****Good Girls - I apologize for this post going out a day late. We had severe weather in Montgomery and no power until late yesterday afternoon. Anywho, here is the post:***** -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Look how far we've come.
When we began this study eight weeks ago, we were simply good girls in hiding. Soon, we learned what masks we were hiding behind - masks of our fake "fine" or our strength and responsibility to name a few. We got tired of wearing our masks and learned how to receive and remain in the truth. After that, we entered a phase of response and remembrance. Finally, we learn how to live in freedom.
Living in freedom means we are safe, even when it all goes wrong. In Chapter 17, Emily shares heart-wrenching stories of when things all went wrong. A divorce, a loss of a loved one, a diagnosis of cancer, a premature child - we all can think of a time in our lives or someone else's life when things go wrong. We start to compare our pains and feel like she is handling her pain better than I am. Emily gently writes, "But the truth is, every heart knows its own pain." She then shares these words from a college professor, "Do not compare your pain with others. The worst pain you will ever feel is your own. That does not mean you are selfish - that means you are human."
Emily shares that one practical way to set our minds when it all goes wrong is to practice receiving truth in small ways when things go right. She gives a quote from Sarah Young's devotional book, Jesus Calling: "Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Him set the pace."
She ends with this question:
When things go wrong, does it seem to disrupt the tempo of this God-breathed life, or are you able to see those things as part of that tempo?
In her final chapter of Grace for the Good Girl, Emily explains how we are safe, even when we don't feel safe. So often, our feelings can be an inaccurate measure of reality. Emily talks about how we live life thinking we are in control when really life can change in the blink of an eye. When that time comes, we have no control over our circumstances and we have a choice. Emily says, "You must decide if you will trust the feeling or if you will trust the truth." She continues with this: "When your safety is challenged and you recognize that familiar tug to pull out your girl-made mask, ask yourself these four questions instead:
What is the truth? (Spirit)
What will you believe? (Mind)
What will you do? (Will)
Will you give up the right to feel as if God's truth is true? (Emotions)
Emily tells us that the answers to these questions are not meant to be formulaic; rather, they are a practical tool to bring out the truth that God has already placed in our hearts.
In closing, Emily admits that there is no magic formula to living life free of masks. There is no automatic mask remover. The masks will never disappear completely as long as we live in a fallen world.
But, we have Jesus.
Jesus saves us from our masks. The Holy Spirit lives within us, guiding us through our emotions to reveal the truth. We have to make a choice to receive this gift that has so freely been given to us and stop living life behind our masks. We have to believe the truth to be true.
Before we leave today, Emily invites us to journal all the gifts the Lord has delivered just today. She encourages us to write down evidences of our safety as we ask God to reveal them to us. Our truth to remember is: "You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me." (Ps. 139:5).
Good Girls, I have so enjoyed this sweet time together. What was your favorite part of the study? What has helped you the most? I would love to receive your comments below.
Till next time, let your light shine!