If my story were a planet, then your rejection of me would be my nuclear holocaust. This fear of rejection drives me hard, eating away at my courage. And so I am cautious in my love. I am timid in my faith. My life tells a small story. I long to be seen, but I feel safe when I’m invisible.
So I stay a good girl. And I hide.
I hide behind my smile and laid-back personality. I hide behind fine and good. I hide behind strong and responsible. I hide behind busy and comfortable and working hard toward your expectations. And if I do not meet your expectations, I hide behind indifferent. And though the purpose of my mask is to fool you, don’t be fooled.
The energy it takes to live for you is killing me — to see me through your eyes, to search for myself in your face, to be sure you are pleased as it regards me. I want you to always regard me.
Please, by all means, regard me. I beg you to see me, to notice my goodness, to ignore my failure, to be inspired by my beauty, to be captivated by my essence. I want my loveliness to overwhelm you such that you cannot catch your breath.
And then there is God.
I know God is big enough to redeem the unruly, the rejected, and the addict. I know about the God who reaches way down into the pit and the One whose love stretches to the heavens. But I fear he misses the details. What about the girl in the middle?
I want to let go, rest, and believe, so that he can hold, refresh, and redeem. But what if I do and he doesn’t? I feel fear. It washes over me with its lies and half-truths. The lies aren’t blatant. They marry themselves with a little bit of truth so the distinction is blurry at best. And so I practice the presence of fear and refuse the presence of Jesus.
I lived this toxic way for many years before I understood about The Rescue. I live it still, when I forget that I’ve been found. Even for those to whom truth has been revealed, fear can be a loud and abusive motivator.
But Love leads.
That invisible good girl pushes me around. Fear drives, pushing and shoving. Love leads, working deeply and gently within. As I risk exposure to this Love, I catch a glimpse of his goodness, I am inspired by his beauty, I am captivated by his essence. His loveliness overwhelms me such that I cannot catch my breath.
And before I realize it, there has been a holy shift. My insatiable need to prove my own goodness to God and the world fades into the background, and instead I receive truth and offer worship to the only One deserving of it.
This post was taken directly out of Chapter 1, an exclusive excerpt from Grace for the Good Girl – and I say exclusive for two reasons: one, because the book hasn’t actually released yet (next week!) and two, who hasn’t always wanted to use ‘exclusive’ in a sentence and mean it? It is a peek inside the book, but also, a peek inside the mind of a girl held captive by her need to manage every one’s opinion of her. There’s a better way to live.
You can purchase your copy of Grace for the Good Girl today and use the coupon code deals20 at checkout to receive 20% of your purchase. Join the community of grace-dwellers at Emily’s blog, Chatting at the Sky.