“You’re not this way. This may be how you cope, but this is not who you are.”
-Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl, Part 2: The Finding
It’s scary to be known. It’s scary to know yourself very well. To know yourself well enough to see your faults, failures, and flaws. It’s really scary to be known this well by someone else. And yet we long to be known this well by another. We long to have someone tell us the truth about who we are.
A child of God. Redeemed. Rescued.
I need to be rescued from my version of who I am. Because my version of who I am isn’t really me. It’s me through a mask. It’s me through my own faulty set of glasses. My version of me is not who I am.
Sometimes God sends a person to remind you of who you really are. For Emily Freeman it was her counselor telling her who she really wasn’t. For me it was a young man who drove me crazy with his knowing me so well. The man who would become my husband.
When my dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January of 1998 my internal world changed. Drastically. I longed to really have the faith that others seemed to see in me, but there were moments when I doubted. Lots of them. I didn’t know how to handle the doubt. I wondered if I was really a Christian, Christian’s aren’t supposed to doubt.
In a moment of desperation I shared my doubt with my college-age church group. Honestly, I didn’t really mean for it to happen. There was an alter call for anyone feeling doubt and I was standing in front of everyone before I even realized I had left my seat. I stood there feeling embarrassed and ashamed as the speaker prayed over me.
My plan was to get out of the building as fast as possible when the service ended. As I made a B-line for the exit suddenly there was Nate, standing in my way. He cut to the chase and asked what I was going through. I smiled through clenched teeth and offered up something lame in the hopes that he would let it go and let me pass. He didn’t. Instead he saw me. To this day I don’t know how, but he saw me. My vulnerability, my need, my fear. And he immediately answered it all.
“Christianity isn’t a phase for you, it’s who you are. No matter how much you doubt you’ll never escape it, because no matter how much you doubt you will still be you.”
Friends, can I just tell you that moment changed me, changed my life. Forever. It’s one of those moments that is forever frozen in time in my head. Just thinking about it again undoes me.
We, us good girls, we walk through this life thinking we’re safe as long as no one ever sees behind the mask. But it’s not true. The truth is we are safe when we are free from the mask, when we are fully known. When we are honest with God, ourselves, and the people around us who want to love us- then we are safe. Safely wrapped in love, faith, and freedom.
In chapters 11 and 12 of Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman outlines the first two steps she took in her experience moving from hiding behind the mask to hiding in Christ, Receive and Remain. In the first part of her book Emily does a divine job of showing us our masks and our need to escape from them. Now, in the second part she begins to show us hope and encourage us to come out of our own hiding so that we can hide safely, openly, and fully in Christ.
If you haven’t read Emily’s thoughts yet on the balance, please rush over right now and do so. It’s just so good.
Truth: We are safe when we are free from the mask, when we are fully known.
For the next several Thursdays I will be writing my thoughts about Grace for the Good Girl. I would love to have you join me and the others in this author hosted book study. It’s not to late to join, just visit Emily Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky.