"I always want people to see me as strong."
As I read her confession on my screen, I realize that she's me, hiding behind her mask. It's so comfortable here in the hiding place, but it's also completely lonely.
This culture of ours teaches us that weakness is unacceptable. We must always be strong!
Strong to accomplish.
Strong to stand out.
Strong to be liked.
There is no room for the weak in our world of masquerade. Feeling emotional? Suppress it. Wanting to share what's really on your heart? Save it for your journal. Needing to reveal sin and ask for prayer? That's something we only do in Bible studies!
"Weak is not a four-letter word." (p. 81, Grace for the Good Girl)
Dear friends, we've been trained to hide.
"That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses... For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:10)
And suddenly everything turns upside down. Taking pleasure in weakness? Embracing it? What? How?!
"As a good girl, I have a hard time with that one [sharing our weaknesses], especially if it means people might think I don't know everything or that I don't have it all together. The truth is, admitting weakness is the very doorway the Lord uses to lead the tired good girl to a place of rest." (p. 85, Grace for the Good Girl)
Somewhere along the way, we've learned how to play the game. We share just enough to make people like us, but we intentionally leave out the real and the vulnerable. Emily calls it "vulnerable with boundaries" (p. 86). But really, what are we afraid of? That our weakness will make us look bad? That we won't be accepted? That the hidden scars will be too much for them to handle?
As of late, I am finding freedom in the telling and sharing and opening.
I am being given precious moments of connection and depth with sweet sisters that I would have never shared my heart with, had I not surrendered relationships to my Father.
That rejection I feared? It simply isn't there. In fact, I've been more embraced and loved since I decided to tear off my mask and let my real face show.
Our Lord clearly speaks to our hearts, and His voice is oh-so-much louder than the adversary's, if we will only listen for it. He desperately wants us to know that our weakness brings His strength. When we come to the end of ourselves and give Him our fears, we will always find Him and the gifts He longs for us to receive.
Oh friend, this book is changing my soul. If you haven't read it yet, you must!
Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman