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wearing mask

photo: CCO public domain

mask: covering for all or part of the face, worn as a disguise, or to amuse or terrify other people.
synonyms: hide, conceal, disguise, cover up, obscure, screen, cloak, camouflage, veil.

Are you aware that you are wearing a mask?

You may be in a group of people where you feel uncomfortable. You aren’t sure what to talk about. So you listen for awhile. Then you begin to involve yourself in conversation more actively and find yourself talking as if you were a person you don’t recognize.

This isn’t you. You are taking on another persona. Sometimes you are trying to impress them. Sometimes you just want to be part of the group and not stand out too oddly. But either way, you are wearing a mask.

synonyms for mask: hide, conceal, disguise, cover up, obscure, screen, cloak, camouflage, veil. Click To Tweet

Even for those of you who like to think that you don’t try to impress others, you tend to have times and situations where you are likely to wear masks. A good way to find out if we are wearing them would be to consider if our teen or grown children would recognize us in these settings. Or would they look at us and wonder who we are trying to be?

Moving tends to bring out the masks in many of us. We want to fit in, we want to be part of the group!

I have moved fairly often in my life…both as a young child and as an adult. Moves are difficult. Some have been more exciting than others, but no matter how fun the move, each had unexpected challenges. The same holds true for new settings we find ourselves in.

I found that I wasn’t as accepted as I expected to be when we ended up moving to the new churches where my husband became pastor. That was difficult. Everyone seemed so excited for us to come when we visited. Once we moved, the enthusiasm was considerably less in almost every instance. The exceptions were touching to my heart in deep places!

The disappointment hurt deeply and forced me to look around for encouragement and friendship in places I didn’t expect to.  Often, the friendships I found there were a gift that I treasured for years. In the long run, it was a blessing. But in the short run, when overwhelmed with the details of the move, it was difficult and painful.

To make it worse, there were times when I wore a mask to deal with my disappointment. Sometimes, I put on my smiley face and pushed through. At others, I tried to fit in with people I simply didn’t fit with. Other times, I crawled into my cave to be safe from rejection. At other times, I kept a safe distance so I wouldn’t be hurt more.

Each mask had its unique problems. Each one created more problems. As you can see, masks don't really solve problems at all! They just cover up a lot of pain, fear and brokenness of all kinds. Click To Tweet

Each mask had its unique problems. Each one created more problems. As you can see, masks don’t really solve problems at all! They just cover up a lot of pain, fear and brokenness of all kinds. They don’t show who we really are, so we can’t find the people we would enjoy being friends with because they don’t see who we truly are. They only see our mask.

How do you deal with the pain of rejection or apparent rejection?

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the
heavenly realms
because we are united with Christ.

Even before he made the world,
God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself
through Jesus Christ.
This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us
who belong to his dear Son.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom
with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

He has showered his kindness on us,
along with all wisdom and understanding.

Ephesians 1:3-8 NLT

This is the underlying foundation for our need to not wear masks.

More on masks in my next post.

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