“You are not accepted because you are good.
You are free to be good because you are accepted.
You are not responsible to have it all together.
You are free to respond to the One who holds all things in his hands.
You do not have to live up to impossible expectations.
You are free to wait expectantly on Jesus, the One who is both author and perfecter of your faith.”*
These words are likely the greatest gift to me in this portion of the reading, perhaps even the book to this point. The discussion questions (listed below) are ones I have been pondering quite often of late. They have been like that pebble caught in my shoe,
They are there.
Occasionally I feel them,
move them around,
play with them.
Then I pretend to ignore them.
Their lump under my toes a comfort.
Taking them out leaves a sense of loss.
For to respond to them I need to let them go, to move forward.
To move from following a crucified Christ to living a resurrected life.
That changes everything. Because then I am…
Going from darkness into light.
From pain to joy.
From worry to trust.
From doubt to knowing even in the times of unknowing.
From doing to being.
From earning to receiving.
From strings to dancing.
That is where the fear enters in. If there is no “right” way, no “good” way, if there is my way to be in relationship with Jesus, where are the rules? The how-to’s? how will I know what to do, how to be? What does it mean to be new? To be free?
It means just being, resting, trusting in Christ. Believing that in this identity as a beloved daughter of God I am good enough even when I am broken, sinful, and hurting. I am good enough when I fall down because He helps me up again. I am good enough just because I am a new creation in Christ. I don’t have to do a thing because He has already done it all.
Ultimately it means no longer crucifying myself but allowing myself to live a resurrected life in thanksgiving for a resurrected savior. A savior who loves me on the OTHER side of the cross.
That is indeed good news. Thanks be to God!
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
Remember to join Emily and those linking up at chatting at the sky where you will find this week's discussion questions, which are:
"I had an idea of what it meant to be a woman of God (a grown up) and my life was on a steady path in the opposite direction. What are some of your own ideas of what it means to be a woman of God and has this idea shifted at all as you’ve been walking with Christ?
The idea of receiving our identity from Christ and then letting it be true in our lives is easy to say but takes a lifetime to work out. If you really believed that the old is gone and the new has come, in what ways would your life be different? (Would you laugh more? Would you say yes to your kids more often? Would you dare to rest more often? Would you believe in miracles?)"
*Freeman, Emily P. (2011-09-01). Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life (Kindle Locations 2176-2182). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.