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Day 6 – Taking Off My Brace Face
by Rachel Aren
I recently saw a stage production entitled The Brave Face Project. I only saw the play because a good friend of mine, who was one of the main characters in the play, invited me. If I wasn’t personally invited I wouldn’t have gone. The reason may be silly: I hated the title. It made me cringe. It made me sad. It made me angry. Why? Because I’m a 28 year old woman, and I am sick and tired of wearing my brave face all the time. And I know I’m not the only one. We all have them; we all wear them. In many ways, we need them.
I’m glad my friend invited me; turns out God had a message for me.
The play was a series of mini plays where women acted out their stories of shame in an effort to metaphorically remove their brave face. The entire Brave Face Project encouraged women everywhere to do the same. Although this play did not have a spiritual agenda, it spoke to me about my own life. Throughout the play I realized the weight of my own brave face, which I wear like armor, and I started to think about the places and events in my own life that made me cling to it like a baby to a pacifier. What messages or lies have I believed that make me put it on every morning? In what areas of my own darkness has God not shed light in order for me to slay my brave face? I’m tired of being brave; I’m tired of daily peace shattered by pressure to hide the areas in which I’m broken, or fearful, or insecure, or shameful or hurt. This surly can’t be how God calls women to live.
I left that play realizing that God gives me an invitation everyday to take off that brave face and come to him just as I am: insecurities, fear, hurt, shame, joy, confusion, exhaustion, embarrassment. Bring it all.
I’m working these days to take off my mask and show up as I am. Bring my whole self to the table. I’m conscience these days of offering my entire body as a living sacrifice. Not just the brave part of me, all of me (without the brave face). (Romans 12:1)
That’s my everyday offering.