Okay, so that header might have been a little harsh. But let me explain.
Masks. We all own masks. They’re never endless, interchangeable, and convenient. They help us hide our insecurities and emotions. They’re meant to make us look better, and sometimes even worse. And by now you’ve probably realized, I’m not talking about the masks you get at the party store.
The masks I’m referring to are the masks of emotions, personalities, traits. And trust me, they’ll cost you much more than a mask from the halloween store. These masks are never sorted, they’re thrown in a room and shuffled around in a never ending pile.
Some people have more masks than others. Some people only need one mask to completely cover them. Others wear different masks on different days to mask different things. Everyone’s masks mask something completely different. But today, I’m here to be completely transparent. In this post, I’ll tear off every one of my masks and dissect it very carefully.
This is going to get pretty deep, but please stay until the end, there is a lesson in all of this.
When I wear my mask, I’m portrayed as this very academically talented student. I make others think I’m in the top 20 of my class and that I spend every moment of my time studying and striving. But when I look at my Spanish test and place it in my binder with complete confidence, I’m trying to hide the fact that I completely bombed that test.
When I wear my mask, I’m a great friend. I’m always there when others need me and I try to be supportive. Now this mask doesn’t fool everyone, me and my friends have our issues. Some of them are bigger than just petty fights. But if I’m honest, I really could be a better friend. We push each other because we care, but we don’t know when to drop it.
When I wear my mask, I’m shy and quiet. Some of you may think, “ You? Shy and quiet?” Well, yes. Until you know me and I can put this mask down, I am very shy and quiet. Half my teachers always kid about how I could talk if I wanted too. And sometimes their jaws drop when they find out I’m in speech and debate.
When I wear a mask, I am working hard in my spiritual life to grow. And wow, the truth really does sting. Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed, anxiety takes over and I don’t get out of my comfort zone. I read my bible, do devotions, but when it comes to taking action I’m not the strongest by any means.
But when I take my mask off?
When I remove my masks I am an average student, in the top 50 of my class. I am still in honors english classes, but that’s my only strong point really. Math, spanish, and some science I always seem to be struggling with. And that’s okay with me, as long as I try my hardest. But sometimes, it’s so much easier if others think you’re doing better than you really are.
When I remove my mask, I’m an okay friend. I know I could do better, we all do. I’m there when it matters and they always have someone to come too. But I pick and poke, I’m not afraid to admit it. But you know what, I’ve acknowledged that and I am working on that. I hope my friends can work on it with me.
When I remove my mask, I’m a total theater nerd. Yes, others know I do theater and yeah, I’ve gotten some pretty good parts. But what people don’t know is I LOVE listening to broadway music, looking at musicals online and watching how all the costumes for popular shows are out together.
When I take my mask off, I am proud to say I am overly involved in my community. I tend to mask this cause I almost feel like I’m bragging when I say it. Not a lot of people see my involvement in my community, but you know what? I’m proud of it, and here I am being transparent about it. And yes, I almost deleted this part 4 times cause I was scared of “bragging.”
When I take my mask off, I’m really a social butterfly. I’m as outgoing as I want to be, and I can go pretty far. I’m an extrovert who tends to sink into introvert ways.
When I take my mask off, I am so deep into the word of God. I love dissecting it and looking at the words. But actions are not my strength and I know it! I own it, and I work on it. I am going to get out of my comfort zone! I am praying for the opportunities to do so, because God provides!
My mask makes me look somewhat put together, but what’s behind that mask? A work in progress, a perfectly imperfect work in progress. You know, I was very transparent. And wow, some people know a lot more about me now.
But you know what God loves? He loves you. He doesn’t like these masks. The masks are a creation of satan. It’s another way to bury you in Satan’s lies and rumors. Live out of your comfort zone! Take your mask off!
Now, I’m not saying it’s as easy as waking up tommorows and saying, “No more masks and hiding emotions and traits.” It might take some time to ease into it. But as christain author Brett Harris says, “Start with one dish… and another… and another until your on a roll.” You could replace the dishes with any word you’d want and it still be true, but today we’re going to replace the dishes with masks. So let’s work, one mask at a time.
This week’s challenge: Work on taking your masks off and stepping out of your comfort zone. Be who God created you to be, and express it not as much as you’re comfortable, with but even more than you’re comfortable with! If you’re scared about judgment, check out my last post “Serving God At School ” where I talk about the judgment teen christains are faced with and how to get past it.