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Unmasked

Unmasked

One of the sweetest parts of marriage is that my husband loves me no matter what. Now I’m not just talking about he loves me even if I make crazy chore lists for him or he loves me even if I roll my eyes at him. There’s something bigger. He loves me without my mask.

I can’t believe the depth of that sometimes because I’m so broken, and the only reason I’m able to see it in my husband is that I first see it in God’s design too. He loves me despite what I’m hiding, despite my frailties and setbacks. He loves me without my mask.

We know that we are “God’s handiwork.” That’s every bit of us— even the parts that are bruised, even the parts we’d like to hide.

Sometimes people hurt us or let us down and we stop facing the world and start putting on a mask. It looks good to those around us. We’re this corrected projection of ourselves. We’re the perfect Christian girl in the pew on Sunday. We’re the son with the scholarship to college. We’re the athlete with the future ahead of us.

And at the same time, we’re terrified.

If there’s one crack in our mask, it’s over. They’ll know our struggles and shame. We are so afraid that someone will see the ache inside of us, and so we get used to hiding our faces, and we let “Christian” words like “grace” and “love” bounce off our masks because we think it’s not enough.

I’ve struggled with my mask. I don’t want God to see the doubts in my eyes and the curses on my lips, but he didn’t send his son to die for my mask. He sent his son to die for me.

He wants me.

He loves me.

Right now.

Maybe you’re hiding blue bruises from a relationship turned wrong. Maybe you’re hiding bloodshot eyes from a lonely night. Maybe you’re hiding scars you can’t admit to.

The truth is your mask wasn’t meant to save you. It’s no superhero’s armor. Best of all, you won’t need it on your knees.

God loves you without the mask. See, grace is relentless. It will keep pushing into you and keep going after your heart. It doesn’t stop when you have a setback. It’s unconditional.

The simplest analogy I can think of is that a thief wears a mask because he’s hiding something. He doesn’t want to be known. Now, maybe you don’t want to show your face yet. Maybe you’re not ready to be known.

But be encouraged that God wants to know you. It’s not about taking off the mask so you can be punished for what you did wrong. It’s about taking off the mask so you can be made whole in Christ.

Despite whatever you’ve done or whatever is going on in your life, my prayer for you is you take off your mask. You take a deep breath. You get a little scared, and you pull off that mask, and let grace rush into you.

Amanda Casanova is a journalist by trade, but a writer first. She is happily married to her college sweetheart and together they own way too much Texas A&M University merchandise. Above all that though, she loves Jesus and is absolutely floored by his grace and love. Find her blog at http://tx.ag/casanova. Email: amanda@heartsupport.com
  • Sophia

    My eyes swelled up with tears reading this post. I can relate on so many levels. I have several masks for different occassions. I have been building up my collection for years. I am relieved that I’m not the only one who feels this way, that someone out there understands. I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason, and I needed to read this. Thank you Amanda for sharing ♥

  • Fallower

    Thank you.This is beautiful.Reading it almost made me cry(and i do that rarely)

    “Sometimes people hurt us or let us down and we stop facing the world and start putting on a mask. It looks good to those around us. We’re this corrected projection of ourselves.”

    -I could take that as a statement of lying, pretending. What i have found is that when i´m transparent and open(to the details)
    then i´m giving chance to people/friends to help me. And thru that i find out-who is a real friend and who is just a “friend” who hangs out
    with me when i´m “successful(in the materialistic terms) and mentally stable.”. But yeah, i have developed different personalities for
    different things i do. Otherwise i would lose the ability to function(usually that happens, when i just try to be real me) . Perhaps one great falling is needed
    to finally deal with the stuff.

    “If there’s one crack in our mask, it’s over. They’ll know our struggles and shame. We are so afraid that someone will see the ache inside of us, and so we get used to hiding our faces, and we let “Christian” words like “grace” and “love” bounce off our masks because we think it’s not enough.”

    -that is a challenging statement. What if i would be honest with friends and with my pastor ? About what i really go thru( all night parties, messing ups and sinning)
    What i have realized is that shame and quilt usually fades when being radically honest.
    And after all-it is a miracle itself that i have survived
    all these years of drinking to blackout(how did my liver survived is still a mystery to me) and other insane things.

    Close to fasting and already been a bit open about my stuff to my close friends and decided to heal, rather to suffer.

    “Despite whatever you’ve done or whatever is going on in your life, my prayer for you is you take off your mask. You take a deep breath.”
    -In the process of it. It´s very painful(emotionally feels like someone is sticking a needle thru my heart and chest) tho. But i´m ready for it.

    After all i´m thankful for everything-thru countless times of suffering i have learned how important is love, honesty and respect in this life.
    Also it has become quite easy to see people thru(no matter how “successful one can be)/detect people who are laying), living in pain(some pastors for example).

    Althought i almost daily suffering from negative and abusive memories(automatically happens) what cause panic attacks, detailed backflashes and emotional pain(its close what military people experience, symptoms tend to be similar).
    Living me feeling worthless, useless and numb and tired almost all the time.Beautiful is the fact that thru Jesus all wounds will be healed, at one point.
    Becoming confident,humble, deeply loving person.