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I pride myself in being an open and fairly transparent person, but this book called me out. Called me out of hiding. I have yet to completely respond to that call, but at least I know now that I have a protective veil, a mask, that I have constructed to protect and try to keep me safe...and it needs to come off. There is a part of me that does not trust, that does not want to yield fully, so I keep the veil on for perceived safety.
In this candid confessional and authentic exhortation, Emily helps "good girls" identify areas in which they hide behind, like: good performance, spiritual disciplines, strength and responsibility, etc. She identifies the problems we face and then clearly points us to the One who can find us and can set us free. I underlined a lot in this book. It is a type of manual for this "try hard" girl who strives to "do" and isn't sure how to just "be".
I was fortunate to have opportunity to hear Emily speak at the 2010 She Speaks Conference. Emily is a rare gem and her writing will provide you with comfort and inspiration. I recommend you check out her blog "Chatting at the Sky".
For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, you'll know that while I mostly read YA I also branch out at times. I am Christian, so once in a while those books include Christian fiction or non-fiction books. Grace for the Good Girl is a Christian non-fiction book.
Words completely fail me for this book. I have no clue how to convey to those of you who may be interested in this book, exactly what it means to me. I will say that when I was only halfway through the book that I went onto Amazon and ordered eleven more copies. ELEVEN. Why would I want eleven more copies of a book I already have? Because I couldn't count 6 people off the top of my head who I felt would love this as much as I love it. And it's the kind of book I want to have extra copies on hand, just in case I come across other people who are interested in it. And by the time the books arrived, I already knew of two other people who I was going to give copies too. THAT'S HOW MUCH I LOVE IT.
Maybe this book just came to me at the right time. Because I can tell you, I needed to hear what Emily had to share. I needed reminders of the promises God has given to us in the Bible. And I needed someone to meet me head-on and be honest with me; it's okay to be scared. It's okay to not have everything put together all neatly. Frankly, it's okay to be a bit of a mess. And I don't have to be pretend to be perfect because everything will be okay.
Well, thank goodness. If you're like me, you need to hear this. In between all of the school work and house work and relationships with those I care about and church involvement and professional school applications... well what else is there? And what if I don't measure up? Emily has something to share with us then:
That's okay. You don't have to all of this on your own.
And that's where I breathe a loud, exhaustive sigh of relief.
This book isn't going to be for everyone; but when it comes to those of Christian faith, I think it is going to have widespread appeal. Emily is so honest and encouraging, and it's perfect for those "normal" people who don't have anything drastic or exciting to share in their testimony. And for those who might have something a little more unique in their story? Well, it's for you too. I know it was definitely for me. And if only one person finds this book and decides to read it and finds something uplifting in it... well, then my job is done. I'm satisfied.
In fact, I'm going to pick it up and read it all over again. One chapter at a time, just the way I read through it before. I want to answer every question, I want to commit verses shared to memory because the last thing I want to do is finish reading this, put it on my shelf, walk away and forget.
I can't thank Emily enough for being the messenger and having the bravery to write this. And thank you so much to Graf-Martin for providing me with a review copy. This one's a winner.
Break out the road maps, find a place to go with your girlfriends and get together for a weekend. Challenge each other and open up to each other. Break through those masks! Curl on a sofa infront of a fireplace or a beach with this book, friends like sisters, and some hot chocolate. You won't regret it.