Between running Good Women Project and writing here on my blog, I get to share and hear so many stories. Sometimes women ask questions, and sometimes I have the answers. And sometimes I just need to bookmark incredible things that I want to be shared with everyone.
And with that introduction, I'd love for you to bookmark asklauren.tumblr.com or follow me if you're on Tumblr.
Today I answered an anonymous question that I wanted to post here:
"Lauren - - I love reading the posts on your blog as well as The Good Women Project. I was wondering if you could touch on this term "good" in a little more detail. What does "good" mean for women who see themselves outside the landscape of purity? I've read some comments recently on posts that seem to see this word as isolating and judgmental - - for example, that somehow if they have had premarital sex they must not be "good women." Any thoughts?"
Answer: Ooo my heart. A year and a half ago I was out behind a post-hardcore/metal venue with a dozen sweaty musicians praying over me as I stood in shock while my world imploded on me. It was one of those moments where time stops and you try to figure out how you ended up here. Needing this. In that moment, I realized that I no longer had any hope for being good. I no longer saw myself as good. And no one else did either. I had finally achieved what a sick part of me had always wanted - to be just like everyone else.
And I had lost all respect for myself.
I grew up as “the good girl.” And yes, you are right. The traditional definition of ‘good girl’ as defined by the church alludes primarily to her purity. Which I no longer had. When I lost ‘my purity’ (I’d argue can happen without physically having sex - but in a mental/emotional capacity), I still wanted to be the good girl, but I lost a lot of respect for myself. I also was having an inner battle: The kind of good that I had grown up being was not the kind of good I wanted to be. The old kind of good came from following the rules, and I failed. I needed a kind of good that came from love, that gave life and not death.
I was somewhere between a girl and a woman, and I knew for a fact I was no longer a girl, but I could in no way call myself a good woman. And I had no idea what even defined a good woman. I just knew I wasn’t it. But it’s interesting that even Jesus stood up against a man who asked Him how to be good. Jesus said, “Why do you call me good?! No one is good, only God alone.” (Luke 18:19)
“Good” is not a condition that is defined or un-defined by your past, your history, your church attendance, your appearance, or even your current sex life. I have learned that “good” is the position of your heart towards Jesus and your future, and in turn is the actual condition of your heart. We can live life with or without Jesus, and apart from him, we have no hope of ever being good - because He himself is our Righteousness. (II Corinthians 5:21)
”Good” is a woman who admits that she cannot be good on her own, so she pursues Jesus, because through him her life is redeemed and she finds life and love. ”Good” is choosing to believe you have value because Jesus said you do. “Good” is having hope in your future again because God makes all things new, and gives every minute, intricate detail of your past a purpose again. “Good” is learning to start over again and hold God’s hand while you walk and strive to understand the purpose of his commands while you obey them with his help.
In that moment behind the venue, I desperately wanted to be a good woman.
And in all humility, a year and a half later, I can say that I am. Not because I no longer make mistakes, but because I’ve given the whole of my heart and life over to Jesus again. Not because I am the poster child for a Perfect Woman or Perfect Wife, but because I have dug my heels in and allowed God to define my value, my worth and my future. And I’ve fought to keep the position of my heart turned towards Jesus and my future.
I am good again because I’ve started trying again, and trying with the right Person.