Thoughts From the Pillow Nest

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Masks. We hide behind them.

But the analogy I’m more familiar with is walls. Same thing. We hide behind them. And this week, as we talk more about The Cure, I’m going to go back to my analogy of walls. But first, let’s start with that hopeful bit of text that caught my eye this week.

“The greatest hope for any mask-wearer is an understanding all masks eventually crack and dissolve, gradually revealing what is hidden beneath. All masks crumble because they are man-made. This is a good thing, though. Imagine if masks didn’t crack. It would forever separate us from love, authenticity, and freedom. We could go our entire lives missing what we were created to enjoy. Our endlessly loving God allows our masks to fall apart because He cares so deeply for us.” (Lynch, McNicol, Thrall)

As a person standing behind a wall (or behind a mask) that I’m hoping will protect me, at first glance, it doesn’t seem “hopeful” to hear that my wall (or mask) is going to fall down. But only when the wall (or mask) falls down, do we truly become free.

To explain, I want to borrow back a comment that I left at my friend Rick’s spot in Cyberspace, Planned Peasanthood:

I’ve spent most of my life building an insulated cocoon where I could be safe. I suppose it could be referred to as my “kingdom.” My physical surroundings reflect the interior of my heart in that I spend most of my time wrapped in a soft blanket in a pool of pillows (aka – the pillow nest). Insulated. (When I’m not at work, anyway.) But that’s not what I’m meant for. Not really…

When I was a kid, I was sassy and audacious. Talkative, outgoing, bubbly. But each time I took a hit – physical, emotional, spiritual – I shut down a little. Closed my heart. Walled myself off. And at thirty-six, I’ve struggled with depression, agoraphobia, and introversion. But that’s not what God called me to. Not really…

Starr Daily said, “The walls we build to protect us imprison us.”

Ain’t that the truth?

But I WILL be free.

Walls. Masks. We intend them to protect us, but instead, they hold us down and hold us back. Instead of making us safe, they make us paralyzed. They take away who we really are and make us into something we were never intended to be. A prisoner. And there’s no freedom in that.

The funniest part? All of the walls and masks in the world don’t keep God from seeing us anyway. When my friend, Stephanie, was very, very small, she believed that if she couldn’t see or hear someone that they couldn’t see or hear her either. This didn’t work very well on the day that she went into her mother’s pantry, pulled out all of the dry goods, and spread them all over the floor. As Stephanie sat happily in her puddle of flour, sugar, coffee, rice, and assorted other dry items, her mother walked in. Instead of running from the room, Stephanie squeezed her eyes shut and clapped her hands over her ears, believing that if she couldn’t see or hear her Mom, her Mom wouldn’t be able to see or hear her.

Guess how well that worked?

It’s easy to laugh at Stephanie, but I’ve been guilty of doing the very same thing. I block God out, thinking that if I don’t see Him or hear Him that He’s not seeing or hearing me either. And, I’ll tell ya, this mess I’ve made? I can’t clean it up without His help. So, I may as well open my eyes, take a good look at His face, and ask for help.

This week’s chapter of our book gives me hope. I need to know that my wall/mask won’t hold me down and hold me back forever. I can step back and let God break it down and take it away. Because He loves me too much to let that wall stand between us, as long as I’m willing to let Him.

This post is part of a weekly discussion on the book, “The Cure” by Lynch, McNicol, and Thrall. You don’t have to read the book to stick around and chat with us! If you did write a response to this chapter, however, make sure you go link it up at the widget you’ll find at Connecting to Impact – my friend and co-facilitator Jason’s slice of the internet.

About Sarah Salter

Comments

  1. “He loves me too much to let that wall stand between us, as long as I’m willing to let Him”. Yes Sarah, just what you said…. There are people I wish could read these story’s you write…Some people carry these things all their lives.. Thanks for sharing…

  2. I think that’s what was so powerful to me in reading this before and now rereading it–God lets these defenses crumble not so we’ll be hurt but so we’ll be free. It’s His love and grace. I want to be upset about things not going my way, but every step, if I listen, I hear Him reaffirming and connecting me to His life and presence. Good word, Sarah! Thanks.

  3. I built many wall around myself and wore a protective mask. Somedays I still try and live in that bondage, but God graciously reminds me that living like that is living a less than the abundant life He has planned for me.

    God tore my walls down and ripped my masks off in 2008, exposing me to things I didn’t want to acknowledge. Since then He has continued to peel me back layer by layer, but it’s more gentle now…but for all of it, I’m grateful.

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