Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Just NOT Fair!

I had a thing about fairness when I was a kid.
I guess a lot of kids do, but mine was sort of ultra.
If my sister and I did something wrong, we had to be punished THE SAME.
If there was candy to be divided you could count on me to be equal.
Even now as an adult, this mantra of "Fair. Fair.....fair, fair, fair." constantly resounds in my head. I can see it in how I relate to my husband.
"I picked the restaurant last time so now it's your turn." or even when I am unfair, "Sorry that I am being unfair, I'm a're a boy...that's the way that it is." {Amazing that THAT one actually works at times!}

But seriously.....

I think, as a good girl, I truly believed in my heart that if I did the right things, if I spoke the right words, if I loved the right way.....well....hard work, good manners, right thinking, kind words should be given more merit, more rewards, more accolades than those who do NOT do "the right thing," right?

And I know that God's grace is the answer.
I know that it is by faith alone that we are saved.

"It is a gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast."
Ephesians 2:9

I know these things. I believe them. I have taught them to others. I have prayed them over my life and over my disciples, family, friends. But somehow, when I am honest, I want my "goodness" to count for something.

"In the safety of isolation, I take off that mask of good performance, hang it up for the night, and dare to ask the Lord why the rebels and the renegades get the parties. Why do the prodigal daughters get the glory? Where is my fattened calf? I begin to question if I can ever experience the full measure of God's grace since my stores are so straight laced. Then, Shame chooses that moment to walk in and reintroduce herself, smiling as she sits on the corner of my bed with her I told you so and her sarcastic You're not so good after all. I am forced to agree with her. I'm not so good after all. I have issues. I still believe the crazy lie that God's acceptance of me is based on my performance. I'm still living in a small story that is all about me. That is the raw of it, straight from my ugly." ~Emily P. Freeman

Emily goes on to describe the story in the Bible of the prodigal son, the father, and the older brother and how as the good girl, she relates to and feels for the older brother.

"Good girls think there should be consequences for the actions of the prodigal, not a party."

A husband and a happy ending for the girl who saved herself for marriage, not the promiscuous girl.
The fulfilling dream job for the woman who has labored in tough positions for years, not the one who just got there by a fluke.
And here's the one that really hit home for me:

"There should be a baby for the couple who have faithfully prayed to get pregnant, not for the sixteen-year-old girl who had miserable sex one time with her boyfriend."

Ouch. I have felt that way.
Looked Over.
Cast Aside.

"We hide behind this mask of indifference, pretending it doesn't bother us, because the only alternative is to face the source of the anger and what we are afraid to admit we believe: How can he choose to reward them and ignore me?"

The fairness quality in me rose up with a mighty vengeance about a year and a half into the journey of trying to conceive. Teenage girls were getting pregnant. Women who were unmarried and living life the way they pleased were getting pregnant. Friends were on their second and third pregnancies. Women who had barely been Christians for two minutes were getting pregnant. And even today, almost 4 years later, it is still hard.

It seems so easy for some people.
No waiting. No trials. No testing. No "character" growth.
Just badda-bing-badda-boom.

Something that the Lord has begun to reveal to the little, LIFE-MUST-BE-FAIR, good girl inside of me is this -- we all struggle with something. Life is never just "easy," without experiences that stretch our hearts, our sanity, our faith.

Maybe it is being single well into adulthood, lack of finances, issues with health, strain in relationships, marital problems, or infertility. Either way, we all battle with the loss of dreams or feel frustrated in God's timing or wondering why our "good works" are not paying off.

And the bottom line is whether you relate to the prodigal's journey or the older brother's frustration, they both had one thing in common: the love of the father AND the NEED for that love.

Because even the older brother needed to see himself as the prodigal....
"If he had come to his father in the same way the prodigal had, he would have experienced the same love and acceptance every time. The beautiful, redemptive truth is, I am free to identify with the Father, the one who offered unconditional love and acceptance to both sons."

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.
~Steven Curtis Chapman

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 8 and 9, mostly chapter nine.

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


Jenn said... Best Blogger Tips

Sounds like a good book. I'm a "fair" girl too…in a seriously unfair world.

It's so hard sometimes to struggle through what we go through, what other have to go through and then the things unseen.

Thank you for sharing your struggle, I'm sure it's not easy, but there is hope in realizing that we are all struggling with different things, in seeing people's realness it gives us permission to show ours.

alwaysalleluia said... Best Blogger Tips

Lindsey. This was beautifully honest. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this part of you, we have so many similarities..... (((hugs)))stand and prayers for you as God unravels the good girl in you, and weaves you anew...

Dana Adams said... Best Blogger Tips

I am so proud of you. What a privilege to have been your teacher. Keep writing. I will be following with great interest. :) 

Katy said... Best Blogger Tips

it's so so very not fair. and you know what i think i dislike even more? is that sometimes the older brother even when he does ask and goes to the Father with a humble heart...sometimes he still doesn't get what he asks for...for whatever reason. i think that's the hardest part to be saying God is still good even then. 

Charissa McPherson said... Best Blogger Tips

thanks for sharing your heart us all encourage to embrace God's timing and grace...

Meredith said... Best Blogger Tips

I understand.
I am throwing my hands up at him for different reasons...
But the cry of my heart has been the same.

Together, sweet friend, we can walk boldly to the throne of grace, knowing that all circumstances in our lives are serving a purpose... and that the master designer of ALL is in control... and our job is to simply yield... to simply trust.

But my boldy walking is sometimes more like limping... lately more like crawling . . .

Grateful for you.
Praying for you.

Angie Neal said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh Lindsey! I loved this so much. I can relate to the fairness and good girl syndrome. I have not had the same struggles but our journey's sound eerily similar. This was just so perfect. I actually thought yesterday about you and how unfair this struggle is for you, and I prayed. I will continue to pray. Sending you much love!

Angie Neal said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, and I have always hated the prodigal son story! I never understood it until the day I realized I was the older brother. And I am still trying to understand ;)

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, Jenn! You are right in how the sharing of our journeys, both the ups and the downs, encourage us that we are not alone. Thank you for sharing here....

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, friend. Knowing that we are alike, makes me NOT feel alone.  Thank you so much...

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, Mrs. Adams! That means so much to me!! I really take your encouragement to were and will always be one of my favorite teachers!!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

So much truth in that. In the heartbreak. I think what I glean from those moments was that whether the timing in ours {the older brother's} or in His...the heart of the Father was for THE BEST for both of his children. That is what I hold onto, even when my heart it breaking.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes! Yes! and Amen.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Mhmmm...the crawl of grace...the limp of are inspiring me....that is how it often feels to me!

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh, girl...different circumstances; same pal, James used to say. Thank you for thinking of me and for your prayers. It helps. Truly it does.

lindseyfoj said... Best Blogger Tips

Our pastors in South Africa did a study on it while we were there and it really opened my eyes a lot. SO GOOD!

Related Posts with Thumbnails