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Girl, Wash Your Face

I recently downloaded the audio version of “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. I hit play and listened with pleasant surprise, making a note to thank the friends who’d recommended it so enthusiastically.

Rachel Hollis tapped into something God has been speaking to me about for the last several years.

Over and over I have been hit with the message – it’s time to get up and DO SOMETHING. Cry your tears, sure. But then wash your face, get dressed, and get going. You have a job to do.

I believe very strongly that when something bad happens, we need to mourn. We need to sit down, cry, forget to take a shower or eat, wear our pajamas for too many days, and steep ourselves in our grief. It’s not right to expect someone to experience profound loss or sadness and not give them time to mourn, to reconsider their plans and expectations of life, and to thoroughly cry their tears. When we don’t give ourselves the gift of grief, we tend to get stuck in depression and anxiety. We tend to get sick physically, make poor choices, and can wind up in a worse situation than when we started. If you are sad, grieve. God is not offended when you acknowledge sadness. Give yourself a time period in which to wallow, then get up, wash your face, get dressed, and move on. I have told that to people over and over, and I have lived it myself.

For the first 14 months of Redmond’s life, I allowed myself to grieve. I absorbed the situation, tried to work through it in a healthy way, and allowed myself to cry all the tears I needed to cry.

Then a couple of months ago, I felt a new stirring in my soul. It was like God, who had been mourning with me and sitting right there through it all, stood up and tapped me on the shoulder. “It’s time to get up. You have things to do now.” I looked up, bleary eyed, and wobbled to my feet. As He steadied me, He pointed the way forward and started leading me. I held on for dear life, shaky from months of sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

After a few weeks of strengthening my degenerated muscles, I had a bad day. As I grumped around, feeling sorry for myself, God’s spirit rose up inside me. It’s time to make a list of goals! Quickly, my mind filled with ideas and goals. They’re audacious, and it’s questionable if they’re possible for me to achieve. I wrote them down anyway. I added a reasonable timeline to the goals. I added rewards for milestones achieved as I worked toward the ultimate goals. I built accountability in and made a list of tools I needed right away to achieve the goals. For the last six weeks, I’ve worked with the long-term goal in mind. I feel happy and accomplished already, just seeing preliminary results.

I was primed for this book, which says that it’s time to stop wallowing in sadness or guilt or shame or whatever, wash your face, and get going on what you’re called to do with your life. Big goals?Awesome! Don’t forget to take time to rest and refresh yourself, but get to work. God cannot use you to fulfill His purpose if you won’t leave the house.

My spirit pricked as I listened to her words. I laughed and cried, resonating with so much of what she wrote and revealed about her own life.

I’ve wrestled with the feeling that if God has called me to do something, He will make it happen. I just need to sit back and wait. There’s some truth to that belief, which I learned the hard way. Although I knew my calling very early on, none of my efforts to make it happen produced the results I wanted. I was often told no, shut down, and overlooked. I grew so afraid of the proverbial hand-slap whenever I reached out that I just decided to keep my hands down and be quiet.

At the beginning of this year, a Voice whispered in my ear, “This is the year. It’s time.”

“It’s time for what?” Had my selfish desires returned after I’ve tried so hard to silence them?

“You know.”

Timidly, while holding my baby with Down syndrome, I responded: “Now? If it’s time, then You’re going to have to open the door wide. I’m not going to try to make anything happen. I don’t want to do anything if it’s not of You.”

Then I tucked the words away and went on with my life.

God gave me time to let it sink in, and then He drew me up. “It’s time. Come on.”

After thoroughly questioning people I respect to make sure I wasn’t stepping out of line, I did what was pounding in my heart to do. And it worked. God rushed in like a flood, took my tiny step forward and made it into a giant leap. Floored, I swallowed my nerves and went for it, so very thankful.

Since then, it’s like switches have turned on in my brain. Do this, call them, write that, teach here…

Things that seemed so murky and out of my grasp suddenly make sense. I’m excited and ready to go. I question myself, put my ideas on the altar, and hear God say, “Yes! Run! GOOOOO!”

But still there is that voice in my head that says, “If God is in this thing, He will make it happen. There’s nothing you can do to stop Him.”

Along comes Rachel Hollis. Nope, she says. God needs you to get up and get moving. You are in charge of your life and you alone can change it. Girl, wash your face, get dressed, and get moving!

So I’m taking it all in. I believe we have to lay all our dreams on the altar, submit them to the Lord, and respond in obedience. I have laid my dreams on the altar, and I believe with all my heart that God is pushing me out the door and saying, get moving! You know what to do, so do it!

Rachel Hollis, I hear you. I’ve decided to wash my face, put on some cute clothes, and get moving. I have work to do. If I’m wrong, God is certainly capable of making my efforts come to nothing. If He’s calling me to move, but I sit here in fear, it’s sin.

So, here we go…

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