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FIRST-PERSON: Taking off the mask

COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BP)–One day Susan called and asked if I had time to squeeze in a walk. We hadn’t walked for weeks because life had dished up a few extra helpings on both our plates. I missed our visits and although I greatly desired to go, I told her I was too busy.

“What are you busy with?” she asked.

“I have to get ready for a talk I’m giving tomorrow night.”

“What do you still have to do?” Susan asked, like a good friend would. “Maybe I can help.”

I gave her the whole scoop in one breathless sentence: “I have to highlight my hair, darken my eyebrows, file my heels, tweeze my chin, bleach my teeth, borrow that green-silk pantsuit from Kathy, glue on fake fingernails and paint them red -– and I still haven’t finished preparing my talk.”

When I paused to take a breath, she asked,” What’s your topic?”

“Being real -– you know, being yourself,” I responded.

Her hoot of laughter clued me in to the absurdity of what I had said, and I realized I really did need to get out for a walk!

Can we risk being real? Do we dare take off our mask? By breaking the conspiracy of silence when I was in a spiritual desert, I took off a mask I had worn for years. Over time, I revealed that I did not have unshakable faith but, rather, was plagued with doubt and struggling with unbelief. I revealed I was afraid of God and had spent years protecting myself from what I thought was His will.

Unmasking is not an event, it’s a lifestyle. No sooner do I remove one mask that God reveals to me another.

The wilderness caused me to rethink and find my spiritual self all over gain. The “me” I found (and am still finding) wants to be real, wants to be transparent. If I can be true to God and myself, regardless of earthly opinion, I am well on my way to a mature faith.
Adapted from “From Faking It To Finding Grace: Discovering God Again When Your Faith Runs Dry” by Connie Cavanaugh, from Harvest House Publlishers.

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  • Connie Cavanaugh