In Others’ Words: Mask On, Mask Off

Mask quote Lamott 3.13.14 Sometimes I find the quotes for my blog posts and sometimes … well, sometimes the quotes leap off the page and find me.

It’s Friday. I usually keep my Friday blog posts light. Short. It’s Friday, after all.

But Anne Lamott’s quote took me back to a time when God was changing me … reclaiming parts of my life I thought were unredeemable. And in the midst of all his changing and reclaiming and redeeming, God told me the masks I wore had to go.

Me? Wearing masks?

Oh, yeah. I toted around a virtual suitcase of ’em.

At one point in the process, it felt as if an invisible mask had slipped and was hanging off my face. Try as I might, the invisible-but-weighty mask wouldn’t go back in place. And believe me, I tried to reposition it.

There were a few people — a very few — who saw me at my worst during this time. Accepted me. Prayed for me. And because of their acceptance … their patience … the safety of their loving relationships, I was able to remove the mask. And leave it off.

In Your Words: Who in your life do you trust enough to see you at your worst? And what about masks? Do you love ’em  … or are they not a part of your daily attire? 

No Masks Required: When Relationships are Safe   Click to Tweet

Mask On, Mask Off — Choosing Real Relationships Click to Tweet

You Made Me Love You Rafflecopter Giveaway  Click to Tweet




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  1. March 14, 2014, 7:20 am   /  Reply

    What a thought-provoking post, Beth. Masks? Yes, I’ve worn them. Yes, they felt heavy, but at the time, they also felt necessary. That whole fear of not being accepted made it easier to show a fake me, or only a part of me, to avoid being rejected.

    As I’ve grown more comfortable with who I am, accepted I am who God has made me to be—with my unique experiences, heart-making and heart-breaking—it’s become easier to leave the masks in their suitcases. And be okay with the reality that some people aren’t going to like me, or aspects about me. It’s okay, because God has given me people who love me no matter what.

    Those people are my husband, family and some close friends. It would be much more difficult to walk through the days without them!

    • March 14, 2014, 1:54 pm   /  Reply

      “I am who God has made me to be—with my unique experiences, heart-making and heart-breaking … ”
      This is a life-changing truth, Jeanne.

  2. March 14, 2014, 7:30 am   /  Reply

    When I first met one pre-friend, she’d comment when seeing what she called a false smile masking sorrow. After she did this several times I began to recognize my survival mode technique. I value genuineness and don’t usually fear risk-taking. It’s been an interesting journey but I don’t think I use masks much now–if anything, I’m probably too “out there.”

    • March 14, 2014, 1:53 pm   /  Reply

      Dee: You are not too “out there.”
      Never ever.

  3. March 14, 2014, 8:01 am   /  Reply

    This one made me think, but hey, Beth, all of your posts make me think!

    To me, masks aren’t something that are intended to conceal – they reflect a goal to which I aspire. I ‘pretend’ to be what I truly want to become.

    And, that said, they eventually mold my own features. I don’t make the mask to fit me; the mask is made by God to make me fit it.

    I don’t want to let anyone see me at my worst, besides the Almighty. The folks in my life deserve my best; not as an act, but as the best true part of me that I can show at a given moment.

    • March 14, 2014, 1:52 pm   /  Reply

      Andrew: And once again, you provide a perspective that makes me think. And you live a life that I respect.

  4. Susan Tuttle
    March 14, 2014, 8:28 am   /  Reply

    My BFF and my hubby have seen me in all my mask-free glory! I wore them enough when I was younger and it got so tiring! God really had a lot of work to do on me, but I have found I love the freedom of not having to keep those masks in place too much to go back to wearing them:)

    • March 14, 2014, 1:51 pm   /  Reply

      It is all about freedom, isn’t it, Susan?

  5. March 14, 2014, 9:01 am   /  Reply

    Beth, I’m so happy for you! Throwing away those masks takes a monumental effort sometimes, and I’m very proud of you for doing so.

    I used to wear a mask all the time, but like you, God’s worked on me, changed me. He’s made me realize I don’t need a mask when my own face will do. 🙂 The only time I still put one on is when I’m feeling blue but still have to tutor kids. Their focus needs to be on learning the material, not how depressed I am. Besides, once they get here and smile at me, the blues kind of drift away anyway. So, I started out with a mask and, before I knew it, my heart was uplifted and the mask had disappeared. Neat, huh?

    God does work in mighty, mysterious ways.


    • March 14, 2014, 1:50 pm   /  Reply

      You’re right, Andrea, mask wearing is exhausting. And it’s amazing how being around children can also allow us to remove masks too.

  6. March 14, 2014, 9:15 am   /  Reply

    Mine would be my husband. He has seen me at my best, worst, and everything in between. He is my champion and my friend.

    So glad you have found the healing to drop the mask. That is a huge step!

    • March 14, 2014, 1:48 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, yes, Michelle … isn’t it wonderful when marriage is a “mask-free” zone?

  7. March 14, 2014, 1:56 pm   /  Reply

    “Oh, yeah. I toted around a virtual suitcase of ‘em.” Hilarious!

    When my Velveteen Rabbit was on speed dial during my rawest, lowest, most vulnerable moments and listened to me scream, rant and rave while planning Kristoffer’s memorial service, I’m thankful I didn’t worry about being judged.

  8. March 16, 2014, 9:52 pm   /  Reply

    What a beautiful post, Beth. I can relate.

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