any more trouble or worry for my parents and i needed to prevent any stress that could potentially happen.  so, i was the sweet, little girl that was quiet and read a lot of books by herself.  whenever i had a problem, i struggled because all i could think about is how i couldn't struggle or complain because i had it so much better compared to my sister.

man, this is a hard act to keep up.  i really didn't want to admit or appear weak.  after becoming a christian, i learned how this world is backwards in thinking about strength.  emily stated it well by saying, "... weakness is the door to strength and jesus calls us to a life of weakness so that he can be strong." (72)  at first, i wasn't able to give up my control and need to be strong and responsible because it gave me a sense of importance.  but, i've gradually realized i'm only serving myself through this perspective and when i allow my weakness to come through, i am able to be closer to jesus and show others more of him.

this walk with jesus and understanding our true sense of self in him is so intricately humbling and vulnerable.  i feel so incredibly blessed and speechless that i don't have to keep "all the rules" or be "all the things" because he is enough and he is the one that wants my attention and life.

6 comments:

  1. i love reading your posts. they resonate with me so much. thank you for sharing your heart and being an encouragement to so many! i cherish our friendship!

    i am so with you on not wanting to show my weaknesses. i am always wanting to look so put together and strong. i'm afraid of showing my brokenness inside. your post has encouraged me to write more.

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    1. jennifer! you made my day. thank you so much. i feel like we encourage and learn so much from each other. thank goodness for influence!

      writing is the main way i'm able to process and experience a lot of the emotions and thoughts i have. it is the best way for me to see god work and feel his awesome, awesome love. it's so hard to be "real" though when you write ... definitely a process.

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  2. thanks for your honesty. so brave!

    i loved that part about how pretending to be strong is "self-serving" not "people-pleasing." really convicting!

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    1. thanks, lindsey. so often i think that i'm being self-less by staying strong, responsible, and taking care of things/people ... but then i realize it's such a pride issue for me. some tough + humbling stuff!

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  3. Oh, those rules. It's crazy how, if we don't know them exactly, we try to make them up. Thanks for your honesty, here. Really lovely.

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    1. emily! thank you for stopping by to read. i really appreciate it.
      what god is doing with your words and story is amazing. thank you so, so much for sharing!

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