Where do I start? This book is transformational for me. I guess a little background is necessary. I was “saved” at the age of 8. It was a dark and stormy night…no seriously…it was. There was much thunder and lightning and I was terrified of hell. I’m not sure how those things connected in my brain but they did. So, I asked Jesus into my heart in the only way a small child can. I guess I felt different. The next morning I remember thinking that I must feel different, so I made myself feel different. Anyhow, I wasn’t a drug addict, an alcoholic, or promiscuous (heavens!) and it just was sort of what we did. I grew up in a home where we prayed before every meal (sort of), we went to church every time the doors were open, and I attended the Christian school associated with that church. Back then it was a very legalistic bunch and my parent bought it hook, line and sinker. The problem was that church and “Christian” things stayed at church and school. We didn’t really live our faith, just went through the motions.
I was a good girl. I had my share of close calls but I stayed out of any major trouble. I was talking with a friend the other day about looking back and realizing that God was protecting us through times when we could have strayed very far. But I didn’t. I dated, married, had sex and then children in the proper order. We went to church as a married couple and then as a family, but something was always missing.
This book pointed it out so clearly to me, in language that made sense in my good girl brain. Words that fought their way deep into my psyche through my multiple masks.
Chapters with subtitles such as hiding behind her good performance and hiding behind her fake “fine” and hiding behind her indifference pulled me straight out of my comfort zone and into a place where I could see clearly the depth of my need. The book is divided into three parts:
Part 1 : the hiding
Part 2: the finding
Part 3: the freedom of being found
I started this book with the idea that I would read a chapter each day and dutifully answer the questions at the end in my journal (good girl expectations, there). But, about mid-way through God showed up and I realized that I need to digest this book, not just read it, answer the questions and check it off the list. So, I finished the book without finishing the questions. I will get to that. I will go back and read each chapter more slowly, search myself and go deep because there are such gems to be mined in a book like this for a girl like me.
In the meantime, I’m learning that I’m wearing many masks and my masks have layers. I don’t let others in because I don’t want them to see how flawed I am. If they happen to see the ugly side of me, I make sure that I don’t get too up close and personal with them again. Perhaps there’s more of my mom in me than I would like to admit in this area.
If you are like me and don’t have a flashy, lightning from Heaven testimony and you’ve found your spiritual life lacking something, pick up this book. Maybe it won’t be for you what it is for me – a gorgeous, sparkling dawn of realization and grace, but you will still be blessed.
I’ve tried so hard all my life. Now it’s time to let go of the try-hard life.
You can find her book at Amazon. I recommend getting the actual paperback for highlighting and annotating. You can also read her blog at www.ChattingAtTheSky.com
PS – She has a version for younger women called Graceful which my daughter will be receiving and possibly all my nieces who are on the cusp of womanhood.
Blessings to you & may you be free! Colossians 3.