Inside: We wear masks as a way to escape pain and protect ourselves from further hurt. Don’t be an imposter if you want to experience God’s greatest.
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I’ve been wearing a mask for a long time. Some painful things happened in my past which had me find this mask and apply it tightly to my face. Behind it, I felt safe because I wouldn’t allow anyone to see the real me.
What kind of disguise do you wear?
It’s covering those feelings or problems that you don’t want others to see.
Hiding behind the disguise feels safe, doesn’t it?
Why I Decided to be an Imposter
A few years ago, intense anxiety showed up. Panic attacks and fear kept me away from everything and became my new way of life.
Confusion surrounded me as to what was going on, I thought I had some disease or chronic issues, but it was really anxiety. Looking back now, I think it was God’s way of ripping that mask off once and for all.
You see, I had thought I needed to hide the real me because I was once told I was defective. I would be all alone someday and no one would love the real me. So I became an imposter for most of my life, even when I grew up. I rearranged the disguise to cover the majority of me.
I’ve been an imposter for protection, hiding, and performance. No one could know how I was feeling or even what I was feeling. It was a shield to keep me safe. I could be happy even when inside I was hurting deeply.
When my intense anxiety was happening, I was frustrated with God and this mess surrounding me. Many times, I asked him why he did this to me. He seemed absent, and my pleadings went unanswered.
Nothing seemed to help therefore, I felt stuck and hopeless.
What I couldn’t see, was God was stripping away my worn-out mask. It couldn’t serve as my idol any longer. He was done with me trying to be someone I wasn’t created to be.
God called my bluff, I couldn’t hide behind being an imposter.
Yep, I’ve been an imposter for years.
Why do we put on masks?
Form of control
When we wear a mask, it keeps us from displaying our hurts to others. We can hide and not let others affect us as much. We might keep a smile on our face, but inside we are crying. It’s exhausting to live life trying to control what happens to us.
Wearing a mask wears you out. Faking it is fatiguing. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be what you know you aren’t. – Rick Warren
Behind the disguise, we become like others. However, when we hide, we lose the uniqueness in how God made us. He wants us to be different from others. Our strengths and weaknesses are needed in His Kingdom work.
Wearing a mask protects us from vulnerability. I fear that if I stand tall and exposed, I’ll be “weak” in some way. But when you wear a mask you stand in resistance to your true life and end up attracting realities that conflict with who you really are. ~ Tina Williamson
Others won’t like me! We keep our real selves hiding from others and sometimes from ourselves. We instead choose to be who others want us to be. What if what we are hiding is what God wants to use?
Pain has left scars so our mask becomes an invisible force field to keep us safe from hurt and pain. Others can’t see what’s going on inside when we wear our disguise.
We keep ourselves from others so they can’t hurt us. We might even put on a mask with ourselves, so we don’t have to deal with our feelings, however, this can make it hard in decision-making. Isolating increases anxiety and depression.
He often felt that too many people lived their lives acting and pretending wearing masks and losing themselves in the process. – Nicholas Sparks
Being the Person God Made You to Be, Be Real, Be You
Here’s the thing, you will never enjoy your life trying to be someone you are not. You will chase after things to fill you and be just as empty inside. When you unmask, you start to experience joy and peace from God.
We can’t trust God and surrender to His plans if our mask is our idol.
When the mask is more important than the Messiah, we’ve made a mistake.
When you’re not an imposter anymore, you learn:
- Authenticity. We can admit brokenness and pain, which empowers us to lean more dependently on Christ. We can form deeper relationships built on honesty.
- Change of perspective. The pain of the past has been unmasked and we can start to see how God is using the past to change our future.
- Enable us to take bold steps of faith. As we embrace us, fears can be faced and we can follow where God is calling us at this present time.
- Experience feelings in greater depth. No longer feel shameful when we have emotions.
Your mask won’t keep you safe or make you happy. Only by removing it and allowing God to work in your hurting areas, will you find peace and healing. He has good things planned for you and your life. Hiding behind the mask is not the way to cope with your pain, God is.
The truth is, God made you unique in all your ways. He doesn’t want you to hide or keep yourself from others. He has a purpose for you and only you can do it. The Truth says you are loved and chosen because of your unique you.
(John 8:32, NLT).
32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.