When you want to stop wearing your mask…

Almost twenty years have slipped by since that day and yet I still remember every detail. 

High school.

I walk into the music room.

Freshly betrayed by a friend, I plaster a smile on my face. The choir teacher, who knew my circumstances and was also the leader of our Christian club, stood squarely in front of me.

He placed his hands on my shoulders, looked into my silly grin and said, “Holley, stop faking it.”

Something about hearing those words out loud turned the lock in a place inside my heart. He gave me a gift that day. Permission.

I didn’t even know I needed it. But over the years that one sentence became part of a series of dominoes that toppled my tendency to be the “good girl” {in a not-so-good way} right to the ground. 

Emily P. Freeman, author of Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life, also knows what it’s like to wear a mask.

She says:

“I hide behind my smile and laid-back personality. I hide behind fine and good. I hide behind strong and responsible. I hide behind busy and comfortable and working hard toward your expectations. And if I do not meet your expectations, I hide behind indifferent. And though the purpose of my mask is to fool you, don’t be fooled….

I feel fear. It washes over me with its lies and half-truths. The lies aren’t blatant. They marry themselves with a little bit of truth so the distinction is blurry at best. And so I practice the presence of fear and refuse the presence of Jesus.

I lived this toxic way for many years before I understood about The Rescue. I live it still, when I forget that I’ve been found. Even for those to whom truth has been revealed, fear can be a loud and abusive motivator.

Fear drives.

But Love leads.”

I’ve sat on a comfy couch next to Emily, legs folded under her, computer on her lap. I would never have guessed that she struggled with fear just like I have. 

Just like you probably have too.

You might say, “I don’t think of myself as a good girl.” But if you’ve ever tried hard to please people, if you’ve ever found yourself following the law instead of love, if you’ve ever wondered what would happen if someone knew the real you, then Emily is talking to you on these pages. 

The cover of the book has a bird cage on it. The door is open and on the outside sits a brightly colored bird, ready to stretch its wings. 

What did it need?




The same things my choir teacher gave me long ago in a small way. The same things Emily pours out in abundance on page after page of this book. 

After I walked out of that classroom, I don’t remember what I was wearing, what I had for lunch, who sat next to who in Science class. But I remember this:

I felt lighter.

As light as air.

Because grace always helps us drop our mask and find our wings.  


Grace for the Good Girl is available as a book and ebook from places like DaySpring, Amazon, and other locations online or where you live. AND you can enter to win a copy here too! Revell is providing four copies! Woo-hoo! Just leave a comment by midnight on Friday sharing what has helped you find more grace in your life. 

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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