Guest writer Chrystal Evans Hurst has some powerful words to share. We have become masters of illusion, spending time, energy, and resources to present a misrepresentation of our true self- we are part of the great cover-up.
Selfies. Most of us have taken them. Some of us have taken them seriously. If you’ve ever posted a selfie on social media, you can appreciate the work it takes to get a good one. The lighting has to be right. The angle has to be right. And of course, the filter has to be right, too.
Selfies are a serious business.
I’m embarrassed to say there have been times it took thirty snaps to get the one photo I felt was actually representative of what I wanted others to see. Cause what others see is important to us. Too important sometimes!
That is why we have become masters of illusion, spending time, energy, and resources to present a misrepresentation of our true self. We’ve become more concerned with protecting our image than we are with getting help for our problems. In fact, we can do such a good job of hiding our true self from others that, in the process, we do a good job of hiding it from ourselves. This leaves us with embarrassment, guilt, shame, or self-consciousness, and the more we hide, the more there is to keep hiding.
Why do we go through so much painstaking effort to cover up?
It’s simple, FEAR.
Fear of judgment from others and fear of harm to our reputation.
I know about this fear because I too have been a participant of the great cover up and, as a result, spent many years masked in the dark.
But, I also know that we have to make up our minds to live in the light. We have to find a safe place, and take off the mask.
I am asking you to join me in doing the unthinkable — Don’t persist in the cover-up. Reject the disguise, and be willing to be known.
I always love writers who challenge me to do the unthinkable — to better connect to the girl that I long to be in life. But I often pause and wonder, “Wait…Have you experienced the unthinkable? Did you take off the mask? How did that work for you?”
So since I am encouraging you to put down your mask, let me go first. Brace yourself girl, because this is me a bit unfiltered.
“I am a girl who has struggled with insecurity, battled with promiscuity, experienced pregnancy outside of marriage, fought regularly with the fat demon, and wrestled with a sense of shame and insignificance as a result of it all”
Whew… that felt liberating!
I can be honest with you about my faults and failures because I know that shame can be short-lived and give way for something much more valuable and enduring…FREEDOM.
Take off the mask—the one you’ve been hiding behind for a long time—and know when you do, it can hurt. The light burns, and the sensitivity to fresh air feels uncomfortable. Living in full acknowledgment of your tears leaves you open to the criticisms of others and the judgments of those who have no idea what it means to walk in your shoes.
But in the process, you open yourself up to freedom. Here are a few practical ways to start unmasking your true self.
The next time you are shrinking on the inside, but you feel compelled to wear a smile to convince everyone you’re okay…be vulnerable and tell someone you trust how you really feel.
When you’re lonely and are longing to be known, don’t cover it up with pictures on social media showing how satisfying your life is…be vulnerable and call a sister to come over and spend time with you.
Instead of covering up the fact that you aren’t good with God by being good at religion, join a small group where you can share your issues without judgment.
Don’t cover up the end of your streak of sobriety, seek professional or Christian counsel about your pattern of overindulging.
Don’t cover up that you’re struggling with purity, backing yourself into a corner of shame, self-condemnation, and guilt, which only keeps you sleeping around. Tell a trusted friend who has a spiritual compass to help navigate you back on track.
When you reject the great cover-up, you also reject a weight that’s kept you burdened and bound to a lie you don’t have to continue living with.
When you take off the mask, acknowledge your tears, and reject the cover-up, you will be able to breathe.
You will live in the light…and live free.
More about She’s Still There:
What’s a woman to do if her life is not taking shape the way that she thought that it would? What happens when she looks at herself in the mirror, lingering a little longer than usual, and realizes that she no longer recognizes the person staring back at her? What does she do when she sees that, somehow, her life has drifted away from all her original hopes, dreams, or plans?
I have been that woman. I wrote this book because I, too, know what it is to wander from the life that I was meant to live. But I’ve learned some things about how to find my way back — and I want to encourage you. Sometimes we simply need someone to hold our hand, cheer us on, and believe we are still capable of being who we intended to be.
In She’s Still There, I authentically share, from one girlfriend to another, the importance of the personal process and the beauty of that path. It’s a book of “me toos,” reminders of the hoped for, and challenges for the path ahead—to find direction, purpose, and true satisfaction.
Chrystal Evans Hurst co-authored the bestselling Kingdom Woman with her father, author, and pastor Tony Evans. She reaches a wide audience of women speaking at conferences, sharing on her blog, “Chrystal’s Chronicles,” writing for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and teaching and leading women in her home church. Chrystal also cultivates hearts and commands chaos as the chief operating officer of the Hurst household. She and her husband Jessie adore their three very hungry boys, two adult girls, one son-in-love and their one gorgeous granddaughter.