I'm Not That Girl

10:38 PM

My mother told me that writing for a well-trafficked website on such controversial issues as stay-at-home motherhood and daughters happy in their homes was like stepping from the minor league to the major. I was playing with the big boys now, so to speak, on a field inhabited by active anonymous commenters and nitpickers who didn't understand what the word "context" meant, as well as my own cheer squad of likeminded ladies of all ages and stages. I really don't have anything to complain of - I still have an intact (though picked on) character, I haven't got anything too nasty and the camaraderie is greater than the opposition. I'm no martyr and I don't pretend to be.

Still, watching people dissect your wit to unfunny conclusions, listening to them criticize your parents, seeing people discuss your intentions and family life (both good and bad) - it's surreal. And I can't help feeling a bit sorry for myself.

The conclusions are alternately flattering and ridiculous. People assume that because I can write a witty article that I am wise. Far from it - except by God's grace on occasion. People assume that because I have radical ideas that I am entrapped in a certain belief system somehow foreign to "normal" Christianity - that I'm on a slippery slope to legalism or manipulation or worse.

I deserve neither such praise nor such censure.

I'm just one sixteen-year-old girl. I talk, but there's not much to that. I write, but anyone with thirty minutes and a good idea can do that. I am not worthy of anybody's emulation. There are no tricks up my sleeve. I have no agenda, other than to speak my convictions. I am the puppet of no one.

Neither am I worthy of the sweet comments, praises and respect expressed so graciously by godly ladies and sisters in Christ. I am nothing but a sinner with good intentions and a God greater than them. I am no heroine for Christ. I mess up. I struggle so much. I am not strong in my beliefs. I cry often and hard. I wander constantly, to the point where "Bailey, you blessed me today" becomes a punishment to my wayward spirit.

Somewhere out there, there may be a girl who practices what she preaches perfectly, whose homemaking skills are impeccable, her character blameless, her lifestyle a living testimony to God.

I am not that girl.

I don't wish to be labelled as a voice in a stay-at-home daughter movement. I'll pass on that label altogether, actually. I'm just one redeemed sinner seeking to live according to God's word. I'm a Christian first and foremost - and what I believe on salvation and my God is more dear to my heart than opinions on college education and jobs for women.

What I want to make perfectly clear through my life and, by extension, my blogosphere front is that Christ is supreme. Even if we strongly disagree on whether daughters should stay home until marriage or whether a mom can work, I don't want to walk away without making it perfectly clear that I will die on one hill only - Christ and His saving work.

That is the focal point of my entire existence.

I won't stop talking about my home, my life and my unique purpose I am called to. But I mean to start no revolution, further no movement, set up no perfect role model for any daughter out there. Someone more worthy and capable is welcome to take that job. I will willingly follow her.

What I will do? I will pour out my heart to you until there is nothing left to give. I will learn with you and laugh with you and love with you. I will walk with you - if you walk with me, side by side. For God's glory.

I'm just a girl with a great God, and I copy down what He writes upon my heart. Nothing more, nothing less. I am not perfect.

I am not that girl.

I'm Bailey, and I can be no more.

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11 impressions

  1. *HUGS* Bailey, thanks for this post. I think you probably know by now, especially from my recent email, that these are very much my feelings. It's terrible to think, when you look back on a day filled with sin and stumbling, that admiring girls are reading words you wrote about this or that.
    It's almost scary how much we think alike sometimes ;)

    My favorite part of your post - "I won't stop talking about my home, my life and my unique purpose I am called to. But I mean to start no revolution, further no movement, set up no perfect role model for any daughter out there."

    Just my thoughts.. :)

    ~Elissa

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  2. I still love you. God puts inspirations into people's lives. I believe He put you in my life to let me know that I'm not alone and that I'm not a freak. :)

    Samantha

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  3. As a single mom, I am someone from a COMPLETELY different walk of life, but I am extremely encouraged by your posts. "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me." Matthew 5:11. Your posts are not radical, they are not foreign, they are truth, and that is offensive. The Gospel is offensive. I may not always agree with something that you say, but I find that normally it is my pride, and God is using you and your words and your boldness to hold true to His word, to humble me. Regardless of the content, the context or the controversy of your posts, it is your servants heart that I find most encouraging. Thank you for the way you faithfully serve Him.

