When I was first asked to “write my story” for the HCF women’s blog, I hesitated.  I mentioned it to my husband and he replied, “Have you?”  Uh no, my first thought was fear. Fear of being vulnerable, of being a not-so-good writer, of what others think…..I was then reminded in a gentle voice, “I did not give you a spirit of fear but of courage.” Well then, here I go.

I have always been one that had put a “mask on.” I have lived with so many of those that I couldn’t remember who the real Kerstin was. I hid in shame from many different things, such as things done to me as a child. Other things were poor choices I made as I went into my teen years and then as an adult. I hid anger toward others by hurting myself, hid so many emotions and feelings; I didn’t know where one started and another ended. Masks don’t allow a person to grow, love, feel, share—they only allow you to “exist.”

I “knew” God existed, but I placed Him in the area of the “punisher/doesn’t care” category in my life. As an adult, I went to church, and was involved in church activities…all the while pretending with my mask of “goodness.” And then about 8 years ago my life started to come together in the right direction.

I married the man I have always known in my heart. We didn’t listen to God and our hearts 35 years ago, and in those years we existed without each other. During these last 8 years, we have come to know the Lord together, and are building our relationship in love, respect and truth through our commitment to the Lord.

During our wedding ceremony, we had a rope placed around our hands and took our vows, showing that Christ is the tie that binds us. Our hearts are now one with Christ. I have finally let those masks fall, realizing that with Christ I don’t have to fear what others will think, or of being vulnerable. I was able to share those secrets about my masks with my husband—some that I have lived with since childhood—and I did it without shame, fear or guilt. I felt such deep love and respect from him when I did it, and felt peace and a release of a very heavy burden. I finally felt the peace and love of God.

My husband has been my biggest supporter of who I am—a woman, friend, mother, spouse and grandma who loves fully and deeply, who cries at commercials on TV, who is a playful, joyful free spirit dancing to the songs on the radio, and best of all a child of a loving God. I do this without being a “slave to fear” as the song “No Longer Slaves” reminds me.

What “masks” do you put on? Would you let them fall today and surrender them to Jesus?

This post was written by Kerstin DelDonno. To read more about her, click here.