Ah. I did my fair share of pretending in my life.
And in the end, all my pretending did was delay an important diagnosis, which, as a result, caused me to miss out on some of the aforementioned real life and all that goes with it.
So when I read the above quote while reading the book version of “The Song” by Chris Fabry and Richard L. Ramsey, a modernized account of King Solomon turned into the stuff of movies, I kind of took a breath.
I couldn’t have said it better.
Pretending cheats us out of living in the light of truth.
It’s not noble.
It’s not easy.
It’s not the answer.
And yet we do it way more than we think we do.
It’s our knee-jerk reaction to wanting to hide in the crowd. Avoid drawing unwanted attention and advice. And in the process, miss the gifts others might have for you.
What He has for you.
And meanwhile, truth heals us. But then we go ahead and make it complicated. And it doesn’t have to be.
I’m such an example of this. When I told the right people about my symptoms, the truth brought freedom. And a diagnosis that was for more than just me.
And that freedom gave me a new lease on how to live.
A hard process to be sure, but so worth it.
Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
I don’t say it lightly, but God was able to use my Dysthymia to bring a freedom I had been lacking. Lacking for nearly three decades.
My diagnosis ended my need to pretend.
Pretending I felt like everyone else.
Pretending I could pile task after task on my plate and not crumble from the meltdown.
Pretending to be chipper.
Pretending that home was perfect.
Pretending anxiety and depression and everything they entail were never in my vocabulary.
I’m told I had a lot of people fooled.
Not something to ever be proud of. Means many people only had a peak at the real me. And I truly thought I was doing everyone a favour.
Pretending will never do us any favours.
It only keeps out help, compassion, health, healing, resolve, and grace.
And keeps us trapped in the very grip of whatever we need to be delivered from.
How well I know.
And I also know that pretending, also known as deception, is good pals with shame.
And isn’t that what the enemy’s motive boils down to. If he can’t trick us with lies, he’ll build up lies that condemn and bring shame.
“No one will understand this.”
“No one will believe you, and then what?”
“Think of how this will make your whole family look?”
“Tell them the truth and suddenly watch your friends disappear.”
“Show them your scars and flaws and people are going to think you don’t have enough faith.”
And we’ve been trained to want acceptance at any cost.
Valuable turf for shame to claim.
And shame only robs us of what is real.
God wants us to know that shame does not have our best interests at heart.
And that through one historic transaction on the Cross, shame cannot force the currency of pretending and suffering on us any longer.
His truth for us is spelled out in real grace, real mercy, real forgiveness, real love, real healing and real freedom.
“For the grace of God has displayed itself with healing power towards all mankind!” Titus 2:11
Grace with His healing power extended to us removes all shame.
Take a deep breath, friends. What have you hidden recently? Disguised? Camouflaged? Dressed up or played down?
Shame will whisper that there’s no one who will get it.
But that’s a lie.
Even if there weren’t another soul, God’s got you.
Don’t cheat yourself and God out of a truth-filled life.
He wants to give us life and give it to us abundantly, richly, powerfully.
Even if you can’t tell another soul just yet…
And watch as He weaves you a world where you don’t have to pretend anymore.
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