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  4. Spoken like a true Eliza Bennett
    soul mate! haha
    You go girl, and keep it up. (ANd you are very wrong on one count at least...that just anyone with time and will could write like this...slanderous humbleness.)And intelligence is dripping from every thoroughly stated sentence. (YOu don't have to be brilliant at every subject to still be brilliant...and obviously a born leader. Just like you don't have to be perfect at perfectness to still be ahead in your personal 'race'. (hope that makes sense) I say all this, not to flatter, but feel compelled to add my voice, or at least...words, to the group that tries to get you ready to know just what you are capable of in the 'real world' out there. Its not just morals, faith, goodness, that you are head and shoulders above so many in the world, just so you know. AND..I love seeing the comments from your friends and know there are more like you out there! Yay God!

    Sorry not to speak to the issue, I think it all comes out in the wash.

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  5. This is such a wonderful post, Bailey. And, trust me, none of us are the perfect stay-at-home daughters! Your humility is so refreshing... and, take it from a big sister in Christ, you're doing a great job with this blog! No revolution is needed... just keep sharing your heart as Christ leads you and teaches you!

    God bless!
    Rachel

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  6. Thanks for being so open and honest, Bailey. I don't intend to make you feel bad or anything, but this post has blessed me.

    It is a great encouragement when one reads of a sister in Christ experiencing the same thoughts and struggles. I know that I am such a sinner. I have bad thoughts. I say the wrong things. Others will sometimes make similar comments to me about me having blessed them and I cringe. Because they don't know me like I know me. I just thank God for His amazing grace. :)

    Thanks again. *hugs*

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  7. Hi Bailey
    (I'm pressed for time so this is shorter than I'd like it to be, but important never the less!)

    I stumbled on your 'Raising Homemakers' post and then your blog - and from far across the world, I thank God for you. You have encouraged me endlessly in the few days I have been browsing your blog: the clarity with which you write, your intellect, your wit, the evidence in your life that homeschooled students can be just as 'çlever' as mainstream students. I'm not easily taken in, and I see that it is not all due to homeschooling, but to Christ alive and well in your heart - guard that youthful zeal Bailey. I'm embarking on that journey with my three children, having been a high school teacher.

    My hope is that I will parent my children and give them a homeschool education (in God's grace) that they may stand true and firm in their faith like you do. I honour your parents - call them over to the screen and tell them that this little Zimbabwean voice presently in South Africa praises them for how they have parented you - how God has used them to parent you, to allow you to be all that you can be.

    I'll be popping over regularly now - be blessed... and Bailey? Write your heart out girl!

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  8. Bailey! Thank you for writing this. You expressed perfectly something that has been on my mind for a while now, but I didn't know how to put it into words. Awesome.

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  9. We know you're not perfect, Lee. None of us is. We also know you're not a genius (I think we do, anyway!). But we know you're honest. Open. Discerning. And you have the guts and the words to write things clearly and boldly that others of us only think and wish we could explain. For that, I flatter you.

    And for shining Christ's light.

    Love,
    Allison

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  10. *gives free chocolate chip cookie and a hug*

    True grit, m'dear, being able to write a post like that...

    I'm so glad you the Lord has been able to use you to inspire and bless people - whether you think you're perfect or not. ;) No one is, anyhow...

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  11. Dear Bailey,
    Thank you for your honesty. Of course I always knew you were human *wink*, but the fact that you admit it so humbly is truly admirable. Sometimes I feel like other girls whose blogs I read have got it all together (unlike me!)...even though I know it isn't true. It's really refreshing to see you openly saying that you aren't perfect!
    Well, it felt kind of funny to say that. Now let me tell you what an awesome writer I think you are! You have a real gift; your writing is clear, concise, and meaningful. The things you write about are often very relevant in my life, and I am especially gratified to know that there are other girls going through the same struggles that I am. It makes me feel less lonely. =)
    Thank you, Bailey!
    I appreciate, also, that you are a grammar geek. It makes everything you write so much more pleasant to read. It also makes you sound much more mature. I've seen many comments (on blogs) by teenagers, and the poor spelling and bad punctuation makes me shudder. When people's grammar becomes THAT bad...it's painful to read.
    I should say here that I DON'T pretend to always be grammatically correct! At least I do try. ;-)
    Anyway, thank you again! You do a very good job, and your humility is wonderful to see. =)

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Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)