I went on a beach trip with a friend this past weekend, and we talked about...well, anything and everything. On the way home, I said to my friend, I've been more me this weekend than I've been in a long time. And with that statement, I realized I still wear masks.
I wear the homeschooling mom mask. While I do love having my children at home, and love having the opportunity to teach them, I don't love it like a lot of other homeschooling moms. There have been more than a few days this year that I've wanted to run down to our local schools, and enroll my girls. Yet, for some reason, I feel pressure to love homeschooling like other moms. I'm torn on the subject of homeschooling, yet parties on either side of the issue have strong convictions, and there's no place for a teetering mom like me.
I wear the I'm-a-good-girl-now mask. This is the mask I wear most often. I make especially sure it's tightly in place when I go to church. I think I'm fearful I won't fit the mold. But, the question now begs, why would I want to fit the mold? I really no longer buy into rules and traditions that are stereotypical of Southern Baptist church goers. Yet, for fear of condemnation, when around those who adamantly hold to the rules and traditions, I play the part. I wear acceptable clothing...a little too much exposed skin would label me as inappropriate. I read acceptable books...reading Rob Bell's book might label me as a heretic. I speak acceptable lingo...one wrong word, and I no longer love and live for Jesus.
Those are just two of the masks I identified myself as wearing. I could list quite a few more. And I've realized something: I miss me. I miss being who I really am. I miss being able to question aloud. I miss voicing my opinion, or lack of, for fear of not fitting the mold. I know that Jesus loves and accepts me without the masks, so I'm questioning why I feel the need to wear masks to gain love and acceptance from others. The question of authenticity and transparency creeps right into my face. Is there a time to put aside authenticity and transparency to be acceptable in my surroundings? Or do I risk being authentic and transparent to the point that others would be uncomfortable, and perhaps, offended? Those are the questions that must weave their way through my heart and mind, while I silently pray for answers.