I have been quite honest here on my blog over the past year. I feel that this is a quality that is missing in many of today’s churches and I feel that God has called me to this place to be real. Many of us try to put on the mask of perfection in order to protect ourselves, and avoid judgement. For many years I wore that mask and it was exhausting, it was uncomfortable, it was not who I wanted to be, it almost killed me, so I took it off. I placed that mask in Daddy’s loving hands and I embarked on a journey of being real. I was only able to take it off when I realized that God loves me, he does not judge me, condemn me, or accuse me. I realized that being real is the only way that we as the body, can have intimate relationships with each other. That many are struggling with the same things I am and that we are unnecessarily isolating ourselves instead of being real so that we can be walking together through these things supporting each other as the church was always meant to be.
How many times did I answer “Great” when someone asked how I was doing at church, when I was really dying inside because I felt that if I told the truth I wouldn’t be qualified to lead my small group anymore. How many times did I feel like I was less than others because my special needs son could not sit still in Children’s Church, I saw the looks, the stares, as I apologetically tried to explain once again. How many times did I let my body image be compared to the perfectly sized, dressed, and manicure woman who appeared to have it all together?
My friends church should be a place where we feel we can be ourselves, that we are accepted, loved without conditions, supported and encouraged. When we go around trying to be Super Christian thinking we have to have it all together, when we compare ourselves with others we enter into dangerous territory. 9 times out of 10 we are comparing ourselves
to someone else’s false mask. We are robbing ourselves and the rest of the body from true intimacy with us.
What a beautiful thing it would be if we would all just take off the masks. If when we asked someone how they were doing, we truly wanted to know. We asked from a place of true love and concern and we were prepared to listen without judgement and were willing to help, really help and not just answer I’ll be praying for you. What if when we were asked how we were we felt safe enough to be honest? What if we were so secure that we knew that we would not be judged. What if we knew that imperfection was normal, that perfection isn’t reality and it’s ok to still have struggles?
My heart breaks for those who are struggling in silence, for those who feel they have no one in their life that they can be honest and real with. That there is no “safe” person to open up to. If that is you, know that Jesus is with you, I am with you, there are those types of people in this world who will care for you, love you, walk with you, and be there for you.
God has used me in my darkest hour to minister to others, why because it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. I pray today that you would be open to the possibility that there are safe relationships out there for you. That there are people who long to be real just like you. That that mask that you see on others isn’t the norm to compare yourself with, you are so much more than that. The real you is who I desire to know, to love on, to encourage, the real you that was created in God’s very image is under that mask, will you be brave enough to take it off today?