Hi. My name is Kate and I’m a recovering Good Girl.
For those of you out there not sure what a Good Girl is, substitute any of the following words or examples: perfectionist, perform-er, responsible, trustworthy, expert pretender, hard-worker, Martha (instead of Mary, from Luke 10:38-42). I want to do everything well. I don’t want you to see all my baggage, and I don’t want you to see me mess up. Actually, I don’t want to mess up, period – but if when I do, I certainly don’t want you to see it. I want to say yes to everything and over-commit myself. I view many a scenario through the lens of “what will you think of me?” I try hard to be…. fill in the blank: good enough, smart enough, skilled enough, whatever enough. If you’re still not sure what I mean, check out the book “Grace for the Good Girl” by Emily P. Freeman. That girl is blessed with a beautiful talent for words.
So, for all you Good Girls out there, just imagine my reaction when our worship coordinator Eddie Genao approached me this past summer about singing worship with him at Antioch21 Church. “You want me to what?!? You want me to sing in front of everyone?? I am not qualified. I don’t have what it takes.” I could hardly imagine something more vulnerable or exposing. “What if my voice cracks? What if I forget the words, what if I humiliate myself, what if its just not good??” What if, what if… The voice of the enemy was strong in my doubts and fears of what others would think. I told God “I can think of plenty of ways, I just know I’m going to mess this up. You better find someone else better equipped to be a good worshiper.”
Satan continued to scream out some lies to me – ones that are all too familiar to my Good Girl heart. First, that I am somehow bigger or more powerful than God. That I can thwart His plan or purpose and that the responsibility of God’s work weighs solely on my shoulders. That is far too much weight for one person to bear. But even deeper than the first, there was the fear that somehow my worship would not be acceptable to God. Worse, that I would not be acceptable to God. At the core, I fear that I have to be perfect to stand before God. As a Good Girl I am constantly measuring myself against God’s perfection, and am very aware of just how perfect I am NOT. The idea of singing worship to my perfect and holy God uprooted this anxiety that, despite Jesus’ sacrifice for me, I still somehow need to earn my way to God. And what if my brokenness and imperfection is repulsive to God? “He is going to reject you. You are not loved, you have no worth,” the enemy whispered.
But lets shed some light on the subject. Those thoughts of mine – all lies, the anxiety, and fear - not from God. Truth is, we have a God who is gracious, and merciful. He loves unconditionally. I am imperfect, sinful by nature, but I am redeemed, made new and complete through Christ’s death and resurrection. I stand before the Lord today and every day in worship whole and unblemished, and that is how I will stand before the Lord one day when I am reunited with Him forever. The joy and freedom that I have found is that worship is a glimpse of eternity. It is an opportunity to practice believing in God’s grace for me, in the wholeness and newness of life that I have as a new creation in Him. It is a chance to commune with my Heavenly Father. The conversation goes different depending on the night: sometimes I desire to tell Him how beautiful He is, to proclaim truth, or rejoice, basking in His goodness and glory. Sometimes I need to remind myself of the Gospel, or simply offer an honest cry from a wounded, broken heart. Sometimes I find that, through praising Him, my heart is actually changed to believe more deeply what I’m singing and increase my faith. I have learned that what matters most is not the perfection of the notes, chords, or rhythm, but how honest the heart of the worshiper and how holy and good the God we worship.
Praise the Lord that I didn’t listen to my doubts and fears when Eddie asked me to sing last summer. Because God has used the experience of worshipping at Antioch21 to speak truth into my heart, slowly pushing out lies that have lingered too long. How often are we content just believing lies? How often are we content sitting on the sidelines and missing or ignoring the call of our Father to draw nearer, to take the leap of faith to love Him and serve others IN our imperfection? How often are we content just enduring life, striving to get through each day, rather than living out of the joy and freedom we have because of our precious Jesus? Friends, be encouraged, for the His Word tells us this: “It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1