A few weeks ago, Emily Freeman began hosting a weekly disscussion of her book, Grace for the Good Girl, 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 today, I’m linking up with Emily and posting my reflections from last week’s reading. Enjoy!
A year ago I sat on a towel on the beach after a long week of travel time, theme parks, and letting go. It was the last day of my vacation, a week I took to purposefully let go of painful memories and create experiences with friends both new and old. It was a definitive stepping stone to finding the part of me that I had lost over the years. The part of me that I didn’t know existed without someone else.
And so, I sat on the beach with my horribly blistered feet from too much walking in shoes that rubbed all wrong, and I looked at the ocean – at the vastness of it all, and the power in the waves. I make my way down to the water – cool and crisp, taking my breath away as I ease deeper and deeper. I give way to the waves and let them pound against me. Wash out the pain, let the water move through me.
And I think, this is where I am supposed to be. The journey has been painful, and more pain will come, but right now, this place is meant for me.
But I cannot stay at the ocean’s door forever. I must return home – to this life full of waiting and change. And now, a year later, I long to make my way back to the ocean’s pounding. To let her breath in new life and remove the old. But that is not the place meant for me this year.
This year, I find myself knee deep in a different salty water – sweat. I work in the garden, I simply step outside and the sun parched South beckons the sweat out of me. I sweat through changing churches and finding new employment. I sweat big decisions and small ones. I make an effort to create a healthier me in both body and spirit. And I let the salty water once again work its wonders.
Each week, I dive a bit deeper into the changes, and sweat a bit more, and I find my masks of “fine” and “good” begin to slip off – they cannot stay in place when the surface is wet with saltwater. I realize that some notions I’ve held to for so long are false. That there is no perfect “good girl,” that no one can live up to the standards. That, in fact, God gave us His law to show us just how incapable we are to meet it. I am not expected to be good all the time – I will falter. I will experience pain, and guilt, and need forgiveness. But there is hope.
For He rescued us from the dominon of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. Col. 1:13
The masks must fall off, the saltwater prepares the surface while the Spirit takes up the task and challenges me to rethink, receive, to remain, to respond, and to remember.
In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And He who searches the hearts knows the Spirit’s mind-set, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Rom. 8:26-27
And I find there is truth to the saying: The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, or the sea.
What kind of saltwater has been at work in your life lately? Can I pray for you in your time of “curing?”