Thursday, January 17, 2013

what was with all those facebook posts about good girls...

Raise your hand if you saw all those Facebook posts about good girls last week.

You know.  The ones where I was asking for comments.

Some of you helped me out.   Others probably chuckled and scrolled right past. 

I must tell you, the concept intrigues me.  This idea that women yearn to be good girls.  From the time they are small.  And society dictates to us what defines a good girl.  {And most of the time, it has nothing to do with being good.}

As the mother of a daughter and a woman who has hidden behind accomplishments and 'all the right decisions', I want to ditch this concept of 'good' girl.  Instead, I want to be grace girl.  A girl covered in the grace of God. 
Last night, my Beauties began a journey of 'Grace for the Good Girl' by Emily Freeman.  If you haven't ever read anything by Emily, I suggest you speed on over here and introduce yourself to her.  She is fabulous.  In the Truth-telling, I'm-no-where-near-perfect-kind-of-way.  Fabulous, I tell you.  Just fabulous.  I'd love to tell her that in person one day.

How do you define 'good girl?'  What does she look like?  Sound like?  Act like? 
Allow me to introduce you to the good girl in my life.
She looks like me.  Like my reflection in the mirror. 
Allow me to explain. 
All my life I've tried hard.  At everything.
Good grades.  Academic achievements.  Rule follower {except when I could find a loop-hole}.  Pulled together with make-up and styled hair and the {semi} latest trends.  Member of the right clubs.  Good relationships with teachers and others in authority.  Check marks on the to-do list.  Acceptance to the college of my choice.  Acceptance into a sorority.  Smile on the face.  Nod of the head.  A laugh when appropriate.  A hug when necessary.  A shoulder to cry on.  An ear to listen.  A hand to help.  Never a care in the world. 
I tried so hard to please everyone that I lost a bit of myself. 
You see, this 'good' girl followed me everywhere I went.  She made decisions for me so that I would fit in.  Or be accepted. 
When truly, the girl on the inside really just wanted to put on a pair of comfy pajama pants and an extra large t-shirt with a big bowl of ice cream and good book.  Or a sappy Lifetime movie.
She followed me right into adulthood. 
She taunted me with her smirk that said, 'Good wives cook dinner every night.  And know how to decorate a house.  Good mamas don't lose their patience.  And they love to play in the sand.'
Or she teased me with things like, 'Good friends don't forget birthdays.  And they most certainly mail a card to remember momentous occasions.'
And then there were the barely audible whispers, 'Good girls keep their feelings and opinions to their self.    Good girls most certainly do not ruin their reputation by expressing their thoughts.  Good girls keep their cool, maintain their self-control.  They never express anger or disappointment.  Good girls are always happy.  Good girls have an image to protect.'
I find myself living in a masquerade. 
Behind the masks of 'I'm fines' and 'I can do that' and 'Sure, I'd love tos'.  Masks of perfection and perception and permission. It can be so utterly and debilitatingly exhausting.  This mask wearing.  This pretending I am holding it all together.  That I have it all together.  That I can do it all.
Wearing these masks mean that I'm trusting myself more than I trust the One who designed me. 
I don't have to be-all and do-all.  I have been covered under the Grace of God.  I don't have live the try-hard life.  I simply have to trust Him.  With all my heart and mind. 
His is the only perception I should be concerned with.  Because He alone is perfect. 
I have spent a ridiculous amount of time hiding from the person I used to be.  The person who followed the crowd.  The person who justified her behavior as 'acceptable' because everyone else was doing it.  The person who was traveling the wide road that led straight to Hell.
It is only through His grace that I found the narrow path.  And it is only through His mercy that I continue to travel this way. 
It is time for me to put down the mask.  To come out from hiding.   That girl that I've been hiding from.  She is dead.  I am a new creation in Christ.
As a new creation in Christ, I'm still not good.  Only God alone is good.  Apart from God we are completely incapable of doing or saying or thinking anything good. 
Instead, I'd like to think of myself as a grace girl.  A girl who is covered-lavished, if you will-in the abundant and redeeming grace of Jesus. 
Allow me to introduce myself. 
My name is Jessica.  I am a recovering good girl.  And I am a grace girl who adores Jesus.    I'd love to meet you on the narrow path.  There's plenty of room, if you'd like to travel with me.
So, tell me.  Are you a good girl?  If so, where have you been hiding?

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