I suspect I’m not the only one who’s done it.
Who’s donned a mask for one reason or another.
Sometimes I’ve done it to impress others.
More often though, I’ve placed that mask over the real me because it felt safer to have people look at the image they thought was me than the picture of the actual me. Living as the real me was too dangerous.
I’ve addressed before the fear that I am not enough in other’s eyes. That my “less-than” status could be hidden behind a mask—the one who has it together, or the one who has lived life in observer-mode because it felt safer.
I wore a mask for God too.
The problem is, God sees right through my masks. He sees the hurting heart inside.
And he says, “Daughter, I love you. Nothing can separate you from My love.”
Nothing I’ve done or haven’t done.
Nothing I’ve promised and then broken that promise.
All the ways I’ve failed Him.
The times I ran from Him.
Nothing can separate me from God’s love.
Which is true of all of us.
When God asks us if we’re ready to take off our masks and start living real? That’s when things get scary. Because to take off our masks requires humility.
I heard Dr. Juli Slattery say this recently:
“The self hates to die. We come to God for mercy and healing, but we want our dignity intact. We want God to do work in our lives, but we don’t want it to be messy.”
When a surgeon performs surgery, it’s messy. The gloves bear blood. Instruments get dirty. Sometimes his surgical gown ends up with smears on it.
And yet, when we ask God to work in us—to change us—we want Him to keep things tidy.
We want to be able to walk through the surgery dignified, to come out on the others side looking just like we did when we entered the surgical center. Anyone who’s had surgery knows there’s no dignity in wearing a big cloth gown and almost nothing else. Being hooked up to needles and tubes and having oxygen fed in through your nose.
When we come to the place where we want God to change us—to work through the messes in our lives—we need to be humble enough to accept it’s gonna get messy. We must come to a place where we’ll be real with God.
We’re going to cry, rage, cry some more. And I’m not talking the soft dainty mewlings. Rather, those deep, guttural wipe-your-nose sobs.
When God confronts us with our inaccurate mindsets and misunderstandings . . .
When He reveals sin we’ve hidden in our hearts . . .
When we come to the place of seeing these as God does . . .
We’re going to be broken. It’s going to get messy.
The beauty in humbling ourselves and inviting God to work in our lives is He doesn’t leave us in that messy place.
Just like the surgeon performs the work that brings healing and restoration in our bodies, and cleans us up afterwards,
God does an amazing, redemptive, freeing work within our hearts, our thoughts, our spirits, cleaning and purifying us.
He removes the dross and the ugly and the darkness from us and replaces it with His light.
When we lay aside our masks in humility, God can work. When we’re ready to be real with Him, He can rewrite the stories of our lives (Click to tweet). He fills us with joy in those places that once housed insecurity, depression, darkness.
When we’re willing to get messy with God, He honors the humility. He works restoration. Whether it takes a few days, or years, He’s in the business of redeeming, healing, and drawing us closer to Himself.
And it all begins with laying aside our masks and inviting Him in.
What about you? What masks have you worn? What work did God do to help you lay aside a mask?
***Due to some “life-stuff,” I’ll be taking a break from blogging for awhile. I hope to be back the end of May or early June. Thank you for your understanding, and I’ll look forward to re-connecting with you then!