The mask…we all have one.
Whether we admit it or not, it’s there. Some of us have been brave enough to take it off, but seems like before we know it, at some point we slide it back on.
There it sits, strapped on our face, hiding all the true colors of our lives, the things we don’t anyone to know or see.
If you’re like me, it’s such a relief to get home after an incredibly uncomfortable time of wearing the façade, ahhh- to slip it off and breathe.
Some of us wear our masks more loosely than others. We all know that friend who pretends, and for “their sake” we pretend with them…but is it really for their sake?
If we’re honest, we can say that it’s more for our sake…because it can be uncomfortable to see some folks without their mask. That might mean that we have to actually be a genuine friend and be with them in the mess of their lives.
To talk face to face, no pretenses, no false claims, or fake smiles…might even get a little dirty while delving into the grime of their life to help pull them up and lead them to the foot of the cross. To weep with them, pray with them, to feel with them.
So, even though this is hard to do and I have been very reluctant…today is the day!
This 2nd day of a brand new year I am choosing to yield to the prompting of my Savior to take off my mask and be real….one day at a time…because let’s be honest, some days it’s easier to do than others.
On the days where everything is going as planned and everyone is looking just right, it’s easy to post pictures on instagram and post an inspiring status on facebook.
But it’s days like today… where I have looked long and hard inside myself and I see so much of myself that is broken, that’s when it’s hard to walk outside the door without my mask.
It’s hard because everyone else seems so …fine, so put together. But if we’re honest, we’re all a bit broken. There are those who miserably wear their masks and respond with snubs and snears, but there are also those who paint their masks with smiles and a friendly “I’m doing fine.” Yeah, them too!
Ann Voskamp says that masks can be garishly embarrassing things.
And oh how I know it’s true…the times that I have screamed at children all the way to church and just before walking in the door slip my smiling mask right on. The times that I have cut my husband down with my sharp words and excused myself because I was just angry or hurt. The times that I have refused to use my gifts because I have allowed anxiety and stubbornness to use up the best parts of me. The times that I have sat back when I should have stepped up. The times that I have refused to live out my passions because it would just be too uncomfortable. The times I have chosen to enjoy the bliss of ignorance instead of applying my heart and mind to truths that would change me.
Yeah, this mask of mine has been my out…my disguise, my barrier. I have used it as protection.
In reality friends, that’s what we all do. We wear our masks to protect ourselves. To protect ourselves from being rejected.
It never feels good to feel the pain of rejection. But I’m learning that there isn’t a mask pretty enough, good enough, perfect enough that will protect you from it.
Jesus, Himself was rejected and He WAS perfect.
In the book ‘The Broken Way’, Ann writes : Being brave enough to lay your heart out there to be broken, to be rejected in a thousand little ways, this may hurt like a kind of hell – but it will be holy. The only way in the whole universe to find connection…is to let your heart be broken. Love only comes to those brave enough to risk being brokenhearted.
She says this…”In the woods where acorns have broken into oaks, where seeds have broken into wheat, your scorched soul can feel it: you were made to grow into something more, but that only happens if you will be brave enough to break.”
So, today I’m breaking my mask and I’m asking the Lord to break me, so that I, too can be made into something more….someone more…that He can use for His glory!
Won’t you join me? Be #maskfreein17