Removing the mask

Today was a hard one for me. I hate to cry in front of people and had a whole audience this time (5 people!) The tears were contagious and others had cried as well.

Through  this heartbreak, I am reminded that I must walk in joy daily and choose joy for my life, but I do not need to walk around as if troubles never come my way.

If I walk around always saying I am fine when I am not, then I am putting on a mask and it is not healthy. Joy is mine because I choose it, it is inside me and Christ provides it, but I will face trials as will everyone else.

Often I have had Christians complain to me that they don’t feel like anyone wants them to be ‘real’. They feel that it is necessary to plaster a smile on their face all the time because nobody really wants to know what may be uncomfortable to look at. They hide their sin, they hide their pain, they hide their fears, and trials. They paste on a  smile and act like everything is wonderful.

There is a difference between sharing your heart and being a whiner, pity me party type person. Our hurts, our scars and our pain are REAL and we must deal with them.

I am not saying it is okay to run through life complaining all the time to everyone you meet about everything you are dealing with at every given opportunity. It is important to know who we can turn to with all of us, the good and the not so great. This allows people to share your burdens and be able to lift one another up in our times of trial.  When your testimony arrives, these friends, pastors or whoever it is that you had shared the full truth with, will be able to rejoice when you have welcomed the complete victory!

I am learning the balance between who I share with and who I do not, as well as spilling everything and keeping everything in. I will say it so important to not be a gloomy gus with everyone, everywhere you go. But when asked if you are okay, if you are not, do not lie, be truthful and say how you are. REJOICE that the Lord will turn your situation around for good, while being real.

I can allow friends and family to see my tears or know my hurts and frustrations, and I can still obtain joy in the midst of it. I can share it ALL with Jesus.

He knows my coming and going, I can shout out LORD I AM UNHAPPY AT THIS MOMENT! (most often that is when His peace will rush me ).

Sometimes the root to having joy, is to allow ourselves to be who we are with no strings attached. We are to grow and walk with Jesus daily and when we do that we shine with the glory of the Lord. We do not need to wear a mask covering up who we are.

Challenge this day my friends: Remove the mask you have hidden behind… Allow others to know you, to pray with you, to encourage you. Allow Jesus to remove your hurt and burdens. It is time to be free and allow those things to be revealed so we do not continue to harbor them!

2 Corinthians 3:16

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Chocolate’s anyone?

When the boys were small they loved to play with play dough. I had been keeping them busy with a brand new color while Dan and a friend played a very intense Grand Turismo game session on the Playstation.

Our boys had come into the living room with their latest creation on a plate.
“You want some chocolate?” They asked Dan. Dan grabbed a piece and pretended to eat it.

They went over to our friend Mark. ” You want a chocolate?” they asked. Mark picked up a piece of play dough that resembled a piece of chocolate quite perfectly and popped it in his mouth, all the while his eyes never leaving the game. That is until the flavor of what he just put in his mouth began to sink into his brain.

The boys were as shocked as Mark when they realized that he ate their play dough.

How often do we take something in our lives that we think is going to be sweet and good and all that yumminess, only to find out it is bland and lifeless and leads to an upset stomach.

There are many counterfeits to the word of God. There are many ways we try to fill ourselves up to try and get a smidgen of joy. But even if I forget for a moment, I am brought back around that the only way to have the fullness of joy that leaves me daily stronger and healed, is through the Word of God. Knowing the Father through the Son. Tasting and seeing that the LORD  is good and taking refuge in Him.

Challenge this day my friend : Evaluate what you are tasting, even if it looks good, is it the real deal?

Pslam 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him. ( New Living Translation )

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