Taking off the “Good Girl” Mask is Hard

Ok, so you remember that time in January when I started reading Emily P. Freeman’s Grace for the Good Girl?

And then even wrote a couple of blog posts about it (here).

And then it sort of dropped off the face of the Earth and I never mentioned it again….

Yeaaaah, about that.

That book – it’s hard for me. It speaks truth straight to my heart. And truth is a hard pill to swallow.

Recently, Emily Freeman began talking about the possiblity of hosting a weekly disscussion of the book on her blog: Chatting at the Sky. And God took the opportunity to remind me that I needed  to participate in this. I needed  to finish this book… to hear this truth… to let go of my good-girl anxieties and give Him control.

So for the next 8 Thursdays I’ll be linking up and posting my reactions to the discussion questions and the reading in General.

grace for the good girl by emily p. freeman

Today, I’m looking at “What I feel pushed around by”

I totally feel pushed by my image – by what I’m perceived to be. When I left my home-church I was more concerned with what people would think of me leaving than whether or not I was actually spiritually growing there.

I’m also pushed around by jealousy. The good girl inside me want to constantly compare me to others – and that green-eyed monster, she’s not so pretty. And she’s not so grace-full. She’s petty, and pouty, and downright mean spirited.

Now that I’ve left my home-church, they’ve quickly replaced me and the programs I loved with new people and new children’s programming and, if I’m not careful, I find myself wishing them ill instead of wishing them the best. The hurt girl in me want the new programs to fail or to falter – as if that would prove that ME, MY programs, MY presence was worth something.

I’m not happy to write that – it’s not pretty. but it’s truth.

It should NEVER have been or EVER be about ME – the programming, the crafts, the games, the lessons, they were never to glorify ME – they were to glorify GOD.

And I know that. But the Good Girl in Me, she sometimes got her worth from those programs – from the praises the programs brought – and she’s struggling to let it go.

If I listen to that Good Girl, she’s screaming for a new way to find worth, a way to be valued. She belittles the value God has for her and instead searches for value in others’ opinions.

There’s a quote in the book that is EXACTLY how I have felt in leaving my church and consequently the kids I’ve been working with, behind.

I sense the Holy Spirit leading my away from that thing or that place of service. But instead of prayerfully considering a change, I struggle and fight against it for fear of what others might think of my backing down.

It took me two years to fully understand that it was time to move from that church. Two years of fighting an internal battle and trying to avoid what the Holy Spirit was telling me. Two years that were far more difficult than they had to be – if only I could have ignored my inner Good Girl and completely trusted God.

So now, now I’m doing my best to tune out my Good Girl and her comparisons. I’ve found a new church – one where I feel community – one where I can really grow – one where I can serve to glorify God, not serve selfishly. And I’m looking forward to the future.

What pushes YOU around? Feel free to answer in the comments, or hop on over to Chatting at the Sky for a large community of “Recovering Good Girls” and join in the discussion there.

 

4 thoughts on “Taking off the “Good Girl” Mask is Hard

  1. Jenn says:

    Your post really struck a cord with me…I left my old church last year and it was hard to realize how easily replaceable I was. Nobody missed me. Most people probably didn’t even realize I left. I guess I didn’t have to worry so much what people would think, because in the end no one really cared. Which was almost as bad.

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    • Emily says:

      I’m so sorry – that replacement stuff, it’s so hard. There are a handful of people at my old church that give off the impression that they were glad to see me go, and there are some who don’t know I’ve left. But, I’m coming to realize that that’s ok. I’m where I’m meant to be. I hope you’ve been able to find a new church where you can feel real community again. Praying for you!

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  2. Jennifer Dawn McLucas says:

    I can totally relate to this! My husband and I were in ministry at a church that we loved. We thought we were doing really well and doing as God would have us do. Rather abruptly we realized with the senior pastor that there was a difference in ministry philosophy, one that lead to us being replaced. We stayed after we were replaced because we didn’t want to cause a divide within the church. I know supporting our replacement was the right thing to do, but there was such an ache when everyone believed me every time I said the change was for the best. On some level I wanted them to pitch a fit on my behalf and demand that we be given back our position. Not because I really thought that would be best, but because I felt like somehow it would have justified all the time that we had invested. Our quiet exit was definitely appropriate, but it was also uncomfortably humbling if not humiliating.

    Eventually God moved us to a different church, even though we fought leaving our old church. It’s amazing how much healing and new growth has taken place. And yet I still feel guilty about that. I feel guilty that I had to leave that church in order to find healing.

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    • Emily says:

      Yes! That feeling of justification for your time, your efforts – it’s powerful. And I’m in the same boat. Leaving my home church is so weird. I feel guilty no longer referring to them as “we” or “our” but instead “they are doing this” or “My former church…” But, like you, I’m getting so much healing from the move. I guess this guilt, it’s a good thing.

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