For many years of my life, as far back as I can remember, I’m not even sure when it began, I felt the need to hide myself. To hide who the “real” Susie is. The goofy Susie who snorts when she laughs. The angry Susie who cries when she’s mad. The insecure Susie with her freckles, big front teeth, and giant ears. The sad Susie who couldn’t have babies. The devastated Susie whose husband was a sexual addict. The lonely Susie who needed love. The ambitious Susie whose dreams no one believed in or supported. The passionate Susie who loves Jesus more than life itself.
The voice whispered in my ear again and again…”Don’t let her out, don’t show her to others, you can’t be yourself! What would they think? Don’t act like that-no one will like that about you. Don’t talk about those things-people will think you’re crazy. Don’t show that you’re angry or sad-good Christians don’t get mad. It will look like you don’t trust God if you act like that. You better not confide in anyone about what is going on in your home-no one will have anything to do with you. Your life will be over. What kind of wife will they think you are? Don’t you dare tell anyone the dreams and desires that are in your heart-what makes you think those things will EVER happen in YOUR life?”
So I put on the mask, the plastic smile, didn’t let anyone in, didn’t let anyone know the real me. I tried to appear perfect. Perfect Susie, perfect husband, perfect kids, perfect life. It’s safer that way. No one could hurt me, criticize me, make fun of me, judge me, be disappointed in me…on and on…
Have you ever felt that way?
I finally came to the realization that God did not want me to live like this (How I got to that place is another story altogether). One day I looked around me and there was no one. No one who really knew me, no one I felt safe confiding in, no one I could entrust my heart to. And when I say no one, I really mean no one. And the funny thing is (okay, maybe the right word is not funny) that all of this was self-imposed (well, kind of). The hiding behind a mask was ME listening to the voice of one who wants to keep me contained, lonely, depressed, and ineffective (Satan).
Through a series of events in my life, God lead me to a woman (a for-sure divine appointment) who helped me to see who I am in Christ…the real Susie began to emerge. During this time of growth and change, I searched the scriptures fervently trying to find answers about what God truly thinks about me…
Psalm 139:14-16 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Psalm 27:1-4 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving
I don’t care who you are. If you’re feeling worthless, insignificant or unloved, when you read God’s word, something in you changes.
Once I began to understand and truly “get it,” I slowly allowed my mask to be peeled away. I began sharing my life with others, my hurts, my shame, my happiness, my joy, my faith, my dreams, and more. And WOW! My life has become something more than I could ever have imagined. Is it perfect? No way! But I am happier, more content and more confident in who I am now than ever before. Being myself is so much easier than pretending to be something or somebody I’m not. Living the TRUTH is exponentially better than living a LIE. I wish we could all remove our masks.
If you can relate to me, I encourage you to take the mask off today. Find someone you can trust and let it all out. Read the scriptures I posted here and look for some more in the Bible. Ask God to show you who you are, how He sees you. You know that He made you specifically the way He wanted you to be, right? And He wants you to stop hiding. No one expects perfection and no one is going to be shocked by your story. God only knows whose life you will influence if you can get out of your own self?!
When the kids were toddlers, I bought them a movie by VeggieTales called “A Snoodle’s Tale.” It’s all about a little snoodle (boy) who felt unloved and insecure because of what other people were saying about him. He thought that he was not special and had no purpose in his life. That is, until he heard what his creator said about him. He explained to the snoodle what was planned for him when he was being created. The little snoodle was part of a grand design and was a masterpiece created by his creator. Hearing these words changed the snoodle’s life. He found purpose in his life and was free to become who he was meant to be. This children’s movie illustrates what I’m trying to say perfectly. I cry every time I watch it. You should watch it too! Here’s the link for it. Start watching at 17:35. The beginning is a bunch of VeggieTales songs and stuff…http://youtu.be/gIr6EqV8jIk
I also recommend listening to Natalie Grant‘s song, “The Real Me.” I know it will bless you as it has blessed me. Here’s the link to the youtube video: http://youtu.be/i6RezoHKni0
Be who God made YOU to be! Just be YOURSELF!
the REAL Susie 😉