Over the last few weeks God has found me.
And it is the most wonderful thing you can imagine to be found by Him.
I have been freed from my self-imposed prison by facing the fear that I am not enough. And that’s OK, because this morning I read about Moses and that even he was not enough. I’m in good company. Being not enough is the most popular thing someone can be. And just like God does for every other, He fills in the gaps for me. He gives me the power, strength, and authority to do what He’s called me to do.
I have learned to trust God to know what He’s doing. I don’t have to control it all. He is a capable God and well enabled to provide for all the possible case scenarios. And I don’t have to worry so much about trying to please God. If I trust Him then pleasing Him will be a result that happens automatically. I don’t have to be hyper sensitive and constantly strive for obedience. All I have to do is place my hand in His and let Him lead. I can be without fear rather than do out of fear. Please hear me correctly, because my good girl, rule following self wants to make sure you understand. I’m not suggesting that faith doesn’t require action, rather I’m suggesting that the first action of faith is to place your trust in Him. He will then direct you to the places He knows need your faithful response and obedience. To act apart from Him is pointless. You may be doing what looks right to the world, but it will not make you right with Him.
I have learned that even good girls carry around some ugly, they’re just really good at hiding it inside. Doing good so that others will think highly of me is not what God wants from me. God wants me to do good out of pure love for Him. God has shown me that taking pride in the good I do is wrong. He is the real source of my goodness and He is the one that deserves the credit. God is good. Me, not so much. It is only by Him living in and through me that I’m really capable of being a good girl.
All this before chapter 10.
It’s hard to explain what I’ve learned from chapter 10 of Grace for the Good Girl. It’s been a lot of going around and around in circles with the voices in my head. Do you have voices in your head too? Because I really hope I’m not the only one.
Love dislodged itself from her heart, sending her spiraling down into despair and doubt and death.
-Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl, chapter 10
I was faced again with my doubt. Doubt about whether what I believe God has said about me is really true. I struggle with that. Daily. So many claims are made in God’s name. How do I know what I know? I don’t have a burning bush, a thunderous voice from the sky, or a fleece as evidence of what God is telling me. It’s not as blatant as all that. I just have a little tug at my heart, so quiet and so internal, it’s hard to trust it. I mean, how do I know it’s not just the Chinese take out I had for dinner last night?
I am given the chance to believe God on a daily basis and I continue to forget what I long to remember.
-Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl, chapter 10.
Tiny little heart tug or burning bush, I know what I know, but like Moses I question it. It doesn’t sound easy. I don’t feel capable. I wonder “Why me?” and I worry that God has made a mistake.
I think I have to do something to make it really true. And so I try doing a lot of things. But the things I do just make me race around like mad, there’s no peace found in it. There’s no rest in the doing.
I forget to see me the way God sees me. I forget to see myself through the mask of Christ. I get too caught up in who I am today to remember that God already knows who I am tomorrow. It’s by His foreknowledge that He was able to call the 16 year old me a pastor’s wife and a mother. I was only 14 when He started calling me a writer and somehow it was so much easier to believe back then. Yet today I’m really writing. I’m getting closer to that being true, despite how it feels.
My feelings are not what determines my reality.
And it is more than just a slight heart tug. It’s 1,000 confirmations all the time. It comes in the voice of Emily Freeman as she reassures me I don’t have to hide behind perfection to be who I’m called to be. It’s the voice of Jeff Goins, speaking to my specific need, telling me again and again that I already am a writer. It’s the voice of a best friend chiming in to reassure me that what God uses me to say really does matter because He says it differently through me then He does through others. It’s the astonishment of my foretold daughter as she finds my journal and discovers for the first time that I have thoughts and a self outside of the box she’s drawn for me.
I am an encourager. I have a gift for it. A knack, a special talent, a calling. I’ve noticed something about me that I think must be true for most encouragers- we have a difficult time hearing and believing encouragement spoken to us. It’s in one ear and out the other. We’re so used to hearing ourselves say it that for some reason it just doesn’t stick when we hear others say it to us.
What you hear others say most about you is probably true. If God has put a lot of people in your life who say you’re a writer you probably are a writer, and a really good one. If God has put a lot of people in your life who say you’re an excellent cook or baker it’s probably true. If God has put a lot of people in your life who say you’re good at interpreting scripture I believe them. So if you’re struggling to find your calling, if you’re unsure what God thinks of you, start listening to the voices around you. Not the negative ones that are so easy to hear, but the positive ones that you keep overlooking. Is God calling you organized, patient, kind, artistic, creative, funny, charming, admirable…
Perhaps you’re struggling to identify what God has said about you. Ask Him to tell you again. Ask Him to remind you. But then, please, believe Him when He answers you. Let His answer be your undoing. Let His answer be confirmation to stop doing, because you already are everything He says you are. He’s already given you all that you need. Being, not doing, is how we become.
Truth: The key to my undoing is to believe God enough to stop doing.
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.