Sometimes that’s all I can do. It all seems like too much. You want to say more but life has come at you in a real way. Some places in your heart feel empty and cold but you’re not sure if you should let anyone know.
How long can you hold it in? How long can you last without anyone knowing?
Ok, I am here. I have shown up. Bible study is on Monday.
One last look in the mirror as I dash out the door, I adjust my mask to make sure none of my weaknesses show. I have perfected the, “I’m doing fine” smile for moments like this, preventing my mask from being removed. If I start to cry and the mask comes off they might think I have “issues” and will want to fix me. Little did they know behind the mask was a women that felt alone and in need of real fellowship.
Is it safe?
I have learned keeping my mask so tightly planted against my face has helped no one, including myself. We can’t live a life of significance while pretending. God draws near to the broken-hearted, not the prideful. Pretending keeps God and others at a distance where they can be controlled. I know all to well that if you let your walls down, you let people in, and it may get messy.
Like the first humans, we choose to hide and attempt to fix our own problems with our own efforts. We make fancier fig leaves, building our lives, all the while we are dying inside.
“Holy Spirit break out… Break our walls come down” is sung in churches all over America and yet we keep our hearts uninvited, protected from others. We are desperate to see the Holy Spirit show up within the four walls of the church in those two hours we gather together. However, when we exit the building we keep our walls up preventing the Holy Spirit from working, afraid to let anyone in.
What if we took off our masks and let our walls come down?
Holy Spirit beckoned me that night…rip off your mask.
Maybe you’re like me, maybe you look great on the outside but you’re dying on the inside. Maybe your marriage isn’t going well. Maybe your kids don’t get along for 5 minutes. Maybe you haven’t read your Bible in the last 5 days but, you’re here. You showed up.
Taking off the mask is a real risk. Risk of losing your position and influence. Risk of everyone knowing you have “issues.” Risk of revealing your own brokenness.
Oh sweet friend, the benefits out weigh the risks.
Out of the silence, that night, I began to speak. Speak of my own struggles as a mom and wife. Speak of the deep, deep, hurt I was experiencing as a woman. I took off my mask and stopped the facade and I got real that night.
And I waited.
Humility gives others the permission to be real.
And an amazing thing happened that night. Walls began to crumble and women began to share the intimate places of their hearts. And He showed up! The sweet presence of the Holy Spirit blew through the room.
I left, that night, weightless. Finally, feeling all the weariness lift and healing begin.
Sometimes confession to one another sends the enemy fleeing.
It can seem so easy, almost too easy-but there is no reason to build walls or rank up accomplishments to impress anyone. Being fully accepted and loved by the God of the universe allows us to step out. We no longer have to prove ourselves to each other. Grace can be extended and we can start asking for prayer for more than our neighbor’s dog.
Walls come down and friendships are formed. The Holy Spirit shows up, and lives are changed.
God intended for us to fellowship with one another and learn from each other, allowing us to speak into each other’s heart and life. Isolation breeds frustration, so make a choice today to let your walls down and let others to come in. We need each other!
Let us love with arms wide open ready to receive and ready to give.
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