We good Christian girls are doomed to live in the messes of our own making, because we know better. Deserving of our doom – yes, this is our self-judgment. And so there is no choice but to buckle down and bear it, to accept our lot, all the while denying our deep suffering for fear the truth will bring us shame.
Better to soldier on than face the shame.
Choices have consequences, and we have no one to blame but ourselves for our imperfect choices. Thus, we bear the responsibility of the imperfect consequences.
We adjust. Expectations, the deep desires of our hearts – all adjusted to fit our present circumstances so we don’t feel the discrepancy. We cannot feel the discrepancy, for then we would feel our failure, and our Father’s disappointment, and there is nothing worse.
If we let ourselves feel the pain, we make sure the pronouncement of our deserving it is quick to follow.
And this, this we turn into our twisted sacrifice, our cross to bear. We have failed – failed ourselves, our family, our God, and the sense of it smolders. It smolders and smothers and we think we are dying to self.
We could not be more wrong.
Self could not be more alive.
We have failed, but not in the way we first thought. We have failed to grasp grace.
This sense that we deserve it? Deserve to lie crippled in these beds we have made because these are the rules? One. big. lie.
Oh, if we are talking about the way the world works, the way human nature works, the way the Law works, we are correct.
Correct, but not right.
For the right way has been shown by God, and it is not our way.
God is most correct to condemn us. But we good Christian girls get stuck here. And what’s worse, we stay and build our lives here.
God’s rightness was shown in Jesus on the cross, taking full responsibility for every imperfect choice and the consequences thereof, even those made by good Christian girls who tell themselves they should have known better.
And our smoldering heaps of disappointed martyrdom? Just another disguise for self-righteousness. Just another way we try to prove ourselves to God.
So afraid of shame, we forfeit our freedom.
So afraid to hope, we dare not pray.
Our sacrifices are not enough, and never will be. Our silent suffering will never atone for our shortcomings.
Oh, come to the cross and bury your damnation in His death! Throw your failures onto His finished work and be free! Receive freely what you’ve been trying to deserve all along – grace.
There is grace for the good girls who do not feel good enough. We don’t need to feel good enough, but we can be made right. Right here, right now.
All our disappointments, self-doubt, and despair – finished. All our suffocating striving and self-made shackles – finished. All our fear of failure and faithlessness – finished.
Let go and live.
Live out of His love and let fear be cast out.
Live out of His delight and let the desires of your heart come to life again.
Live out of His faithfulness and let faith arise.
Let go of the mess and see yet what God may make of it. Rise out of that bed and walk. Restoration . . . healing . . . hope – no, not what you deserve, but what God desires. This is the gospel, and it is for good Christian girls, too.