Will You Come to My UN-Masquerade Party?

3:00 AMHeather

I cried when I left my first boot camp yesterday morning.  Yep, tears rolling down my cheeks.  Partly because I had a familiar feeling--icky and embarrassed.  And I quickly remembered when I had felt it before.  It was when I was the new kid (again!  life as an Army brat) in 6th grade and I nearly failed the Presidential Fitness Test.  It felt awful.  Both yesterday...and back then.  Back then, I felt humiliated and as if I didn't measure up.  I didn't fit in.  

Memories mocked me of my awkward huge glasses and the braces and the fact that for those in my new PE class, all they knew about me was that I wasn't athletic.  At all.  And I had just made my first impression at my new school with two words.  Epic Fail.

As I tried to leave Boot Camp without anyone noticing (again--epic fail), I realized I was also crying for another reason.  Besides that I could hardly keep up or finish the reps for many exercises.  I had that sinking feeling again that my body has betrayed me.  True, I might lean to the dramatic (as well as a rather low number of push-ups in 60 seconds).  But, as a migraine patient, I often feel frustrated by the cycles of pain.  And the maintenance meds that have yucky side effects such as weight gain or feeling dizzy.  Or the rescue meds that mean I have to drum up someone to help with my kids.  Again.  Or, speaking of epic failures--how about the botched Botox migraine injections nearly 16 months ago that I've come to accept means my neck will never have full range of motion or be far from feeling tense or hurting?  I know many face much worse in life, and I don't mean to sound like a complainer.  Just keeping it real about my moment yesterday.

I had hardly walked in the house before my phone vibrated with a text message from a friend from Boot Camp.  Asking if I was okay.  And, I can't tell you how that 6th grader inside of me thrilled that someone cared.  Our conversation led from one topic of fitness goals to another.  Her goal to get organized.  Hey--I may not be the Queen of Fitness Exams, but organizing I can do!  I quickly offered to help.  Anytime.  Cause I have this sick thrill and contentment and happiness about helping someone get organized.  It's why my sister used to pay me to clean her room when we were in high school. 

But my friend said she didn't think she could have me come help because she was so embarrassed about her clutter.  Um, HELLO?  Remember me on the other end of this conversation?  Who left Boot Camp in tears like some big sissy baby?!

I challenged her to trust me with it--to be authentic.

And, then I realized something.  Don't we all hide our clutter?  And, I don't mean the junk we shove into the closets or under the beds.  I mean, don't we all hide the clutter of the pains and wounds and fears and failures?  Don't we all walk through life as if we are in a perpetual Masquerade Party?  Heaven forbid anyone realize our shortcomings.  I mean, like announcing to the entire Bloggy World that you are reduced to a middle school puddle by 45 minutes of exercise?  Never.

Glimpse of GRACE:  Our children's pastor, Toby, preached an amazing sermon several weeks ago about taking off our masks.  And, boy did it hit a nerve with me.  Because I long for authenticity.  Genuine faith.  Genuine relationships.  Based on love and trust and forgiveness.  And grace.  In my own life--and the lives of those around me.  My own attempt to hide my clutter as I scurried off from Boot Camp caught up with me.  And, thank goodness it did.  Shame on me for not stopping right there--in that circle of friends--and being authentic.  Ripping off my mask and being real with the clutter in my heart.  I'm thankful I didn't get away with it.  I'm thankful for a thoughtful friend who didn't let me, but instead cared enough in her busy day to check in.  Oh, I pray she'll give me the privilege of trusting me with her clutter.  And, not just the closet kind.  

Won't you all join me in my UN-Masquerade party?  Jesus knows our clutter anyway.  And, he died to cover it all and redeem us.  May we not cheapen the cost of his sacrifice by hiding our clutter from each other. 

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