1 Corinthians 13:12 (King James Version)
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
How many times were you told as a child this famous line – WHAT GOES ON IN THIS HOUSE, STAYS IN THIS HOUSE?! I know there has to be at least one of you who can raise your hand to this one? (smile) This was told to my siblings and me and we knew my mom meant business! Let one thing slip out about anything going on in our house and you knew you were gonna get it!
While that truly is a good rule to explain to your children that some things in your home should remain private, there are times that this rule can be taken to the extreme. People learn to live behind masks, never telling anyone that they are hurting because you have to keep it in the house!
I am reminded of that line in the Dry Idea commercials in the 80’s – NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU SWEAT! The premise was that you could be seen doing this and that in various stages of life, but you should never let your adversaries or competitors see you sweating. They should never know that there was a cost in looking good, delivering a quality product, or giving an excellent performance. You had to make it look easy. Showing nervousness was not an option.
These unwritten “rules” will sometimes permeate the very fabric of our lives and we learn to hide our pain because we can’t let the world see that something is wrong. We manage to crawl and push through life, going through the motions, because we don’t think anyone else will understand.
I remember walking into church one day. I had on a fairly new suit and people kept saying how nice I looked. I was saying to myself the whole time, “If they only knew how I feel inside. How mad I was at the world and myself! I feel bad! Can they not tell?”
I walked by the pastor’s office and he said, “Sis. Poole, my goodness, you really look nice this morning!” I said, “Thank you! I don’t have to look like my circumstances do I?” I did not say it in a mean way, and my pastor understood what I meant. He replied, “Whew, I like that Sis. Poole, I may have to change my message for today!”
I realized in that moment that I had a mask on that was thick. I was not feeling well that day, and everything was getting on my nerves. Yelling at the kids to get ready, etc., etc., etc. But I got dressed, put my makeup on, went to church and smiled appropriately. I had learned my lessons well that what was in the house stayed there and I could not let them see me sweat. But inside I was hurting and depressed and no outfit could hide any of it from the me nobody could see but me.
There are times when the mask is needed. You have to fight through the pressures of life. You can’t give up or give in. I always had the motto for myself that if I look good, I feel good. So whether I am hurting or not, I get dressed in the morning, put on my makeup and press on. If I act as if it’s ok, after a while, it will be ok.
But there are other times when you have to let the mask go. In 2012, there are some masks that have to be cut off and left off. We have to stop pretending that everything is ok. We must deal with our issues. If you are hurting, depressed, need someone to talk to – ask for help! Don’t keep it all bottled up inside you. There is help and hope for you!
If you are tired of your life being the same old way – take steps to change it. Go back to school, even if it you do it one class at a time! As long as you are here, you can move in the direction of your dreams, one day at time. Use the new year to bring about a new you! Finally, drop those extra pounds. Like the Nike commercial says – JUST DO IT! Don’t think about, just make it happen! Bring your hurt, depression, anger, and unfulfilled dreams to the Lord. In His presence you will find healing and wholeness.
I can encourage you, because I am right there with you. I am determined to be my best self in 2012. I am spending time in prayer, talking to God, and listening, truly listening, to Him. He knows the plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11) and in this season, this time in my life, I am stepping into my purpose and calling. I am exercising my faith to believe that no matter the issues in my life, everything will be all right. God is in control of it all.
I am taking off all masks. I am being truthful to those in my circle. No hiding my feelings and pushing them down anymore. If I am hurting, I will tell you. If I need to cry, I will do that. And when I get blessed, the whole world will know. Truly I can sing this song – GOD HAS SMILED ON ME, HE HAS SET ME FREE!!
I am free in 2012. No more chains holding me. I am thanking God all the way for I know the best is yet to come! This year is a journey that I plan to share with you every step of the way.
I pray that each of you will join me in being your best self and allow God to lead you into that place where you can trust Him to do exceedingly and abundantly above anything you can dare to think of in your life!
Ephesians 3:20 (King James Version)
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us!
Praise God! We are Living Victoriously in 2012!