It is daunting to be authentic. To remove the mask, the one that tells the world you are more than OK … you are organized, passionate, loving and successful at all times. To remove the mask is scary.
It means admitting you are not perfect.
But wait a minute, everyone knows you are not perfect. The only perfect One is God who is in perfect union with the Holy Spirit and Jesus, showering only the most perfect gifts to us on earth.
There’s a difference between knowing in your brain and k-n-o-w-i-n-g in your innermost being, the depths of your soul.
God laid it on my heart to write to those in this struggle where the dark whispers, you are not good enough, keep trying.
You are not sure whether to hide your tears or run far away from the pain.
Maybe if you meet new people, they will like you. Maybe if you get a new job, they will love your work. Maybe if you just give your marriage a break, your husband will appreciate how much you try to make things happy.
Perhaps you have smattered your soul with band-aids to keep moving, pressing on. The stick is losing its grip.
Your emotional life is wild like a fish writhing on a hook to avoid the finality of capture.
You don’t want to be in this prison forever, your true identity captured by darkness.
You try so hard to keep it together to tell everyone you are fine. You don’t need help. In fact, you would feel better if you could help them.
You are wondering when the pressure will ease.
Anxiety creeps in the night spreading across your chest like a spider silently spinning its intricate, orderly web.
Yes, order … and then you will feel better.
Order and success and people who adore you.
The dark whispers get a better mask to hide all your fears.
Are you honest about the deep-seeded worries of not being accepted, whether you did everything right, and the self-criticism which attacks its very own, devouring every whole piece of soul left?
Like I said in the beginning of this post … daunting.
However, I believe ANYTHING is possible with God.
What’s the next right thing to do?
Not the thing your boss, sister, child expects of you.
What’s the next right thing for you to do with Our Almighty God?
Seek His truth to overcome the foundation of lies in perfectionism:
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,
for she (wisdom) is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold (Proverbs 3:13-14).
Yes, when preparing to take the mask off and walk authentically in your skin, you need His wisdom.
She (wisdom) is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace (Proverbs 3:15-16).
Wisdom brings peace.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter2:9).
Please hear this. YOU are chosen. YOU are God’s special possession. We know in Acts 10:34, God does not choose favorites.
YOU matter. There is no exception in the Bible for you.
YOU are loved.
And the amazing beauty of the cross?
YOU are loved just as you are.
In the struggle, in the mess, in the dark behind the mask.
Jesus landed as a baby in our collective mess. He heard us, saw us, and breathed the same heavy, pained air still hanging around today.
Jesus told everyone they are welcome in His arms, at His table and in His Father’s Kingdom.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people (Titus 2:11).
Jesus is grace.
His grace is sufficient for you and for me:
To draw our broken out of the shadows
To infuse our souls with confidence to proclaim we are His
To wash away the once powerful fear of not being good enough
Jesus says, “Come, abide with me, remain in me.”
Will you do that today?
Welcome all who read this post and others. Yesterday, I had a strong sense to speak out on this topic. Please feel free to reach out to me here in the comments or by email if you have questions or prayer needs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know this mask all too well. Writing, prayer, Scripture and lots of time have freed me to be comfortable in my own skin, the skin He gave me.
Remember, healing is a journey not a one hour task with a finish line.
Be patient, be with God as much as possible.
If you have breath, you are a warrior. Life is not easy whether the mask is on or off.
Join me tomorrow for Warrior Wednesday for a discussion of Standing in the Present. You can join me here for all live posts: https://Facebook.com/jdibble4Him/
And here on social media:
Enjoy being free today, even if that just means laughing out loud at yourself. If you are like me, you can crack yourself up sometimes 🙂