I love acting. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things. I’m very good at it. I love writing façades for people to take on, and I love taking them on myself. It’s really quite fun. But you know where it becomes not fun? I’m sure you see where this is going—in my actual life.
You know what’s damaging? Constantly being told how put together you always are. I have become incredibly talented at putting on a face, and I hate it. It feels like I’m constantly holding back tears that I reserve for my car and conversations with my Mom on the days I go home.
Maybe being told you’re put together all the time is not the thing that is constantly ringing in your ear, but there’s probably some identifying description, whether considered positive or negative, that seems to be consistently ascribing value to you—day after day, week after week, and suddenly you have found yourself to be in a position of masked realities.
Something else people ask me a lot is how am I always so happy? And usually I just say something about it being the joy of the Lord, but in all reality, I’ve been dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety recently, and it has been incredibly difficult for me to really embody what joy looks like because faking happiness is pretty easy, especially if you just want to be left alone to soak in your own self-pity. Then it’s easier to convince yourself you’re in this alone—Satan LOVES telling us that lie; I know—He offers it to me often, and I just eat it up.
Isolation is so easy because it feeds our weird desire to be in pain and melancholy suffering alone. I think we like pain. I’m not sure why, but it gives us an excuse to sit in what we’re dealing with and feel sorry for ourselves.
Now, I’m not saying we don’t go through crap – we definitely do. I don’t think my anxiety is just me trying to throw a pity party for myself, that would be ridiculous—what I do think, though, is that I try to convince myself I’m just fine when in all reality, dressing nice, wearing makeup, and practicing my fake smile before I get off the elevator are all means of trying to comfort myself. Holy Spirit is the only thing that really satisfies my need for comfort. I wish I was courageous enough to walk into my morning classes with swollen eyes from crying instead of a fake smile—I think that would be beneficial long-term. Maybe not every day, but on those days that really suck, giving myself permission to be expressive in the look on my face because faking it just isn’t cutting it anymore. Not seeking pity from others but not giving them a fake idea of where I’m at. I’m having more and more trouble controlling where I cry and when my smile shuts off or when my emotions feel so far away from my control. Depression can’t be controlled, and even with a better hand on my anxiety, that can’t be controlled either.
Do you relate to any of this? Maybe, maybe not, but just remember we’re all in this together. Nothing ends here. There’s Growth. There’s Hope. There’s Freedom. There’s Promise. There’s Love. There’s Joy. There’s Peace. There’s everything wonderful according to the Father, AND NONE OF US IS ALONE.
I feel like I’m wearing a mask, so this is me unpiecing some of it in a post.
Would you start to take off your mask too?
There is Freedom that comes with Vulnerability.
Because you know what happens when we wear masks? We come to Jesus less, or if we are coming to Jesus (which, to be transparent, I have not been doing very often) we come with our masks on, but I’m so glad He is so gracious.
Because I have come before Him, mask in hand, tightly grasped in my clenched, stubborn fist. And He has ever so gently drawn me into His arms—mask still in hand—and begun to untie the lies of put-togetherness that have weighed me down in all their deceptive glory. I am by no means anywhere near understanding the extent of how these chains can be broken, but my God can do anything He so chooses at any moment to destroy them.
And He will.
In His timing.
In His understanding.
In His plan.
So I will come, day after day, to be undressed of the weight of hidden suffering and re-clothed and adorned in the glory of daughterhood He has called me to and is bestowing me with.
I am called Warrior, Favored, Covered in Freedom, and I cannot run in these glorious callings if I am laden with lies that don’t come anywhere close to where God is calling me.
Freedom is on the horizon, and I can see it, and I have known it, and I will know more of it because my God is Faithful.
Did you know our God is Faithful?
Be instilled with the power of His unending glory and love for you. OWN WHAT HE IS GIVING YOU. Read through this again, knowing in all of your pain and hidden places, He is reaching through and breakthrough is here, healing is here, life is in this place because He is Faithful, and you are not alone. Not now, not ever before, not at any point to come.
Let Him gently unwrap the things you’ve been holding on to so tightly—for sufficiency comes from nothing but the Father.
Let His arms hold you as He speaks life into and over you.