Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warriors remove your masks!

Ladies, please remove your masks. Yes, your masks. Some of you might be thinking, what in the world is Carol talking about? I haven't worn a mask since, well, since I don't remember when.

Are you sure?

Let me explain. Although masks are fun for costume parties and can make us feel like somebody different, wearing one for days, months, and years would get a little uncomfortable. In fact, if you were to leave a mask on for too long, you just might start to believe you were more like the mask than yourself. Kind of like an actor "becoming" his/her character and allowing that particular character's characteristics to influence his own persona.

As a young teen, I would pretend that I was an older, more mature girl. It wouldn't be uncommon for me at fourteen to tell others that I was sixteen or seventeen. I wore this older, more seductive mask so often that I started to believe that I was an older, more mature woman. Unfortunately, I made some pretty bad choices during my teen years wearing a mask we'll talk about in another post - the seductive mask. If only, I'd allowed myself to simply be me. I could have avoided a ton of tears and tribulation.

As Christian women, called to "reign real" for Christ, it does not behoove us to remain hidden behind phony faces and facades. Reigning real means being real ... the real deal --imperfect women of God, but so loved by Him.

For the next several entries we're going to explore some common masks women tend to hide behind. Let's start with the "poor me mask." Poor me, pour me another drink. This mask could also be referred to as the victim mask.

Ladies, no matter what trials you have endured in your life, you are victorious in Christ. Do not let the enemy of our souls tell you otherwise. You are an overcomer, plain and simple. When we start feeling sorry for ourselves, we end up with I like to call the Eeyore complex. You know, good ole' Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Poor donkey. His head hung low, his tail switching back and forth, he always shared his doom and gloom worries with his friends. Everything was pretty hopeless viewed through our purple friend's eyes.

Maybe you're so scared of being hurt or embracing success that you simply hide behind this dreary mask to avoid more pain and heartache. Unfortunately, when we wear the poor me mask we tend to weight not only ourselves down, but those around us. It's difficult to be around someone who is always expecting the worse.

I think sometimes women put on the poor me mask, initially, for attention, but also, protection. They feel bad and aren't sure how to express their feelings. Rightfully, they desire love and support, yet, for whatever reason they are afraid to ask for it. So, like Eeyore, they walk through life with their heads hung low, hoping, waiting, for someone to ask, "what's wrong?"

We can garner a great deal of attention this way. Unfortunately, over time, we will wear out our welcome with others. People will see us coming and run the other way. Believe me, I know. I've worn the mask and avoided other with this mask on.

Please know, I'm not talking about clinical depression, or grief, or feeling sad. I'm talking about adapting a persona of ongoing melancholy and sadness ... a mopping mask. It's uninviting, and if we keep it on for too long, we will likely become depressed.

As Princess Warriors for Christ, we have every reason to celebrate. Life is hard, but God is good. When we need love and support, we have to learn to ask for it. Mopping around is not the answer. Wearing what my grandmother used to call a "poor, pitiful, pearl" mask will only make things worse.

If this is you, go on, take off the mask. Ask God for help. Reach out to others. Find something fun to do. Help someone else. There is no better cure for the gloomies than helping another person. That's right. Help someone else. You'll be amazed by the results.

Ladies, we all wear a mask, or two, or three, at times. Our world demands that we pretend in order to be successful or well-liked. However, no mask is lasting. No mask can keep us hidden from our pain forever and the friends we "win" while hiding may not be the kind of true friends we hope to attract. We are created in our King's image. When we hide we are basically saying that we don't like God's handiwork.

Friend, you are precious in God's sight. Go on, get real, remove that false face and let God shine through you.

Please feel free to comment and share any mask that you might be wearing or have worn in the past. What are you hiding from? Let's share and pray for each other. Shall we?

God bless you, daughters of the King.

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