God’s Changing Room – Leaving the Masks Behind

Batman, Spiderman, The Flash, and Mr. Incredible are some of the greatest masked characters in pop culture. Why do they wear masks? They wear them to conceal their identities. If no one knows who they really are they can’t be hurt. These masked vigilantes hide their weaknesses, desires, hopes, and dreams. If the world discovered their true identities they would become vulnerable and endangered.

As women we put on our own masks. Although they are not physical masks, most of us assume some kind of masquerade each morning. Just like superheroes, we try to conceal our true identities by covering up our failures, shortcomings, loneliness, and insecurities.

Pretending to be other people began so sweetly when we were younger. We would go into our dressing rooms and let our imaginations take us on journeys. Dressed in princess gowns of glittery organza, sparkling tiaras, shoes that glided across the floor, and wands that sprinkled fairy dust, we pretended we were the belles of the ball, the princesses of our make-believe kingdoms. Every action exuded grace, confidence, and of course beauty.

At some point we went from dress-up to cover-up—from feeling like we could conquer the world to concealing who we really are. One of the first masks I wore was in high school. I concealed myself in my athletics and dressed in the typical jock attire: ponytail, letter jacket, and jeans. I wanted to be the cute, blonde, athletic girl who boys would notice and be interested in. However, I was hiding something from my classmates; I was a 4.20 student. If they found out who I really was, would they still think of me as fun? On graduation night, after the honors were given out, several people said they had no idea I was that smart. Instead of being proud of who God made me to be, I hid behind a disguise.

As adults we are able to switch our masks depending on who we are with, almost like chameleons. We may wear masks at work and act like team players; but when we get home from work and remove our masks, all we do is complain about our coworkers. There are the masks we wear with our friends. They portray us as happy family women whose lives appear to be problem-free. We wear masks of innocence with our parents and pretend that we are perfect and have never messed up. There are also masks we put on with our families when we are irritated, mean, and ugly. Finally, there are the masks we wear to church. The most prominent type claims that “everything is good.” Phony smiles cover up the family arguments we had on the way to church, or the fact that we feel like failures because our kids are being rebellious. They are the smiles of deceit we flash as ushers lead us to our seats.

The first disguise worn in the Bible is found in Genesis 3. It did not take Adam and Eve long to figure out how to mask the things they didn’t want revealed. They listened to the serpent and succumbed to temptation by eating the forbidden fruit. As soon as they took a bite of the fruit, their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves, and they hid from the Lord, who soon covered them with animal skins.

The point when we switch from playing dress-up to cover-up is when we start listening to the enemy. We listen to his lies that we are not good enough, not pretty enough, and not loved. But the Lord who sees all our sins, mess-ups, and failures is gracious! Just as He made proper garments for Adam and Eve, He wants to exchange our masks and shrouds of shame for garments of grace.

Every day we get to choose whether we will exit our dressing rooms pretending to be people we are not, or go into God’s changing room where we can drop all the masks, facades, and disguises. He will change our filth and failures with His grace. God already sees and knows who we are. As we look into the mirror, may our reflections be equal to what He sees—women who are wonderfully woven.

Listen as He calls you the apple of His eye and a daughter of the King. God declares you are beautiful, one-of-a-kind, forgiven, blessed, anointed, gifted, and created in His image and likeness. Be confident, woman of God, in who you are!

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