Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grace for the Good Girl

  grace for the good girl by emily p. freeman

   "I believe women need to talk about the ways we hide, the longing to be known, the fear in the knowing. I believe in the life-giving power of story, in the beauty of vulnerability, and in the strength that is found in weakness.
     In order to explore the truth ... we have to expose the invisible expectations and desires we know are there but may not have words for yet.
     Let me give you the words. Let me offer my stories and the stories of women close to me. Perhaps they are your stories as well."
~Introduction, Grace for the Good Girl

    For the next eight Thursdays, Emily Freeman, the author of Grace for the Good Girl will be hosting a Summer Book Club.  Join with us as we discuss and explore this powerful book.  Sign up is free. 

“For a long time, I believed I was searching for God and thought I had found him, this God who is order and control, distant and passive.  I knew he so loved the world, but I didn’t know his love for me.  As I gazed off into the foggy distance, hoping for a glimpse of the outline of his presence, I missed the One who stood beside me, casting his shadow over me as he showered me with his love.  While I thought I was searching for him, he graciously, miraculously, and intentionally found me.”  Grace for the Good Girl,  Chapter 1,  Emily Freeman  

     I remember as a child hearing John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  And I believed that He could and would save the world.  I believed he would save people in other countries, people in my community, and friends in my classroom.  I had no trouble believing that He would save my parents and even my brothers.  I just wasn’t so certain that I was valuable enough to save.  And so I set out to make myself valuable.  I wanted to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good student, and a good girl.  I realized that I could never be good enough to get to heaven under my own power, but I did not want it to be inconvenient for Jesus to save me.  I wanted to plant myself along His path so Jesus wouldn’t have to go too far out of His way to love me.
    Of course, Jesus had already set aside His crown, took off His royal robes, and choose to be born in a barn as a tiny baby to a young mother.  To grow and walk this earth for a time.  To teach, to heal, to love, then to be betrayed by the kiss of a friend to a cruel death.  Jesus was inconvenienced.  
     Now I see that He stood beside me all along.  He graciously watched over me, protected me, healed me and raised me up when I was bowed down.  He poured out His love over me.  My rest is in Him.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.  
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.  
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.” 
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;  
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord. 
  ~Lamentations 3:  22- 26

     There are things in this life that have surprised me.  But they did not surprise God.  He is in control of every situation.  I can trust Him to protect me in the valley, in the fire, in the storm, and in the battle.  He does not require that I be good enough.  I can wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

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