When I finally had to admit to the world that I didn’t have it all together like good girls “should” with the public humiliation of a divorce, I was challenged shortly afterwards with a job lay off. Two days later excruciating pain in my lower back and leg revealed shingles down two nerve pathways. A few weeks later it was major gastroenterology issues that hit at the most inopportune times. There is a CVS in Georgia that I can never enter again. Never.
Through all of my troubles, it became apparently clear that my good girl rules couldn’t save me. My highly added up goodness points didn’t help me sleep any better at night or keep me from feeling so miserably alone on quiet Saturday nights in my empty apartment. My busy calendar was shoved to the side as the only date I started to care about was my Sunday morning appointment with God brought to life during the song service at church.
For all of the “shoulds” and rules of how to behave in public, breaking down and sobbing during the song service was never on that list as it just isn’t proper. Yet it’s real and genuine and raw. Quite honestly it’s the closest to God I had ever felt in my life. Just like His hand was scooping me up to send me out and live another six days until I could gather in His presence again. Looking back I’m sure I frightened those around me with my ugly crying in their pew. Bless their hearts.
They say God can’t use a full vessel. Well as a good girl the only “full” going on was me being full of myself. To look so lovely on the outside but be so vapid on the inside is like the whitewashed tombs Jesus spoke of in Matthew 23:27. Pretty on the outside but unclean on the inside – literally full of rot and decay. Why would He want a self-righteous competitive goodie two shoes that sought the favor of others over the salvation of her soul? Because God knows that grace changes lives, priorities, hearts and even calendars. And it’s ours for the taking, no strings attached, no rules to follow.
Once I stopped counting my goodness and started counting my blessings, God showed up. When I started admitting that I didn’t have it all together, that I wasn’t kind in my thoughts towards others or even kind to myself He poured out His promises in verse, songs, prayers of others and even on a billboard message once. Yes it takes about seven times smacking me upside the head for me to “get” the point some days.
When I stopped comparing myself to others and simply accepted my own shortcomings because He created me with all of my quirks and hangups, I could believe my own worth through His eyes. Being fearlessly and wonderfully made means nothing if you don’t know the fearless and wonderful Creator.
Not being hung up on an overloaded calendar was freeing. I wasn’t fretting because He has already designed my days and knows the outcome. I could stop thinking in terms of “when I accomplish this then I’ll be happy”and instead realize no matter the situation I could choose to be content because I had a purpose beyond racking up points for good girl status.
Somewhere in all of the hurt, the lonely and the unknown God re-wired my head to my heart so all I wanted to chase was Him. Instead of being a good girl all I wanted to be was a God girl. And wow is there freedom in that!
God’s grace and love for us before we were even born still is a speechless wonder to me. Yes, I used the word speechless in regards to me so you KNOW this is big.
So if there are no longer any rules then what exactly are the truths in being a God girl?
Well they are pretty much summed up in this:
God Girl Code:
* When you know your Savior you will know your worth.
* When you know your worth you will be kinder to others.
* When you are kinder to others they will see your true heart.
* When they see your true heart they will see your Savior.
Pretty simple huh? A lot less to carry on your shoulders and a lot less angst in each of your relationships. God’s intent was never for us to go about this life in a legalistic driven game of survivor. If He knows the number of hairs on our head (even the white ones I pluck out in false hope) He must want more for us than a self imposed rat race. The only goodness in our lives we should be worrying about racking up is the encounters we have with others who need a kind word, a gracious deed, a heartfelt comment, a blessing or even a hug.
The good girl in me is only here because He is still doing a good work in me – by His grace I am free.
And what a good thing that truly is!