Friday, 10 February 2012

Grace for the Good Girl

I was born a Good Girl. I was raised in a Christian household, the oldest child, academically inclined, a dedicated Christian, never went through that "teenage rebellion" stage, worked with the family, getting a college education--that's me. I'm always striving for perfection, to do everything "right". What does "right" mean, exactly? It means the absolute best I can do, and more than that. All my life I've gone through a punishing cycle of longing to be good enough and then failing my own wildly outrageous expectations. If my essay is given a grade of 97% I tend to think, what about the other 3%? If I pray for 5 minutes I tend to think, shouldn't I pray for 10? My life is dominated by ratios and statistics and scores and rates. I'm not really negative, just driven. And I always thought that was a good thing.

Are you like a Good Girl?

Emily P. Freeman, author of Grace for the Good Girl, opened my eyes to a world where I don't have to strive for Jesus' approval, or my family's and friends' approval, or my own approval. I am a Good Girl because of Christ's redeeming blood, not because I earn high grades, or pray a lot, or witness to thousands, or always wear a smile. I am a daughter of the King because of who He is, not because of who I am.

It's such a simple concept--one that I've heard in a variety of contexts for years--but Emily brings it all home with stories and examples from her own life and the lives of other women that make me cry tears of identification and beautiful relief. I'm not alone! I'm not the only girl who's longed to be good enough and can never, never, never be good enough. I'm only halfway through Grace for the Good Girl right now, but I'm consuming every page with avid eagerness, waiting to discover more secrets about myself that I never guessed (and there are many), learning from the mistakes and heartaches of women who have walked the path I'm walking to its bitter, galling end.

It's a book that might very well change my life.

The life of a Good Girl is all about her Mask: the thing that hides all of her insecurities and guilt and substitutes a lovely facade which everyone looks at and says, "Wow, what a beautiful girl!" We love our Masks because they protect us, but they scare us because we know what will happen if they drop away--everyone will see us for what we truly are

There are many different flavors of Good Girl. Maybe you don't strive for academic perfection, but your Mask is a good reputation that you would do anything to protect. Are you always hiding behind the "I'm fine" response, constantly wearing a smile and hoping that no one realizes that you're being ripped apart inside? Perhaps you're like the biblical Martha, hiding behind your acts of service, working and working and working for acceptance. Perhaps you're a rule follower who hides behind spiritual disciplines, doing all the right things in the right order and coming up empty from the well of eternal life. Do you hide behind a Mask of strength and responsibility? Perhaps you would do anything to please the people you love--even deny yourself an opinion and personality of your own--or you might identify with the older brother in the story of the prodigal son (that's me!) and feel sharp, grating anger when you don't get rewarded for your hard work and the undeserving get their socks blessed off.

These are just a few symptoms of "Good Girl-ness". They will eventually lead you and me to a place of self-sufficient hardness, pride, ingratitude, and crushing inadequacy. Can it be cured? Emily is teaching me how to receive, remainrespond, and remember the amazing grace of Christ. He does have grace--even for Good Girls. 

I can't wait to finish this book, and I hope that if you see any resemblance to yourself in the descriptions above that you will snap it up as soon as possible (it's $11.19 on Amazon). Watch the video below and hear from other women who have realized the pitfalls of their Good Girl-ness...and lived to tell about it.

For a more complete review, see

My name is Abigail Rogers, and I'm a good girl.


  1. Great review! Thanks for sharing the link! I added it to the list on my blog. :)

  2. I bought it weeks ago and have been dying to start it. I just know it will be slow going because I'm pretty sure every single word Emily wrote will be just for ME.

  3. Thanks for sharing! This is a book that's going on my "soon-to-be-bought wishlist"! :)

    1. That's fantastic, Cosette! I'm rereading it now and it's just as impacting the second time around.


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