By Pamela Cosel
Ten years ago, I faced a major life decision. I was going through a divorce in Colorado and had to vacate my house within weeks because it was legally in my husband’s name only. I was his second wife and had moved into his home.
At the time of my divorce proceedings, our worship pastor and his wife announced that in the next few months they were going to move to Austin, Texas, to start a new church. Anyone who was interested was invited to relocate with them as part of the church plant team. The comment went in one ear and out the other. As I left rehearsal that night, processing how our church community would soon lose this wonderful couple, I was saddened by the news.
I got into my car and sat for a few moments behind the steering wheel to ponder how the choir would be forever changed. Within seconds, my spirit and heart strongly heard, “You could go to Austin.” What? It was as if an angel had been waiting for me in the back seat. I was stunned and repeated the revelation in a loud voice, alone in the car. “I could go to Austin!” I was immediately filled with joy, fear, and panic. Joy screamed the loudest, though, and I nearly floated in the car as I drove home. My spirit was soaring.
Then I had to face some questions about my faith in God. Was it real? Had I truly heard those words? Was God giving me direction? Or was I just pretending to put my trust and faith in Him? Was I hiding behind a mask, asking God to help me discern his direction for my life? Did I put on a “Christian” mask for the sake of others? Or did I live my beliefs when I was alone at home where no one else could see?
In this time of COVID-19, we are being told to wear masks for protection from the virus. Yet how many masks do we wear in our relationships with God and with others, with the people we love? Wearing a mask to protect ourselves from diseases is one thing. Wearing masks because we are afraid to be open and honest is something entirely different.
Writers of fiction get to make believe and invent stories. That is well and good. But behind the written words are people with hearts and belief systems that comes through in their writing.
Are you wearing a mask? The next time you are praying, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I deceptive in the words I choose to use in conversations with those I love?
- Am I honest in how I portray my faith in God to others? To myself?
- When I write, do I truly seek God’s direction in what to write about?
- Do I need to feel safe in my life, and therefore hide behind a mask so others don’t really know me?
- In my writing, do I allow myself to get to the heart of the matter, or do I just keep things superficial?
- Do I need to wear an emotional mask in my dealings with others because it is too difficult to be truthful?
- Does my mask slip only to be put back in place when certain issues arise that I prefer to ignore?
- What mask do I need to remove that keeps me from having a genuine, close relationship with God?
God knows each of our hearts. No mask can keep us from His love. Remember that He wants to provide for us and will listen when we talk to Him. Don’t be afraid to remove the masks that keep you from being all God created you to be.
Pamela Cosel is a Silver member of Christian PEN. Two books for which she was hired as a co-writer both hit the Amazon #1 Bestseller lists on the days they were released, April and June 2019. They are “Return of Christ: The Second Coming” and “Jesus to Jesus.” She first began work as a journalist in 1980, with a media career in newspapers, magazines and television online news content. She regularly edits manuscripts for new and aspiring writers through her business, ATX Editing. View Pam’s website at www.atxediting.com