Reblogged from incourage
August 26, 2011
Yesterday I asked you to finish this sentence: “If I were to be totally honest, ______.” I wasn’t sure what would come out, but let me tell you what did:
Worry. Anxiety. Longing. Regret. Exhaustion. Loneliness. Comparison. Failure. A little bit of hope. Mostly fear.
You who are brave and beautiful, who have great things to offer the world not because of what you can do, but because of who you are, you who spoke out into the darkness yesterday – may blessing and peace and hope and abundance pour out all over you today.
“When I was a child my parents loved me not because I was good, but because I was Madeleine.”What would happen if we believed it? Would love make a difference in our ability to be honest about these difficult places where we find ourselves? Because it’s one thing to say honest things in a comment box on a blog. It’s completely another thing to sit in a room with other women, to look into their eyes, to hear their voices, to see their pain, to nod your heads together.
Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water
But that? Is so risky. Because those same people who might really understand are also the people whose opinions we so desperately want to manage. And so we hide from one another and stay fine.
Maybe it’s time to give up fine. Here are some ways to start:
Are you a small group leader? Read this book with your group. You won’t be able to avoid authentic no matter how hard you may try. There is a complete small group leaders guide in the back of the book designed to run for 8 weeks. Or you can visit Chatting at the Sky and download and print the leader’s guide for free right now.
Are you looking for someone to read with? If you aren’t in a small group, might a make a suggestion? Don’t read Grace for the Good Girl alone. Grab a girlfriend or a sister or a co-worker or a cousin and read it together.
If you are in a season of loneliness or isolation and you physically don’t have anyone to chat with about this book, perhaps you will find some people in one of these places:
Chatting at the Sky – a place for your soul to breathe, where I write nearly everyday-ish. Many of the women who read my blog will also read the book, so perhaps you will find some kindred conversations here. Also, the entire month of October, I’ll be writing a series called 31 Days to Change the World – because I really do believe that this grace changes everything.
Facebook Page – Women who are reading the book often come to the Facebook page and comment. Perhaps you can join in the conversation there.
Is it possible to live a life of joy? Peace? Hope? Willingness? Expectation? Rest? Fellowship? Satisfaction? Is it possible to believe, really believe that the God of the Universe who lived so long ago lives and walks in and among us right now? Is that a fairytale? A lie? A dream? A joke?
Jesus doesn’t tell us to try to figure out a way to follow him. He didn’t come to this world upside down just to show us how to live life and then dare us to get it right.
He came, not to show us how to do it, but to do it for us. He showed up not to inspire us to copy him, but to indwell us with his Spirit. He does not simply tell us to have patience and be strong. He becomes patient in my impatience. He becomes strength in the middle of my weakness.
This life is impossible. But God shows up in the middle of impossibilities. Impossible is His favorite.
I have so enjoyed being here at Bloom (in)courage this week. Your words, insights, and honesty have been a spacious place for this rookie author. I don’t know how to do this stuff really – to talk about my art, to share it with the world, to offer it to friends – but you have helped me remember the beauty and grace and acceptance available in community. I hope to do the same for you.
love and grace.
- emily, Chatting at the Sky