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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They met serving in a Sunday school class.  Two single moms, busy raising kids and still wanting to help somewhere.  One said serving in ministry was their peaceful place.  Thus began their community.  I love to watch community happen.  This past weekend those two moms helped one of them move.  That's the beauty of community.  It births friendships, companionship.... families.

My husband and I go to a local McDonald's almost every morning.  We sit at the counter with about six others.  They are our McDonald's family.  It's our community.  If someone doesn't show up for a few days we call each other just to make sure everything is okay.  Here is how this community has been so invaluable to us.  My husband was diagnosed with cancer last year.  One Saturday they showed up to our house to do yard work.  Did I mention we live on an acre?  Most of which is landscaped.  It's an all day job to trim, mow and clean up our yard.  Our friends came and served unconditionally.  Not just once but several times. My husband has a servant heart, so allowing others to serve was a bit difficult for him.  But it's what community does.  Serve each other.

Community helps you not to be alone.  And you are not alone.  I know, you may be having lonely days.  You may feel there is no one out there that is going through what you are going through.  You may feel lonely, but trust me their is a community out there waiting for you.

You just have to look.

If you are looking for community I have a place for you to join.  (in)courage.me is a place for you to find community.  I know what you are thinking, an online community?  How is that possible?  Trust me it is.

It's a place for women to connect, to find their voice or just listen to others sharing their lives together.  It's a place you will find people just like yourself.  In the same season as you, whether that's a mom, an empty nester, a single person, someone who struggles with a chronic illness or an artist.

There is community waiting for you.  Right here, right now.

And to make it even more easier for you to join community, (in)courage is starting new community groups.  Groups with people just like you.  Groups that will do community with you.  There are community groups for just about every season of life.  You can check it out here .

Seriously, you need to do this.  You will find people here you can do life together with.  Someone who will understand exactly what you are going through.

Coffee for Your Heart 150

I'm joining Holley Gerth  in her community.  Won't you join us?

 

You are not alone.  Community will help you feel connected and not .....alone.