The Masquerade

I’ve always wanted to attend a masquerade.  It seems fun – getting dressed up, wearing a maskhiding behind something.  You can be whoever you want to be when you’re behind a mask.
But when we wear masks in life, it’s not a fun event or a healthy game of dress up.  I knew a lot of people growing up that both encouraged and participated in mask wearing.  And I have been bitter and held resentment towards ‘them’ for being fake and lacking authenticity and passive aggressively dealing with issues instead of dealing with them head on.
But recently I have realized that as much as mask-wearing bothers me, I am just as guilty of it as they are.  I may just be so accustomed to my mask that it has taken me this long to realize I was wearing it.
My world is being rocked by a book my sweet Mama gave me called “The Cure.”  The main question the book asks is, “What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you?” 
It addresses the way we approach our relationship with God – at some time we approach a fork in the road where we can choose one of two paths; either Pleasing God or Trusting God.  Both sound good – but pleasing God leads to a room of masked people trying to keep themselves together, while trusting God leads to grace, laughter, and worthiness.
I find myself now, almost fully on the path of Pleasing God.  It is well intentioned, but it leads nowhere.  We strive and strive and never get where we want to be, or where God wants us to be, for that matter.  We wear masks because we want it to look like things are okay, that we are managing. 
The thing about masks is this though: “No one told me that when I wear a mask, only my mask receives love.” (The Cure)
I remember the first time a youth leader spoke to me and my friends with no mask on. It blew my mind.  She had just become our small group leader and the first time we met she shared her testimony.  She told us all the good and bad, regrets and mistakes, and how God uses all of that for His glory; and the fact that she could be so honest and so real absolutely shattered any mask she could have been wearing.  I’ll never forget it.  By being authentic, she gave us permission to do the same, and that saved me and my friends in so many ways. (Forever thankful for you.)
I want to peel off the mask.  I want to be on the path of Trusting God.  I want to be real and not hidden.  I think this blog may be a step in that direction, and maybe someone will resonate.
I need to stop being angry at others for wearing masks, and even for telling me that I should wear one too. 
I need to start believing that God loves me without my mask – for who I am underneath all the ‘togetherness’. 
He loves my brokenness, my vulnerability, my mess. 
“What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you?” 
What masks are you wearing?  Do you believe that God and even other people can and will love you even if they see you without it?
He loves you past your mask; He created you without a mask.  “Once we weary enough of mask-wearing, we can begin discovering the true face of JesusOur true faces are beautiful, too.  God made them exactly the way He wanted, and He longs to see His reflection.  The trouble with papier-mâché is it doesn’t reflect.” (The Cure)
I want to soak this in: “SEE what kind of LOVE the Father has given to us, that we should be called CHILDREN OF GOD” (1 John 3:1).  We aren’t meant to attend a lifelong masquerade.  Real love and real life require living mask-less.

We are His, and He is ours.  Lean into that, friends. 

Lynch, J., McNicol, B., & Thrall, B. (2011). The Cure.  San Clemente, CA: CrossSection.

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One of those twenty-somethings trying to find my way through this silly world. I write to process, and sometimes send those thoughts out into the void. Passionate about Jesus and people and bringing those two together. Living in and loving Denver. Working with college students, who are the coolest. Seeking Jesus in everything.

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