I’ve worn the mask of I’m happy, when really my heart is breaking. I’ve worn the mask of my life is perfect, when really it’s kind of messy. I’ve worn the mask of I don’t struggle, when really I’m a work-in-progress. I’ve worn the mask of I’m fine and I don’t need anyone.
I wasn’t made to wear masks. We weren’t made to wear masks.
We often present our best and cover up our worst, because to be seen for who we really are seems too vulnerable. Deep in our souls lives a longing to seen and accepted despite our flaws.
Jesus came for the sick, for the hurting. We are completely lost without Him and we never stop needing Him. Maybe we think our broken makes us weak, but really it’s the reason we need a Savior in the first place.
My broken drew me into relationship with Jesus, and I know joy today because I know Him.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~ Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
I’ve learned over the years that happiness and joy are different. Happiness is an emotion that reflects our circumstances. Joy is something we can have in Jesus, despite our circumstances.
There are days I feel happy because all is going right, but the feeling drifts back and forth. Joy is something I’ve experienced even when it feels like all is going wrong. My joy is rooted in the hope I have in Jesus, because He doesn’t change and neither do His promises.
Jesus is the One who completely sees and accepts us despite our flaws. When we’re rejoicing, He rejoices with us. When the tears won’t let up, He holds us. When we’ve messed it all up, He reminds us we’re forgiven because of His sacrifice. When we feel like we don’t measure up, He whispers that we are all together beautiful and made righteous in Him. When we’re exhausted from wearing the masks and it seems like no one gets us, He wraps us in love and gives rest.
He invites us to come as we are – just as we are. No masks. Just real.
He gave us each other, too. Relationship is at our core, but the masks break authentic community. Gossip, judgmental words, fake conversations — they hurt. What we really crave is authenticity.
We feel like we have to try so hard, look put together, and disguise our true self just to be socially acceptable.
This is not the lives we were made for. We can’t be authentic when we’re wearing masks.
The relationships I treasure most in my life?
They’re the ones where I can be unedited Hannah. It’s the family and friends who know the messy and beautiful parts of my story and pray me through this writing journey and life journey. When I feel weary and unequipped, they lift me up, and we also rejoice together in the celebrations. It’s the women who listen and don’t judge when I need to vent my heart. It’s the moms I can laugh and cry with as we reminisce about the real journey of motherhood. It’s the people who have seen me at my worst and best and love me through it all.
Real relationship is His design and we are His design.
Maybe we’re all a little broken or a lot broken, but Jesus spoke these words:
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33 (NLT)
He didn’t say we might experience hardships. He said we will. And through any season we can find the courage to persevere and hold onto to hope because HE is hope, and when we’re holding onto the One who has already overcome, joy comes in the morning.
We don’t need more masks. We need HOPE and our only hope is Jesus.
And sometimes we need friends in flesh who comfort us with truth:
It’s okay, friend — cry those tears. You don’t have to hold it all together. You don’t have to try so hard. I see you, He see’s you, and you’re loved. And He knelt down low, gave His life for you, and He overcame and in Him you’re an overcomer. Take heart, friend. Take heart.
If the masks came off. If we could just be real —
Maybe more people would see the Face of Jesus.