"But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." - 2 Corinthians 3: 16-18
From the moment we’re born, we immediately begin to struggle with the need to fit in. Some mysterious mixture of the way we are wired and the environments in which we grow up begins to form early on, and we are enticed to fit into the mold of being the person that we think everyone around us wants us to be. We become a player on the stage of life, ferociously trying to find the part that feels the most like our true self. We’ll play a part for a while until that character is worn out or not well-received, and then we’ll move on to the next, doing whatever it takes to be known and loved.
I’ve worn every mask you can find at the mask maker’s shop. It’s an enticing place filled with the most beautifully impossible promises...
“Got a little shame? Try this mask on. It’s perfect for keeping people from knowing all the horrible things you’ve done.”
”Got a little insecurity? This is the one for you. It’s called Pride, and it’ll keep everyone from being able to see the things about you that you think they wouldn’t love.”
“Struggling with doubt? Our Distraction model is the ideal antidote to keep you from having to confront the deep places in your heart that scare you to death.”
“Carry these with you back to the stage of life, and you’re sure to dupe everyone around you and even yourself into believing that you’ve got it all figured out.”
I’m done. I’m finished being defined by the masks of my past. I’m finished being defined by fear. I’m not finished with the struggle, but I’m finished with hiding. Not because I heard a motivational speaker or read a blog or listened to a great podcast or had a great conversation, but because I’ve finally surrendered to the journey of self-discovery that I believe can only happen when we begin to see ourselves through the lens of God’s perfect love.
It started with acknowledging that I had indeed placed a veil over my heart that I used to hide from myself, the people around me, and even my Savior. I realized that until I was honest about my struggles, I’d never be known, and I’d always feel locked up. I’m constantly discovering cages that lurk in the hidden caverns of my heart, but I’ve learned that the love of Jesus is the light-beam key that unlocks each prison door. When we surrender our souls to His searchlight, we find the freedom to be our true self. I’m learning how to daily allow the Lord to remove the veil from my face and just be candid about my battles.
Our song “Cages” ends with the plea “What I wouldn’t give to be known”. We spend our whole lives trying to give it all we've got just to be known, but the beauty of the Gospel is that Jesus already gave everything. We don’t have to try to fit in. We don’t have to play a part. The director of the true play is in the business of tearing through the masquerade with His perfect love.