The masks we wear.

I have a confession. I am officially “recovering” from many things in my life.

I’m a recovering perfectionist. A recovering do-gooder. A recovering wine lover. A recovering people pleaser.

I have always been good at making people believe I was who they thought I was. Who I thought they wanted me to be.

In the fray, I’ve become good at wearing a mask. Sometimes more than one mask. Masks are safe. They hide the ugly. Or at least the perceived ugly.

I’m reading (loosely termed) a book by Emily P. Freeman, “Grace for the Good Girl.” That is in-between toddler meltdowns, World War III stand-offs and WW wrestling match refereeing. I digress.  I am slowly reading this book and it is hitting home in a lot of ways. Not so great ways, but it’s making me think. And thus write. And I’m only in chapter 4, so there may be more of this book/soul review to come.

She is discussing the masks that “good girls” wear and I am finding I have worn or still wear so many on so many days. It’s so easy to put our worth in things other than what Jesus says is beautiful and right and lovely. It’s also easy to let our emotions get the best of us. It certainly is for me.

I quote Emily,

“Our fluctuating humanness is there on purpose, to remind us of our need and draw us to the One who can meet it.”

She goes on to talk about our emotions and that we may not know how or why they come, but we have to admit we have them and to embrace them.

Um, yes. I have emotions. Lots of them. And anyone in my household could attest to how fast and furious they can change. And this has been bothering me. A lot. I’m not supposed to be angry. I’m not supposed to struggle with depression. I’m not supposed to be “blah” on any given day for no given reason. But somedays I just am.

And these great words from this soul sister has reminded me why. Newsflash! I’m not supposed to get through this thing we call life on my own.  I’m supposed to turn to the One who created me, with every given emotion I feel and live…the good, the bad and the ugly.

Of course in the heat of the moment or depth of discouragement, Jesus is at times the last person I want to turn to. I don’t even know why. My own selfish pride, I suppose. I’m supposed to be able to fix things myself. But like I mentioned in An Island, there comes a time when I realize myself is not enough. I can’t do it alone. Then I turn to the One who can and will give me help.

Sometimes all I can muster is a simple, but earnest, “Help me. Father, please just help me.”

And He does. And there is comfort again. And there is hope again.

And I believe our Father loves a simple plea for help from His children. Knowing we never realize His worth and our need for Him until we finally offer that plea. And in Him we find the strength we need to climb another mountain. And referee another fight. And cook another meal for people who may not seem to care.

He cares. He knows. He loves you.  And if you are a recovering mask wearer like me, stay strong. Keep it off when you can. And when you forget or your emotions get the best of you…remember Who to turn to.

What a boring world it would be if we had no emotions. God gave them to us for a reason. He certainly wants us to experience them and find ways to harness them for His glory. And when we can’t, He wants us to come to Him for help. So we can go back out and finish the good work He has started in us.

I love being able to love. I love being able to cry. I thank my God that I can feel joy and even sadness. It shapes who I am. It makes me real. It gives me a reason to take the mask off. And just be me. And for you to just be you. Your Father wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love and Grace to my fellow recovering mask-wearers,
Meredith

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