(in)couraged toward grace: Grace for the Good Girl (Week 1)

In courage

So today we begin our new study.  Grace for the Good Girl, letting go of the try hard life.  And we jump right into what our definitions are of a good girl.  Why they may be flawed and how our expectations can cause us to live a life of performance that tangles the web of  lies that we indeed will never measure up.

While reading Emily's story, could you relate to any of it?  I sure could.  I spent my younger years being told how to be a good girl, being admonished when I failed and worst yet, being compared to my twin sister that she was doing it better.  (This last one was tossed back and forth between the two of us depending on who they thought was acting appropriately or not appropriately.)

When I became an adult I went after life with the same determination to be better and do better as a wife, mom and then later as a children's pastor.  In all things, I had in my mind,  that I was suppose to act or be a certain way in order to fit in.  How about you?  Have you felt that way?  Do you still?

As Emily stated, goodness isn't a bad thing.  God loves goodness and he want to shower us with his goodness.  It's when we take our viewpoint of goodness and twist it with lies called rules and expectations that our journey can become guilt ridden and we feel like epic failures.

Emily makes a comment in chapter two that poses a question.  "So now I stand at a fork in the road.  I can try to figure out a way to continue making life work on my own or I can admit defeat and accept Jesus invitation to simply "Come".  This place here, this Facebook page, is a safe place.  More importantly, its a place to be real.  To be real with us, but to be real with your self too.  We will not judge, nor compare, nor surmise.  This is a place to call home. We are friends searching to understand our God better.  So we are all in good company.  But we find ourselves in this fork in the road.  And it's time to let down our mask and know the real Jesus.

Emily again points to Jesus as our example.  Jesus didn't put expectations on himself, he lived expectantly waiting on his Father.  A life totally dependent on the one who would lead ~ and he would ~ follow.

When I came to the realization that performing was not giving me the freedom to live in Christ my world kind of came crashing down around me.  When I looked up from the mess all I wanted was Jesus.  I wanted to know him personally, deeply and intimately.

That's what he wants as well, to know you and to love you .  I'll leave you with this quote from Emily,

"All he wants is simply you, minus your good works, minus your perfect attendance, minus your politeness.  when you really believe that you may discover that all you want is Jesus, simply Jesus......To simply love and be loved by him.

What masks have you worn?

Did you relate to any of the "good girls" Emily spoke about?

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