Is It the Real You?

Gold Brush Stroke

God ways are not my ways, that’s for sure.

In July, I attended a fabulous conference, She Speaks, in North Carolina. Saturday evening, we had the awesome privilege of attending a presentation by Liz Curtis Higgs. In her talk, Liz  encouraged us to be ourselves (vulnerable) and speak from our hearts as well as from the Word.

This humorous and pointed message resonated deeply with many of us. To me, it was as if Jesus Christ himself were onstage, speaking of our worth through Him–in all our imperfections.



Later that evening as I waited in line to have Liz sign her book, Embrace Grace, a fellow She Speaks attendee stepped into line, weeping uncontrollably. As I sought to comfort her, she declared the freedom she had just found in Christ. Repeatedly, she proclaimed she no longer had to hide behind the mask she had carefully constructed.

For years this precious sister in Christ hid behind a facade, certain she’d be ostracized for the truth of her past she harbored inside. She pretended to be a good girl, an upstanding Christian–and dressed the part (to a T)—even founding and directing a ministry. Yet she lived a lie. Inside, the real her was trapped—until that night.

Liz helped this recovering “good girl” see that nothing in her past could separate her from the Lord’s love. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. The Lord can and will use all our past failures to bring Him glory if we follow in obedience.

I have no doubt my friend will be able to minister to many formerly “unreachables” with her testimony. She will be an awesome mentor to those who feel unworthy of forgiveness because of their past.

But this experience made me wonder:

How many of us are hiding our real selves? How many of us are putting on a mask each day before we step out the door–or perhaps even in our own homes? How many of us are hiding the true “us” because we are fearful of being judged?

Is it you?

Honestly, at times I do.

What a shame. When we hide who we are … When we stuff our ugly past or present down … we miss the opportunity to heal, and our wounds continue to fester. My She Speaks sister suffered for years, living a lie, struggling to prove her worth, all the while believing she had none.

By being less than authentic, we also miss another important gift: the blessing of ministry, of being used by God in another person’s life. Someone out there is facing the same issues you are dealing with. Somewhere someone is tempted by the same situation, has sinned in the same way, or is dealing with the same pain.

You can pretend to have it all together or you can offer others the hope you found in the Author and Perfecter of our faith. God uses the weak and the least to minister most effectively. It is from our lack, not our plenty, that we are able to most bless(←Tweet this!)

Praise God that He heals the broken and restores the wretched! Praise God that He makes the unworthy worthy and the filth-covered white as snow! Praise God that He loves the real, sin-laden me–and you!

Take off your mask and let Him shine through the authentic you.

“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart” (Psalm 51:17).

Share in the Discussion: Do you find yourself hiding behind a facade? What is holding you back from exposing the real you? How can I pray for you? 

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By His Grace,



  1. Nicole on November 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Love the honesty and candor with wwhich you write…The enemy deceives us into thinking masks are easier than being authentic, but in reality he is yoking many with heavy burdens….blessings…Nicole

    • juliesunne on November 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts, Nicole. Yes, he is a thief and deceiver–robbing us of what Christ gave so much to secure.

  2. messymarriage on November 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Great message, Julie. One we all need to remember and apply in our lives. I really appreciate people who are real and not just authentic but have walked that valley of trouble and failure and are willing to talk about it–allowing God to have glory through their brokenness. There is such value in that kind of life. 🙂

  3. messymarriage on November 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    This is such an important message, Julie–one that needs to be shouted from every blog that represents the name of Christ. We are the redeemed and no failure or reality is a loss in Christ’s economy. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • juliesunne on November 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      I appreciate your comments about the value of living redeemed in Christ. Blessings.

  4. Tauna on November 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    This is so true. I think all are tempted to hide and many live that way. I spent years hiding before coming to Christ. It is good to encourage each other in this way and draw each other out of hiding.

    • juliesunne on November 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      I think many continue to hide after coming to Christ out of shame or a fear they will be judged and deemed “unfit” due to their past. I’m so thankful you felt/feel safe enough to be yourself, Tauna. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Pamela on November 15, 2012 at 8:37 am

    This is a subject we all need. I think many times i mask the real me because I’ve found so many are uncomfortable with the “me” that wants to know what God is teaching them and what truths they are struggling with, etc. Fashion and shopping just don’t interest me as much. Many times, when I lower the mask I find a yearning deep inside others to explore a deeper life.

    • juliesunne on November 15, 2012 at 8:47 am

      Exactly, Pamela! I think we often rob others of the joy and beauty found in Jesus Christ because we hide Him in our insecurity and desire to be liked and accepted by all. We become embarrassed or shy about proclaiming His majesty and glory to the world. It’s time to be bold for Christ. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

  6. Ann @ Christ in the Clouds on November 17, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Catching up from last weeks blog hop over at Winsome Wednesday. It saddens me that some Christians feel like they can’t show their true selves, in fear of being judged by other Christians. So thankful your friend found freedom to do so at the conference! We need to open the doors daily to show God’s unconditional love, both within the church and to the unsaved!
    In His Love, Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

    • juliesunne on November 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly, Ann. Grateful you took the time to comment. Blessings.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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