I had the privilege of spending the weekend with 200 of the most wonderful women of Crossline Church in California.  They titled their weekend women’s retreat “No More Ms. Perfect,” and we dug into the “No More Perfect…” message all weekend.

One of our topics was taking off our masks, being honest about what we are dealing with. There’s always a risk involved in doing so, but I have found that the benefits outweigh the risks.

86489260There are three benefits I have experienced from honesty and vulnerability:

1) You find out you’re not alone.  When you share with others what is going on, sometimes they can relate and sometimes they know someone who can relate. When I shared the mental health issues our son is dealing with with a mom I know, she connected me to another mom who is about 4 years ahead of us.  I was so grateful!

2) You expand your network of resources.  When you share the challenges you are facing, it opens the door for others to assist you.  One phone call to my pastor after Kolya went into the hospital connected me to Michelle at our church who works in the mental health community.  Within hours, Michelle had given me a list of resources to explore and a list of things I needed to do access the help he needed.  The funny thing is that I totally know Michelle and I know where she works. However, in the craziness of his hospitalization, I completed forgot she could help.  I needed someone else to think in that moment and I was grateful when my pastor did that!

3) You increase the number of people praying for you. Prayer makes a difference. It provides direction, gives peace, and moves mountains that could not be moved in any other way. When you are dealing with some tough stuff, you need people to knock on the gates of heaven on your behalf.

What about you? What benefits have you found in taking off your mask and letting others in? 

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