Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Good Girl

I was the good girl. I was the quiet one in the back of the classroom that tried so hard to just blend in with the wall color. I’d go to school, listen in class, make good grades, go home, obey my parents, do my homework, go to bed and then get up and do it all over again and again, all without hesitation and without question. If I had my list of dos and don’ts, I was A-OK! I never dared to color outside the lines or drive over the speed limit in any area of my life. It was what I was supposed to do. It was what I was supposed to be…the good girl.

I lived under the guise of The Good Girl until my late 20s, even through 7 years of marriage. One day, I woke up, and it was as if a light bulb turned on in my head. All of a sudden I began to doubt every decision, every belief, every habit, every single thing in my life. I had lived my whole life ‘doing’ the right thing instead of ‘being’ the right thing. I was tired of living by that list of dos and don’ts. Structure, all of a sudden, made me want to panic and run away. I couldn’t explain what was happening to me. This good girl, who always had it together, seemed to be reeling with confusion and doubt about every area of her life.

I was at a point of almost losing my family. Deep down I knew I didn’t want that. I had survived the divorce of my parents and knew first hand how that can destroy a family. But, all of a sudden that didn’t matter to me. It was as if I didn’t live through that experience (the devil has a way of clearing your memory when you’re faced with temptations). Thankfully, my husband recognized what was happening to me and truly understood what I was going through. He did everything he possibly could to help me journey safely through the ‘sewing of my wild oats’. (I told him that I was going to do it with him or without him.) You see, until this point, I had never tasted a drop of alcohol, never smoked a cigarette, never put a quarter in a slot machine, never did any kind of drugs, never did…you know…you other Good Girls out there have your own ‘never’ list.

Church was my life. I hardly ever missed a service. I could fake a testimony quicker than anybody. You see, when I was saved, God didn’t have to pluck me out of some miserable sinful life. There wasn’t this huge transformation. I just woke up the next day living another day in the life of a Good Girl. My life was FULL of works. Oh, I DID everything right, but there was no heart behind it. God scared me, and quite honestly, I feared getting too close to Him. After all, I did all the right things, so how much closer could I get?! I was confused in thinking that works was what earned God’s favor. I was a GREAT Pharisee!

I can’t really pinpoint a particular day when my vision was cleared. I’d have to say that it was a process of time and experiences. I don’t recall having another ‘light bulb’ experience. All I know is that one day, I realized that the clouds had cleared and I saw God for who He really is, a loving Father and faithful friend. For the first time in my life, I truly felt what it was like to have a growing, living relationship with my Savior. WOW, how the blinders have been removed! I have tapped into something and let me tell you, I’ve never had such a huge desire to really KNOW God. My desire to serve Him is stronger than it’s ever been.

If there are any self-labeled Good Girls out there, let me tell you something, unless there is heart behind what you do, it does you no good to live your life by your list of dos and don’ts. I challenge you to get to know your Savior, to tap into His love and His mercy and grace. It was a wonderful day when I grasped the true meaning of this statement: I can never do anything to make God love me any more and I can never do anything to make God love me any less. You can throw away your list of dos and don’ts because God isn’t keeping score!

His Forever (More than Ever),