The message is sinking in, slowly. I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to be supermom, and I don’t always have to live the hard life. My expectations of myself are harder than anyone else’s. God loves me and accepts me just the way I am, and I can love and accept myself, too, just the way I am. Another book has crossed my path to help reinforce that message – Grace for the Good Girl: Letting go of the Try-Hard Life by Emily P. Freeman.
About Grace for the Good Girl
You’re strong. You’re responsible. You’re good. But . . .
. . . as day fades to dusk, you begin to feel the familiar fog of anxiety, the weight and pressure of holding it together and of longing left unmet. Good girls sometimes feel that the Christian life means doing hard work with a sweet disposition. We tend to focus only on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakable good moods.
But what would happen if we let grace pour out boundless acceptance into our worn-out hearts and undo us? If we dared to talk about the ways we hide, our longing to be known, and the fear in the knowing?
In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites you to release your tight hold on that familiar, try-hard life and lean your weight heavy into the love of Jesus. With an open hand, a whimsical style, and a heart bent brave toward adventure, Emily encourages you to move from your own impossible expectations toward the God who has graciously, miraculously, and lovingly found you.
I have to read Grace for the Good Girl again. And probably again, and again, a few times after that. I’ve already read several chapters a few times each… and the message is starting to sink in.
Emily writes like she’s speaking directly to my heart. She’s truly vulnerable, speaking directly to the issues she’s addressing from experience. She is open and honest as she talks about how we as women often hide. She’s secure and reassuring when she shares about how we as women feel unsafe. She is transparent and committed as she reviews her own story, and reveals the hope of being found by a God who loves us in ways we can’t imagine.
There are some weird things going on in my life right now; things I can’t quite put my finger on to explain or even know how to deal with. I suspect they have something to do with the striving and longing in my heart, with just plain being worn-out by never feeling like I’m good enough. Grace for the Good Girl has shown me that I’m NOT the only one who feels like this. I’m NOT alone. These feelings are common to women, especially women my age. There’s hope in that for me, especially as Emily shared about freedom through grace, truly experiencing the Grace of our good and loving God.
In this review I wanted to be able to share the ‘key nugget’ of truth or hope or help that I’ve taken away from the book. However, the goodness of the overarching message is too good and too overwhelming for me right now. Can God really love me in this way, that He looks on me with such Grace and favour? Can I really embrace His Grace, and drop the patterns of my own limited efforts followed by inevitable failures? And maybe the bigger questions I’m wrestling with out of this book are these: “Can I accept myself the way God accepts me? Can I even believe and hope that for myself?”
I said I’d have to read this book again, and I know that I will likely revisit it a few times in the next few years, because the depth of the message needs to penetrate deep into my heart, and that will take some more time. The book is already looking a little travel-worn as I’ve toted it around in my purse, here and there, on the go. The answers to the hard questions are coming, and I’ve been spending a lot of time in the middle section of the book, in the part Emily calls “the finding”. The message is sinking in, even if it’s more slowly than I had hoped or expected. I didn’t realize how deeply this book might effect me. It’s not been easy to tackle some of these questions, but with Grace for the Good Girl, Emily sends me out well-equipped to keep digging deeper. There is hope. And there is Grace, even for good girls like me.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.