Can you relate? Then you need to read this book.
These two chapters were so hard to get through for me...never before had I read a book that so deeply resonated with me. I could have written these pages. No, I don't mean with the beauty of words and fluidity of thought, but I could have told the same stories. Some almost exactly like Emily does.
One particular passage in chapter two struck me so that I sat in my car, waiting on Kiddo to finish his piano lesson, and wept. I mean sobbed. To understand why I acted in a particular situation the way I did because she wrote my story out as word for word as if she had been in college with me...at once it was painful as well as freeing.
Chapter three, again, sounded like she was retelling my story. In a sense, she was. She was saved as a young girl. My first profession of faith was at age seven. Because we were so young we didn't have any sordid pasts to repent of...our testimonies were a bit bland compared to those who had been saved from drugs or an immoral lifestyle. We were good. So, what happened after salvation?
"And so it was that I continued with my good way of life, giving myself credit for all of my own goodness. There was a sense that Jesus had something to do with it...But I didn't understand the middle-of-a-Tuesday Jesus. I only knew him as a when-I-get-to-heaven Jesus. Salvation was my ticket to heaven and not much else. "At thirteen I rededicated my life to the Lord because I was scared to death that perhaps it didn't take the first time." (Grace for the Good Girl, Revel Publishing, copyright 2011, pp 40-41)
When I was eleven I made my second profession of faith (for those uninitiated ones to the way Southern Baptists talk, that just means I walked the aisle and said I wanted to be saved) for the exact same reason Emily did...I was afraid the first one didn't take. For me, I didn't feel saved. (Side note - It wasn't until I was twenty-eight years old that I finally nailed down my salvation. I can't even tell you if I truly was saved then or when I was seven. I only know I am now.)
She then goes on in this chapter to talk about her high school experiences with boys. Familiarity here, too.
"I didn't realize it at the time, but I was a good girl desperate for male attention." (pg 43)
She isn't sure why that was, but I think I do in my situation. She had an alcoholic father that could have been her reason, but I had an absent father. He came to pick us up every so often, but to this day I don't have a close relationship with Daddy. Oh, I love him dearly, but I don't know him very well.
About the need for male attention, she says,
"We were created with a deep need for love, acceptance, worth, and security. The need is overwhelming and must be satisfied. In the same way some girls wear the mask of promiscuity to grasp for connection and acceptance, good girls can depend on their good reputation to meet their desperate need for love." (pg 43)
Her first boyfriend relationship was "good and healthy on the outside," but "began an unhealthy pattern of looking to men to affirm my identity." (pg 43) I'm not sure when mine began, but I get embarrassed now thinking about the things I did to get the attention of "good" boys. Oh, nothing "bad"...only what would have been acceptable for a good girl. Talking too much, playing with my hair, going out of my way to run into certain guys...ugh...so embarrassing. It's funny, though. I ended up marrying the one man I never chased. God has a way of letting us know we don't have to strive to end up with the best. He's got it all worked out.
I'm going to end this post here because the rest of chapter three needs its own post. I think it's something we as good girls struggle with a lot, so I want to focus on it later. Maybe next week, maybe sooner.
If you have realized you are a "good girl," I hope you buy this book. If you do purchase the book from clicking the picture at the top of the post, I receive a small percentage in commission, but that's not the only way to get it. Even if you check it out from your library, PLEASE read it.
Be a recovering good girl like me.