An Open Letter to “Good” Kids

Dear “Good” Kid,

I write to you, because I know you. I have stood exactly where you stand. I have also felt cornered, hemmed in, watched, spied on, burnt out, angry, frustrated, sad, and lonely. I write to you from the corner of my room, and I only have a couple of sheets to write this letter, since I know that you are not one that likes advice.

You grew up as a good kid.  You are the “good” one. You go to camp as the “good” one. You go to church as the “good” one. You answer every question exactly as you should. You bring your Bible to church. You make sure to scribble notes during the sermon, because if you don’t, someone might just guilt trip you. Because usually, there is that one adult that gets upset if you happen to miss taking notes one Sunday.


You are meticulously picked apart, save for the one area of your heart that needs changing. You learn to cover it up, and play it smooth. You hide that darkness, and you paint image over it. You walk around with secrets because everyone thinks you are a good kid.

You know you aren’t.

Some of you even want help, but maybe it’s pride or just honest confusion that keeps you from telling the part of you that is scarred and dying.

Or maybe you are too busy helping others and counseling them through their issues of bitterness, drugs, premarital sex, gangs, and broken families. People will constantly badger you, and say that you have no idea about the real world. This statement couldn’t be more untrue. You haven’t lived in their version of a “real world”, but you have helped people walk out of it. You are closer to it than people realize.

Maybe, you bury your bit of darkness deeper inside of you, because compared to them…you don’t struggle at all. Compared to them, your life is easy. Compared to them, your issue should be easily resolved. Besides, people usually care about the seemingly BIG problems, not the “small” problems that you are dealing with.

Then, you bury your darkness so deep that even YOU forget it’s there. But it grows, because the issue goes untended. And you get callus. You get bitter. You get angry. You get lonely. You forget it is there, but it comes out stronger than ever before.

And you are tired of being good.

You are tired of all eyes on you. You are tired of being perceived as an angel. You are just tired….and selfish. But you don’t mind, because after all….haven’t you helped so many people? Haven’t you cared more deeply for lost people? Haven’t you forgotten about yourself and your problems to help others?

So, this is what I want you to remember.

As much as you want people to ask you questions, they probably won’t. As much as you want them to unmask your darkness, and pick apart the places in you with all the cobwebs, they probably won’t. Primarily because, you are good at hiding. You are good at acting. You are good at helping. You are ,in fact, very good. Not good in the way that people assume, but you are good.

People will easily pass over you, because even though you are struggling, you bury it deep inside. Even though you are hurting, you often refuse to let that surface.

This is my advice.

Be open. Be transparent. Unmask your own darkness, and then let another person see it.

Show them that your heart is actually a mess. Quit believing the lie that you should not be struggling, that you should be able to resolve problems all on your own, and that your struggle is small.

You are weak. You are helpless. You need God.

And sometimes, you need others to point you back to Him. You need others to show you how to walk this path. So, don’t do it on your own. Don’t expect others to peel back every layer you have, they won’t be able to. You are very good at being “good”.

When you see other “good” kids like yourself, help them find the hearts they have buried. Care for them, and let them know that they aren’t alone. Don’t be so consumed with yourself that you let fellow “good” kids pass you by. Then, together unlearn the habit of “being good”, and reveal one to another that you need help. You need God’s grace.You need His love. You need his mercy. You need His strength. Why? Because, you are weak.

Ah, but He is strong.

So, don’t pretend that you have all of your life put together. Don’t assume that your struggle is insignificant. Don’t think that you have all the right answers. Don’t believe that you can resolve life on your own. You can’t. You need God. And sometimes, you need people to help you find the right path again.


Ex-Good Kid

PS: Oh, and when the next person says that you don’t live in the real world, just remember one thing: the only Real worth living for is God.

If you know a “good” kid, please pass this on. We all need to hear it & we all need help.


32 thoughts on “An Open Letter to “Good” Kids”

  1. Yes yes yes! Awesome words! You hit the nail on the head. How many years did I hide all those struggles inside, because I was the good kid. Because I was terrified of the judgement on my imperfections. Because the standards were high and falling short meant failure as a Christian.

    I’m not pretending anymore. The real life, full of all the messes and imperfections, is far more appealing to me than the fake smiles and hurting hearts.


    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this & for commenting. What a blessing it is for me to hear part of your life. So glad that you are able to relate to the words here & so thankful for your honesty! 🙂


  2. This. Thank you for opening up and revealing the struggles that are buried deep inside the “good kids”. The kids who stuff down their own problems so that they can absorb the problems of others. And only when the good kids absorb the gospel, can they truly be free… and real… and better than any “good” they could be on their own. Thanks for sharing this. Awesome!


    1. Love your summary of the post! I have your blog opened in my tab & am getting ready to read your post! Thank you for taking the time to read what wrote. You are always so encouraging. 🙂


  3. So much truth. A former ex-good kid to another, I just want to give you a hug. Thank you for this.Being “the good” child/young woman only led to suffering for not only myself but those around me. I had the art of lying to myself and compartmentalizing (more like trying to ignore a very angry cat who hasn’t been fed because it’s 5 AM and it’s obviously time for food and you were asleep. Cats). Sorry, my attempt at levity. Everyone manifests this darkness in so many ways (I dealt by trying to disappear…I think that’s the metaphor…had food issues.I was away from the Church for many years (forgive me, I hope you don’t my that I’m Catholic) because I truly felt I was some abomination. It was to use a common phrase, 12 years of hell on Earth. When I returned to my Faith, when I saw one of the priests I’d known many years back and told him, he said that the Lord LOVES me and asked me to go to a mirror nearby and say it to myself. I broke down. The amount of love He has…nothing is greater. He is always there. He made us, the ex-good kids…I felt I’d hurt him eing merely human and deeming his creation of me so base, so low. But again, He is my Father. He knows why I am here and for what purpose. There is only ONE who can be perfect; who can control all. And its not me or anyone else that thinks it. Fully realising that, it was like night and day.
    Forgive my novel-length ‘comment’.You just hit the nail right on the head and you really spoke what I also believe. Thank you. Thank you for standing up and saying all this.
    -Maria Adela


    1. Thank you ,Maria, for reading & commenting! I am so glad that you were able to relate to this post & be encouraged by it. It made my morning to read these comments. I’m so glad you took the time to write me words.


  4. Well said Sierra. How about “good parents”. Write one for us. “Fear of man is a snare.”
    Oh that every decision we make, everything we do would be done according to ” what will God think?”


      1. It’s so easy to hide my weaknesses from others because my natural tendency is to be the strong one for them. But oh, I must learn to let God be the strong one for myself and others. I must allow myself to be open so others can see that I am NOT perfect and so that they see a God who loves me despite my imperfections.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Sierra! Thank you so much for this article! What you have to say rang very true for me. I’m actually a pastor’s kid and definitely have been classified as “the good kid.” Like you brought up, it can be tempting to not realize the depths of your own brokenness as you’re “not as bad as other people” or whatnot. But what you said about revealing the depths of your struggle is so necessary. Sometimes, others won’t ask you these questions (like most of the time!). Deeper connections, though, can be formed when we become vulnerable because others respond to that. Thanks so much for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Deborah! I am thrilled that God used this post to encourage you. It can be a hard thing to reveal the depths of your struggle, but when I verbally admit the shame and darkness I feel, I free myself from the silence & find that others struggled just as deeply & darkly as me. I find rest in God’s grace! And I am still finding rest in His grace and love for me as I am daily bombarded with old & new struggles. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment & expanding this community of ex-good kids! I’m so glad to know you get it. 🙂


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