Are you hiding behind a “Sunday smile, I’m okay mask”?

masksAbout 4 1/2 years ago I was ready to give up and I didn’t want to go on living. On the outside I appeared to be okay, but secretly underneath my “Sunday smile” I was in the biggest spiritual battle of my life.

Even though I was a Christian, a pastors’ wife, a Bible teacher and a worship leader, I was not okay. I was haunted by memories, struggling with a disease and overcome with depression. The secret struggles had finally consumed my life and I had reached a point of near hopelessness. My faith was next to none and I was contemplating taking my own life. But God intervened and sent a messenger of hope, a woman who looked behind “the mask” and dug deeper than my “I’m okay” responses.

The Lord miraculously rescued me; He lifted me out of the pit of despair and set me completely free. My life has been forever changed by His amazing grace and I am now walking in His resurrection power. I will never be the same again! “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God….” Psalm 40:2-3

I have such a burden for God’s people, for those who are secretly struggling just like I was. I want to ask you a question, “are you hiding behind a Sunday smile, everything’s okay mask”? Chances are, if you aren’t somebody you know is. I believe that many Christians today are being held captive by shame, addiction, depression, fear, anxiety and so much more. Outwardly, they appear to be okay, but on the inside they are secretly struggling. The “Good News” is He desires to set His people free.

The message that is stirring in my heart is this; there is hope, healing and victory in Jesus Christ! In John 10:10 Jesus said “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. The enemy is ruthless. It is his goal to keep us from being who God created us to be and render us ineffective as the body of Christ. But God is bigger than the enemy and his tactics.  Psalm 60:12 says, “With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies”.  

Know this, the Lord has a plan for you and every individual. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “for I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope.” God never intended for us to be overwhelmed, depressed, stressed out or burdened down by life. In fact He provided for our every need through Calvary and made it possible for us to walk in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ!

Maybe your secretly struggling and this message is for you. If you are, I want you to know there is HOPE and you are not alone. Please seek out help, such as a pastor, Christian counselor, trustworthy friend or family member, exc… There are also ministries like Teen Challenge that may be able to help you if you are dealing with a secret addiction. You don’t have to face and go through this on your own. There are people trained and willing to help you.

I am so thankful the Lord intervened in my situation. If He hadn’t, I am convinced I wouldn’t be alive today. I have gone from feeling hopeless 4 1/2 years ago, to being hope filled today. That is our WONDERFULAMAZING GOD! He rescued me and I know He desires to the same for everyone that stands in need of Him.

I want to leave you with this thought/challenge: If you are secretly struggling, REACH OUT for help. If you know or sense someone else is struggling, REACH IN to help!