Recently I was fascinated (hooked on actually) by a photo editor app on my phone. I was only familiar with the brightness and cropping to edit a photo until I came across this app which had many more options beyond what I knew. I was just stunned to see the options – slim face, large eyes, slim nose, many types of makeup tools, hairstyles, eye colours, skin tones, tools etc. Out of curiosity, I tried them to see how my picture would look with all these alterations. Even though this app made me look better and different, I knew that wasn’t the “real me”. It was just a trick of the app which made me feel happy for a moment in what I appeared to be.
In the same way, when I look at my life, I so wish to have it look different. I try to present it as best as I can. I put a smile on my face, hide the tears in my eyes, and try to make my voice as bold and cheerful as possible. I pretend that I am very strong in facing all the challenges of life and I am just happy being all I am. I am no different than my next door neighbour. I also want to appear better emotionally by answering: “Yes! I am doing fine and all is well here”, to the questions of my family & friends. But deep down in my heart I know that isn’t the “real me”. I am just trying to appear different than who I am.
Sometimes we feel so much relief not to show our real self to the world or show a better version of it. Maybe because we think our real self will disqualify us from people’s approval, their acceptance and any significance. Maybe we think that no one will understand our struggles and pain even if we share them. We might even think people will judge us for who we are. We want to be part of the crowd and have a picture-perfect life without any flaws or failures. But in the attempt to appear perfect and flawless often the “real me” gets buried and hidden. We can be at ease in this pretend play but deep down in our hearts we know that isn’t the “real me”.
But the beautiful truth I want to share with you is: God knows this “real me”. He sees your heart, he knows your emotional state, your hurts, your fears, your doubts, even your lack of faith, your not so good thoughts, and your each and every feeling. And He invites you to be the real you in His presence so He can bestow His grace upon you. In those quiet moments with Him, He wants to search your heart and revive your soul letting you remove all the masks and allowing you to be the real you, inviting you to bring your brokenness to Him, shed tears in His presence, lay your hurts, your confusion, fears, and your every feeling at His feet.
Dear Father, I come into your presence setting aside all my pretensions and masks. Please search my heart and fill it with your joy and peace today. Here I stand; broken, worried, confused, angry, hurting, resentful and trying to grasp onto the little faith I have in my heart. And deep down in my heart I know it’s the “real me”. Thank you for embracing me with your outstretched & loving arms. In Jesus’ name, Amen!