I'm Not That Girl10:38 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.