Monday, September 24, 2012

Nice girls don't change the world.

I was always the nice girl. Obedient, polite, acceptable. (As acceptable as picking you nose in a photograph can be anyways.) I had the ability to make people happy and keep them happy. I was caring and considerate. A very nice girl. But was I happy with myself? I surely didn't want to be the opposite of a nice girl:
A bad girl?
A naughty girl? 
A mean girl? 
No, that's not what I wanted. So, nice girl I was.
I chased after other people's love and affection. I chased after God's love and affection. But you can only seek love and affection for so long. I reached the end of my rope. I was exhausted. I was no longer able to keep everyone happy. And I surely wasn't happy myself. Other people's lives, dreams, and purposes had become my own. And I wasn't fighting for what I loved anymore. It became easy for me to talk about the lives of my loved ones, the problems they experienced, the successes they had. But forbid it that I should speak about my own needs and triumphs. I was closed off and making motions of a life lived by a very, very nice girl. 
But this nice girl, hid who she was from the people around her. She smothered her gifts and talents, and embraced the gifts and passions of the people around her. She held back who she was. Who she was created to be to impress and bring joy to the people she was surrounded by. 

I sat down in a coffee shop. Broken. Alone and lonely. In my purse, I had a book I found in my room that morning called, "Nice girls don't change the world." (A book that had been collecting dust for years in my closet.)
I picked it up and as I read the pages, the book said nearly word for word what I was feeling.
Worn out. Living the dreams of those around me. Impressing and making people happy. But not feeling full myself.
I closed the book in tears realizing that:

Nice girls don’t change the world.
((Good women change the world, DANGEROUS WOMEN.))

Trading the safe, passive, people pleasing behavior of niceness for the DYNAMIC POWER of true goodness. 
Moving from weakness and immaturity of girlhood into the strength and maturity of womanhood. 
Instead of being founded in weakness and powerlessness a WOMAN acknowledges & accepts HER POWER to change, to grow, and to be a force for good in the world.

A good woman discerns and lives out the will of God in her life. A nice girl lives for the will of others. (Pleasing others, making others happy, LIVING IN FEAR)
A good woman lives according to conviction.
A good woman understands that she is loved as an individual. 

That her personality, gifts, passions, dreams & unique life matter to God.
(And, doing what makes you feel alive IS OKAY.)

A good woman embraces the world changing power and passion of TRUE goodness.

Becoming a good woman comes from LETTING GO. From emptying herself of the things holding her back. From releasing lies. From quiet resting in God’s love daily. 
(Not chasing after God’s affection and love, but rest knowing IT’S HERE.)

This love calls her to compassionate action in the world. This is a radically different way to do ministry. It’s a ministry that flows from fullness + JOY + gratitude for life.

It’s a ministry of WORSHIP. A response to what God has done for us.

Nice girls don’t ask for help. They don’t want to inconvenience other people. So they don’t honor their own needs, desires and dreams. 

Good women realize that their needs and desires MATTER. 
And it’s okay to not be okay. To ask for help. To be fought for.

Good women know that God has given them a unique perspective and WORTHY dreams. He has given (bold) words and influence to use for good. 
Nice girls DON’T USE THEM. They don’t move. They don’t show up. They don’t value what they have to offer enough to actually offer it.

Don’t allow who you truly are to be lost, buried, or devalued.
Truly you- That’s what matters

You have a unique perspective that NO ONE else has. A unique way to CHANGE THE WORLD.

A good woman does not let FEAR stop her. 
A good woman sings her song even when she is terrified, even when she is trembling and her voice is cracking. She SINGS.

Whatever she is called to do. SHE DOES IT. She doesn’t let fear stop her.

A good woman knows God will guide her. But she also knows to be prepared.
TO GET READY. To learn, to grow, to be stretched, to get ready for ADVENTURE.

“If you weren’t afraid, would you go?” THEN GO. TRUST HIM. DON’T LET FEAR STOP YOU.
God is shouting, “My perfect love casts out fear!”

Fear defines a nice girl. Ignore the fear. 
Fear hides truth. Fear magnifies weakness.

My God specializes in using people as flawed as me.

A good woman understands that disappointing people by not being good enough is infinitely better than disappointing God by not being brave enough. 

The Spirit of God did not give us a spirit of FEAR&TIMIDITY, but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE, and of SELF-DISCIPLINE. 

Be strong and courageous because you will lead. Be strong and very courageous and meditate on the word of the Lord day and night.Be strong and courageous - DO NOT be terrified. DO NOT be discouraged. God is with you wherever you go.

A good woman is done watching. She is DOING.

She knows she needs and DESERVES a honest community of people to pour into her and for her to pout into.

Never doubt that a thoughtful, committed WOMAN filled with the power and love of God, using gifts she has identified and developed and pursuing passions planted by the KING will not change the world.

This woman is a world changer. I am a world changer.

So, the opposite of a nice girl. Is a downright DANGEROUS woman.

Who shows up with everything she is and joins the battle against whatever opposes the redeeming work of God’s love in our lives and our world. 
A dangerous woman delves deeply into the truth of who she is. Grounds herself daily in the healing and empowering love of God and radically engages with the needs of people.

I am not a nice girl, I am a radically, dangerous woman of God.