“I taught people around me that I had no needsand then I was secretly angry with them for believing me.”This seems to be a problem for “good girls.”We work hard, we meet needs, we do the job in front of us, and we do it well.We do it with eager hands and a smile, or we try to, and when we don’t feel like smiling we smile anyway. …We are the responsible ones, the strong ones, the ones people come to with their problems. We like this reputation. We love living up to this expectation. We love encouraging, helping, and coming through in a pinch.We love making peace, putting people at ease, and lifting burdens.We hate the opposite.We don’t want to be involved in conflict.We don’t want people to be uncomfortable or angry or upset about anything. We make peace at all costs.We especially don’t want people to feel angry or upset at us, so we morph like amoebas to avoid others’ unhappiness.We don’t like seeing people with burdens that we can’t lift. We pile them on our shoulders. (oh SO me)We don’t like to add to anyone’s burdens. We pretend we have none of our own.Ever.We’re fine.And we’d really like to be fine. We are trying very hard to be fine. We don’t mean to be dishonest… we hope if we pretend to be fine for just a little longer, we really will be fine.When we are alone in the dark, we might whisper a prayer to God for help, but if He tries to provide help by sending us an actual person for us to lean on, forget it…We don’t want to be a burden. (oh how my heart resonates with this. Such a lie that I’ve believed, that if needing help in any way is something I should try to take care of myself…after all I wouldn’t want to put anything out into someone else’s life, especially with the burden’s they are already bearing. Its so hard and impossible to try to carry it on my own.)So we hide. We wear masks. We ache. (its exhausting)We get angry when people don’t realize it, when they believe the masks we wear.But we don’t know how to take the masks off. (I often ask if I could ever even begin to imagine who I really am, under the mask of ‘i’m okay’ and ‘I can do it on my own’…if I revealed me in all my vulnerability, would I still be okay with that? Or would the fear of being ‘too much’ for others still hold me tightly)If He were “in the room,” wouldn’t He just be standing shoulder to shoulder with that “good girl” in my head, that perfect version of myself that I never am? Wouldn’t He be standing there with His arms crossed, glaring at me like she does, telling me to do better, to try harder? Wouldn’t He take her side?No, He wouldn’t. And this makes all the difference.Jesus has compassion on us.He opens his hands to tired, tangled “good” girls, and invites us to just come. Rest. Receive.He sees through our masks right into all the ugliness, and still He says, come. (its way to easy to think that we are beyond his grace or love and forgiveness, and yet because of His grace and his love we are saved, we are made clean…we can’t and don’t deserve it. THAT is the beauty and mystery of grace.)He takes our failures, our Fs, and our sins and buried them deep in His wounds. (that idea totally hits my heart…every wound of the nail, every time it hit harder, tearing flesh, seeping blood, every sin was magnified in that…and laid upon his shoulders…and it was PAID in fullness. we can not even begin to understand this wrath…and yet so often we turn away from this love and full payment)He gives us His own robe of righteousness to wear, and He gives us His A +.Our stubborn insistence to do it all on our own, in our way, on our strength, begins to be washed away in the flood of His love.We learn to receive love from Him and from others, and we receive so much more than we give. (this being surrendered to Him and to the love He wishes to bestow on us is SOOO hard when you have tried to believe for so long that you’ve got it all together. I need to be reminded that He is not decieved….he KNOWS that I am sinful, fallen and not totally together and yet…He still reaches so deep into my heart to share this love)It comes down in a shower of grace, and we are refreshed.