Thursday, September 13, 2012

Behind the mask: an angry, needy girl who is NOT fine.

“I taught people around me that I had no needs 
and then I was secretly angry with them for believing me.” 

This seems to be a problem for “good girls.”
We work hard, we meet needs, we do the job in front of us, and we do it well.

We do it with eager hands and a smile, or we try to, and when we don’t feel like smiling we smile anyway. We get done whatever needs to be done. We are the responsible ones, the strong ones, the ones people come to with their problems. We like this reputation. We love living up to this expectation. We love encouraging, helping, and coming through in a pinch.

We love making peace, putting people at ease, and lifting burdens.

We hate the opposite.

We don’t want to be involved in conflict.
We definitely don’t want to be the ones causing it.
We don’t want people to be uncomfortable or angry or upset about anything. We make peace at all costs.
We especially don’t want people to feel angry or upset at us, so we morph like amoebas to avoid others’ unhappiness.
We don’t like seeing people with burdens that we can’t lift. We pile them on our shoulders.
We don’t like to add to anyone’s burdens. We pretend we have none of our own.
Ever.

We’re fine.

And we’d really like to be fine. We are trying very hard to be fine. We don’t mean to be dishonest… we just really, really don’t want to be anything other than fine. And we hope if we pretend to be fine for just a little longer, we really will be fine.

When we are alone in the dark, we might whisper a prayer to God for help, but if He tries to provide help by sending us an actual person for us to lean on, forget it.
Too uncomfortable.
Too hard.
We don’t want to be a burden.

So we hide. We wear masks. We ache.
We get angry when people don’t realize it, when they believe the masks we wear.
But we don’t know how to take the masks off.

As the author describes,

“Our desire to be the good girl, the good Christian, 
the good wife, and the good mom becomes the number one priority, 
and Jesus isn’t even in the room.” P. 32

Jesus isn't even in the room.
 What does that even mean?

Photo by Shalinee Kohli Murishwar:
If He were “in the room,” wouldn’t He just be standing shoulder to shoulder with that “good girl” in my head, that perfect version of myself that I never am? Wouldn’t He be standing there with His arms crossed, glaring at me like she does, telling me to do better, to try harder?

Wouldn’t He take her side?

No, He wouldn't. And this makes all the difference.

Jesus has compassion on us.
He opens his hands to tired, tangled “good” girls, and invites us to just come. Rest. Receive.
He sees through our masks right into all the ugliness, and still He says, come.
He takes our failures, our Fs, and our sins and buried them deep in His wounds.
He gives us His own robe of righteousness to wear, and He gives us His A +.

Our stubborn insistence to do it all on our own, in our way, on our strength, begins to be washed away in the flood of His love.

We learn to receive love from Him and from others, and we receive so much more than we give.
It comes down in a shower of grace, and we are refreshed.


Jesus Christ came to save sinners, to pour out his mercy on all people.
He came for you, and He continues to come for you, that you may have life and have it abundantly.

Father,
Forgive us for chasing expectations and guarding our reputations, 
for people pleasing and making ourselves slaves to guilt, 
and for doing even "good" things out of fear, not love.
Our works are filthy rags.
Refresh us with your mercy, and teach us to rest in Your goodness.
Help us to see the ways you care for us, 
in Your Word, 
and through the people you send into our lives.
We dare pray these things because of Jesus alone.
Amen.
 -----------------

This week we read Chapters 2 and 3 of Grace for the Good Girl. If you’d like to join us, it’s not too late! There are so many things that can be said about this book! If you are hungry for more discussion, please join our lively facebook group!

-----------
Do you have trouble admitting when you're not "fine?"
Share your thoughts in the comments!

Do you know a friend who is exhausted by being fine all the time? 
Send some encouragement today.

4 comments:

  1. I love the prayer you have shared!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So important to keep in mind!

    Xo Jill

    jillianturner.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Definitely going to get this book. Those are great questions to end with. My answer is yes and yes. I have trouble admitting I am not fine because I think it is my job to help everyone else who is not fine. What a disservice that is to those I want to help. Yes, it is exhausting. So I am sending this post to myself! You have encouraged me today and you don't even know me! Looking forward to knowing you better through subscribing to this blog. You are someone God has put in my path. I give Him thanks and accept this gift of online grace !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat, welcome!!! So glad you found the blog. I definitely relate to this struggle... I would much rather be FINE all the time, but really, we are not, and His graces makes that ok :)

      Blessings to you, new friend!

      Delete

Web Analytics