This is my final post on "Grace for the Good Girl"...
This book has been nothing like I expected…in a very good way. I cringed early on as Emily’s words seared my soul with their honesty. It was hard to realize how much of my identity was wrapped up in doing. Along the way I am learning to recognize when I want to grab the good girl mask and put it back on. So much easier to do that instead of to process what is going on…what buttons are being pushed to make me want to hide rather than face pain or truth, be it good, bad or other.
I am learning to live at the “tempo of a God breathed life”…being gentle when I turn around and find that mask covering my eyes, celebrating when I choose to not pick it up, and experiencing grace in a whole new way. Remembering that no two days will be the same...one day I may do well, the next not so much.
One would think that a person in ministry would get this stuff. I am learning along the way that it is sooooo much easier to talk about grace than to live it at times. Somehow this was not something I learned in seminary…this accepting without question that I am loved, forgiven, and free. There were no classes, no books, no field education, or CPE that I checked off the list that allowed a sudden epiphany that I have already received grace.
Perhaps the greatest tool this book gave me were these questions to ask myself when I find myself looking for the mask to hide behind…
What is the truth? (Spirit)
What will I choose to believe? (Mind)
What will I choose to do? (Will)
Will I give up the right to feel as if the truth is true? (Emotions)
At some point my hope is these questions become habit rather than written down on the back of my shopping list which I furtively look to while feeling overwhelmed by hurtful words and actions, mine and others.
These may not work for everyone, but they DO work for me. In the midst of this hard and holy work I have learned my lens for truth has been very, very warped. I want so badly to see a hint of what others, especially God, sees in me. That Julie? She seems like someone I would like to get to know better.
Doing this work has helped me to find my voice again…it is still a bit soft and fades frequently, but it is there again. And yesterday, with no masks at all, I shared from my heart as I preached about miracles. Two women I look up to as role models let me know how good it was to hear my voice again.
One even offered to keep kicking my tail when I hide my voice. That is love! One willing to hold me accountable, one willing to challenge me to be the woman God is calling me to be. I thank God for women like that in my life and on this journey with me.
This book also led me to do something I have never, ever done before. I wrote a review for it on Amazon. That is how good I think this book is. The exciting thing is "graceful" a version for 14-18 years old will be published soon. I think women of all ages should read either book…more than once.
And Emily? Can you do one for the boys next? Or perhaps talk your hubby into it? I’m finding there are a whole lot of good boys out there too.
Want to talk about it, let me know! Would love to sit with you and chat over coffee.
Remember to go visit emily at chatting at the sky...it will be time well spent, promise.