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What are we hiding?

You know them. They are the ones with the perfect car, the perfect hair, the perfect house, the perfect kids. We all know them. Most of us try to be them – at least to the outside world. It’s a Facebook and Instagram phenomenon. You will see the occasional “real” picture of someone’s hard day, but most of the time, it’s the perfect, beautiful, and joyful times. If you think that’s all there is, you’re looking at Fakebook.

You can hardly blame us, though. If you look through your photo albums, you don’t really take pictures of the hard times. If I tried to snap a picture of my moody teenager in the middle of a tirade about my horrible parenting, I’m pretty sure I’d end up injured. Honestly, I don’t want to remember it anyway.

We don’t have to post our darkest moments or spill our ugliest thoughts to the world, but on some level, we can’t live behind the mask of the perfect.

I have to tell you that I have been hiding for a long time. I realized it as I was talking to an editor. She called me out and said I was holding back. I had a personal story that needed to be shared outright and not hinted at throughout the book I’m working on. As I told a friend what the editor had said, he replied, “What is it?”

My response: “What is what?”

“The story”

And then I knew. I stepped back, not wanting to share this part of my faith journey with this person I knew and trusted. I wasn’t willing to share this gift I had been given with the people I loved, much less show myself to the people I was writing for. I had been standing behind my mask of “expert” telling everyone what I had learned but not letting anyone into the journey.

It's time to take off the mask, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

Of course, God is not one to be subtle, and in emails, the readings at Mass, and even the scripture card I have on my desk, I heard in no uncertain terms, “Stop hiding your light.”

Matthew 5:14-16, Don't hide your light, Karen May, Amayzing Graces

You may or may not have noticed. It’s not a big change, even though it feels really big to me. I’ve just shown my face a little more and shared my journey in a more real and less preachy way – I hope.

You’ll have to wait a while longer for the story in the book I’m working on, but if I see you and you ask, I’ll tell you. Just give me a second to work up to it. J

My youngest daughter and my future son-in-law both enjoy photography. It’s great for me, because I get access to some pretty amazing pictures, and they’re already edited and filtered.

Filters are funny – they can enhance the beauty of the photo, which never really seems to capture the wonder in front of us, and they can make the photo something surreal and completely different from the thing it represents.

Which filters do you use? Do they bring your life beauty or distort them into something that could never be real?

I know that I have several filters I apply to my life – among them are mother, wife, author, Catholic, perfect, competent, expert, filled with love, peaceful. Some of them work well, and some of them get in the way on occasion. It’s hard to take them off, even when I know they’re unrealistic.

It helps to know that God sees us without the filters and will do His very best to help us see the beauty we have in His eyes.

Do you have filters that are hard to take off? Let me know in the comments below, and let’s pray for each other!

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