On the day of Halloween the proprietor of a local convenience store put a large sign on the front door that said “Please Remove Your Mask”. He wanted to be sure that the workers would have no fear that perhaps they were going to be robbed by someone in a mask. He wanted each person who entered the store to become who they really are.
During the years before my husband died, I wore many masks – the mask of “I’m a Strong Christian” and “I Can Handle Everything”. After he received the terminal diagnosis, I put on other masks – the mask of “Denial” and “I Can Be Strong for Both of Us”. Once his death occurred, I put on the masks of “I Have Lost My Value”, “I Have No Purpose Now”, and “I’ve Got to Do Life All By Myself Now”.
One by one those masks have been stripped away, but there are times when I find that one or more of them are back on. How much more could we really relate to one another if we would all pull off those masks that we are wearing? All of our pretenses would be gone and the real us would be evident.
There is a lot of stress that comes with each of those masks – stress that God never intended for us to have to live with. The only way to truly avoid that stress is to come to that place where we can really trust God with literally everything in our lives.
One of the main things that I have learned about myself through the death of my husband is that there have been a lot of things in my life that I took at face value without ever questioning their validity. It was just easier for me that way and I didn’t have to think for myself. But now that my masks are coming off, I’m finding that I need to think things through and find the truth for myself. And in that process I am not dishonoring my parents or my husband. Most of all, I am not dishonoring God who desires to guide me into all truth. This is all just a part of the freedom that comes with removing my masks. I can guarantee one thing – there will be no masks worn when we step across into eternity.
Were there any masks that were stripped away when your husband left this earth? If so, what have you learned about yourself?