Sometimes the Masks Fall Off!

“Hey Ga-Yell!! How are you doing?” “I’m good, thanks.” He had to ask me about five times before I could answer how I really was doing, “I’m struggling and confused about….” I don’t remember how exactly the conversation went after that, but I remember how liberating it was. It was a real one, and by “real” I mean, “not fake,” which is what it actually means (If you laughed or smiled at that one, then you got it ;).

It has been quite a journey finding my identity in Christ, finding out and accepting who I really am inside and out. By “out,” I mean…never mind. On this long journey, I have discovered, and still do, masks that I’ve been wearing. Some I still wear subconsciously. And, this coupled with the counseling class I’ve been taking for the past 3 months, has developed an X-Ray type vision of the soul in me. So BEWARE! I see right through you. Just kidding. But, it really has made me sensitive and extra attentive to the things people do and say, and some things that just seem strange get me thinking. By “strange,” I mean, “perfect.” Have you ever thought about or said to someone, “I didn’t know you like that?” I know I have many times and at those moments, I know someone more/better/for real.

Many of us have worn and carried masks for as long as we can remember. Some of us don’t even know that we’ve been doing and still do so. We have the masks we wear around our peers, most especially the “cool” ones that we want to fit in with. We have the masks some of us wear even in our homes. And, we have the masks we wear when we are around church folk. All this to fulfill or satisfy the image society demands of us. Let’s not forget the image we think God demands of us, and so we approach Him wearing a mask as well. By the way, He knew you before He formed you, so imagine how much of you He’d be like when you know someone is acting far different from who they are in front of you. I’m normally like, “Really bruh?”

We have been hurt, disappointed, rejected again and again. We have also made our own countless mistakes that have caused guilt and a sense of worthlessness in us, and so we have also condemned ourselves by wearing these layers and layers of masks, or building layers and layers of walls around us to protect ourselves and also those we love from ourselves. But, like Steven Furtick says, “God can not bless who you pretend to be.” In the same way, I believe He cannot heal, transform and restore who we pretend to be, because who we pretend to be is “perfect” after all…until we are all alone still wondering how long it’s going to take until we really are who we pretend to be. Does this make sense?

Although it may not take away the problem right away, being real with others, ourselves, and most importantly God about who we are and the circumstances we are in lightens the burdens we carry (Psalms 55:2, 1 Peter 5:7). So, if you are hurting, what’s wrong with admitting that? Acting like you aren’t, or convincing yourself you’ll be fine or it will pass does not change the fact that you actually are hurting at that moment. Holding back the tears does not take the tears away. It literally keeps them in for as long as you will and they’ll remain until they’re given a chance to come out. So if you feel like crying, why not just cry away? The tears will cleanse and refresh your soul. Time won’t, though you heal with time. It will just fade the memory. And, the funny thing is, it doesn’t matter how long it has been. When that memory is triggered, it will feel just the same as it did the first time. So how about you just get it over with from the beginning then?

Admitting the reality enables us to face it and though it could be a long, grueling and painful process to go through, with God’s guidance and grace we are guaranteed to come out the other side stronger, better, transformed, healed, restored, wiser and refined in a way that’s hard to ever revert from. So how are you doing…really?