Sunday, November 27, 2011

"I'm Fine" with "My Many Things"

"I was used to you being the one who always reached out, so when you didn't, I just thought that you needed space."

One of my very best friends told me this recently as we were discussing the changes in each of our lives and the subsequent time lapses in our connection.

I had felt that from people, that disconnect. I realized that I had even pulled away in the shadows after leaving full time ministry, battling through infertility, and struggling with daily chronic pain, I removed myself from "the world." And I even felt sorry for myself that people were not reaching out to me in my moments of greatest need when I felt like I had always made the effort to be there for them in their trials.

But her words made me pause and reflect.

And as I have been reading Emily's Grace for the Good Girl, I thought about the "fake fine."

I have heard people talk about that, how we often just say "fine" and smile, and I hated that so I really tried not to do it at all or at least rarely. But then I read a little deeper....

"We praise people who never let on they are suffering....
We praise people who remain strong, no matter their pain."

and then....

"We insult the beauty of intimacy and sometimes even risk our own health for the sake of keeping everything fine."

Wow! Like a slap in the face of my own justifications, I was being so "fine" that I refused to even acknowledge the falseness there in my semantics.

Like Sara in the book, I felt like with all of the aches and pains and hurts, I couldn't talk about them. I felt that I couldn't share them with others, so I would say what I thought people wanted to hear, and when that did not work for me, I simply started avoiding people altogether.

But as I mentioned, I was lonely, and I wanted more.

"I want someone to care. I want someone to call me and ask how I am, but what will be my answer, I'm not sure. I feel like I'm whining if I tell the truth, but I need someone to be my support....but I don't know if they are really interested."

And this was not a new reaction for me. In college, my roommate would tell me, "Lindsey no one has any idea how they deeply they hurt you because in front of them you brush it aside or laugh it off."

I wanted to protect myself from other people -- their words, their indifference, their distraction.

"A lot of my own heartache and struggles with the fake fine mask could be overcome if I simply allowed myself to be honest with God and trust him to lead me in being vulnerable with people....Hiding behind fine in the midst of God and everyone is insulting to the cosmic swing that God set in motion....Trying not to experience the whole spectrum of emotions is like trying to be inhuman....Our fluctuating humanness is there on purpose, to remind us of our need and draw us to the One who can meet it."

I also learned that I have a desire to do "many things" to reach, to achieve, to touch God's heart. Emily refers to this as the conflict between wanting to PLEASE God or choosing to TRUST God. This is what Jesus told Martha about her focus on the busyness of DOING,

"You are worried and bothered about so many things;
but only one thing is necessary,
for Mary has chosen the good part,
which shall not be taken away from her."
{Luke 10:41-42}

"If I am trying to please God, it is difficult to trust God. But when I trust God, pleasing him is automatic. Anything we do to get life and identity outside of Christ is an idol, even service to Christ. He doesn't want my service. He wants me."

As a good girl, my heart started out in the right place -- loving Jesus and wanting to serve Him but after awhile, I added more and more to my plate, people began to rely on me, and suddenly, I was serving from a place of ME and not a place of HIM.

A year off, time away from my old patterns and routines, and A LOT of soul searching and prayer is daily helping me, but I know that I will never quite get it right. And I am okay with that now. Each day I have to remind myself that all of THIS is about Him, loving Him, knowing Him, needing Him.

"So serve. By all means serve. But don't do it from behind a martyr's mask of duty or self-righteous obligation. By faith, believe that you are free to do it from a place of total and complete acceptance by the only One who is extraordinary."

Momma Day By Day

I am reading and writing through
Emily P. Freeman's book Grace For the Good Girl with Momma Day by Day and some other brave recovering good girls as we delve into our "good girl" tendencies and share our journeys in {RE}discovering His grace, His heart. This post is a reflection of chapters 4 and 5.

Read more about my journey through Grace for the Good Girl....


Christina Gilliland said... Best Blogger Tips

I hope you realize how much depth you have to your words now, that you have been and are going through the fire. Don't be afraid to speak about your struggles for truth and honesty often brings great freedom for you and for others. I totally understand the tendency to "be fine" for it is something I have to struggle with as well. I don't want to be needy and be the friend that is always falling apart. So, I don't get people asking me how I really know?

There is nothing more powerful than honesty and authenticity! Sending love your way!

Meredith said... Best Blogger Tips

This is wonderful.
And this book... wow.
It is shining a light into some places in my heart and it. . . HURTS.

I know it's a good hurt, but right now it doesn't feel like it!

Annie | said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, the fine.  I know.  I keep reverting back to it like it's my factory setting. I hear you, Lindsey. Thanks for, again, opening your heart here.

Katy said... Best Blogger Tips

the pleasing and trusting god part has me going UGH. i am so the girl trying so desperately to be "enough" and yet feeling like my enough is never enough or too much.  I don't know. It's rough.  But then it's like the friend part's like yes, let people in, but then it's that sad part that sometimes you pull back to see who really is your friend because there are non-relationships...there are people who only love you while you're around or want to use you when it's convenient and don't want to really know you.  hmph. i should probably buy this book and read it...

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, sweet friend, for the constant encouragement!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

SO MUCH! Still working through it...but it is good!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes. Friend. Yes.
Thank you, as always, for the encouragement.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Have you had a chance to get his book yet? I think it will encourage you in so many ways.  The process of giving, loving, trusting, surrendering to God, to's definitely organic, a constant work in motion....if you ever want to chat more in depth. Let's e-mail sometime.

Alecia said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm reading through the book as well, and so many of the things you said resonated with me as well. I'm hoping and praying that through this book I will once and for all be able to put away the masks and fully accept who I am. Fear is such a thorn in my flesh!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

It continues to amaze me how many women struggle with these same battles. Thankful to Emily for writing a book such as this to bring so many of us together for healing and breakthrough. Fear is also my enemy too....ugly, sneaky, lurking around every corner. Glad to "discover" you on this journey with me!

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