Slave to the Masquerade

(Photo via Google Images)

Tis the season for masks, costumes, wigs, and face paint. Dressing up as someone else is loads of fun! My boys have totes full of costumes they have worn throughout the years. Pretending to be anything from a professional football player, a super hero, a storybook character, a pirate, or a clown.

They love parading around in these costumes and taking on the persona of their character for the night. Their voice changes an octave or two. Their walk and other mannerisms change. They begin saying things they don’t normally say. “Ahoy, me hartys!” But when all the paint is washed off and they exchange their costumes for their pajamas, they are just my little boys again waiting to be tucked into bed.

Yet, seeing my youngest dressed up like Spiderman shooting fake webs from his wrist makes me wonder…

How many of us don costumes of our own making and never take them off? I’m talking about the exterior front we put up to make others think of us in a particular way.

For example, I used to be the biggest people pleaser. I wanted everyone to like me. So I walked around with a perpetual smile plastered on my face, always laughing at everyone’s jokes (even when they were not funny), and telling everyone what they wanted to hear whether I really thought that way or not. I had become very good at adapting to my various environments. I was a very talented actor.

Do you happen to know the Greek word for ‘actor?’ It’s hypocrite. And that’s exactly what I was.

I’d like to share with you a poem I wrote called “Slave to the Masquerade.” Can you relate???

Slave to the Masquerade©

The suit of many layers
suits me just fine.
It protects me from my neighbors
as a shield to hide behind.

You see, I lose myself amidst these layers
forgetting what lies underneath.
I’m the master of all players –
you never see the real me.

Of course, sometimes I get a little hot
and find the suit a bit restricting.
But as long as I never get caught
you’ll like the person I’m depicting.

And sometimes the suit gets cumbersome;
I accept it as a burden I must carry.
And other times it just makes me numb
to the pain so dreadfully scary.

Therefore, rather than shedding this suit
and freeing myself from the load.
I’ll continue walking in this repute
down this dark and lonely road.

By:  Michelle Halloran

Do you care how others perceive you?

Perhaps you want everyone to think you have it all together when underneath you are falling apart. Or that you are Mr. Tough Guy when fear consumes you. Maybe you want to be Little Miss Know-it-all so you can finally get that promotion you think you so deserve. Or that you are Mr. GQ Cool when it’s really your mom that still dresses you.

“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7

Try as we may, we cannot fool God. And we can only fool others for so long. The world is craving authenticity. It is sick and tired of fake people! Fake people are lonely people. Not only that, but keeping up a facade is exhausting. Do you want to know why it’s so exhausting?

It’s because hypocrisy puts you in direct opposition
of who God created you to be!

This is the enemy’s tactic that we must uncover in our lives! We must unmask the lies of the enemy and see him for who he really is! Satan is the ultimate masquerader.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. –2 Corinthians 11:14

It’s Satan who tells us, ‘You’re okay, you’re a good person.’ This is called self-righteousness and it undermines the importance of the cross.

God created us in need of a Savior. We cannot earn salvation by being good on our own merit. You know why? Because our human nature is not good! The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants (Galatians 5:17). Self-righteousness wants to hide the sinful nature within and pretend everything is okay.

But to admit we need the cross lifts a huge weight from our shoulders. It means we can stop trying to create an appearance of goodness to impress those around us.

Jesus spoke of this in a parable found in Luke 18:10-13:

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

Yes, we may pretend to be great, but we are not all that. The truth is, we are all sinners in need of a Savior. But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It’s by grace we have been saved through faith; and not of ourselves. It is the gift of God, not as a result of works so no one should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Praise God! We cannot earn salvation or favor with God. It is a gift freely given. When we come to Jesus, our old self is crucified with Him that our body of sin might be done away with. That we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin (Romans 6:6-7).

So no longer are we slaves to the masquerade!

There is freedom in being who God created us to be!



© Michelle Halloran and Psalms of Mine, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michelle Halloran and Psalms of Mine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Jesus is the Answer, He is Hope

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Look up, my child…

No matter what obstacle you are facing or what pit you’ve found yourself in, Jesus is the solution to every problem of every situation you will ever encounter. You may be drowning in a sea of sins, but know, Jesus is the life preserver that will rescue you. You may be handcuffed in chains of addiction, but know, Jesus is the key that will deliver you from any bondage. You may sinking deep into depression, but know, Jesus is the joy that will lift you from the quicksand.


There is never any situation He cannot rescue you from. You’ve never gone so far that His arm cannot reach you. You’ve never sinned so much that His love and mercy doesn’t cover you. He yearns for you to call out to Him. Perhaps the only words you can muster right now are, “Help me, God!

But know, that’s enough.

You don’t have to clean yourself up first, delete your explicit song list, or flush your drugs down the toilet. He doesn’t require you to first buy a Bible or even attend church. You don’t have to fold your hands or kneel in prayer to be heard. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, cry out to Him. The only sacrifice He desires is a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

I’m not writing this thinking I’m better than you. I’m writing this as a plea that you turn to Jesus in your time of need. Believe me when I say, I know what it’s like to be in the pit, to feel like there’s no way out. I want to share with you something I wrote in my journal when I was going through hard times. I hope it will minister to you.

I’m in the pit. All I see is the blue sky above. Can’t look at the dirt walls around me or the dirt floor beneath. Must keep my eyes on the blue sky. It gives me hope.

Wait! What’s that I see? There’s a hand reaching in to rescue me. My Savior! I grab on desperately to that extended hand and look intently at the pierced wound on that hand.

It’s bleeding. The hand begins pulling me slowly, ever so slowly, out of the pit. The hand keeps bleeding. I notice the blood begins pouring out over me as I cling to the hand. The blood pours out till it covers me completely.

All I see now is the blood, the hand, and the blue sky. But I trust that the hand of my Savior will keep pulling me out of the pit and place my feet on solid ground again.

The blue sky is getting bigger.

I just came from a funeral this weekend of someone I’ve loved dearly. I close my eyes and see that young girl she used to be… blonde hair glistening in the sunlight, laughing and carefree. She was the one who introduced me to christian music, back in the days of Petra and DC Talk. I can remember us jumping on the trampoline and listening to songs like ‘Heaven Bound‘ and ‘This Means War.’ I attribute her for sparking my early walk with Jesus.

But the truth is, even while we were singing, there was a war on her soul. The enemy hated her beauty and her freedom and her light. So in high pursuit, he surrounded her with people that would try to steal that from her. People who used and abused her. People who spoke death and destruction over her instead of words of life. I wish I could say she didn’t listen to them, but she did. And she fell.

Twenty years in and out of jail and drug rehab, her wayward lifestyle finally took its toll. There’s just no pretty way to say it. It was hard to see her lying in a casket. A beautiful life. Stolen. I cling to the hope that she made it right with God in those last moments and I believe I will see her again in heaven.

Hope. Without it, we would all go crazy.

I’ll say it again and I’ll keep saying it until the day I die – JESUS IS HOPE!

So, in her honor, I want to give you Jesus. Just like she gave me.

God sees us – each one on us – in our time of need. Deep in despair, overcome by our sins, and living a life of bondage, God sees us in our filth and still loves us so much. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior to a dying world. Even though we are so flawed, Jesus lived perfectly for us. Even though we are the ones deserving to die in judgement of our sins, Jesus died in our place. And as proof that His sacrifice on the cross was enough, He rose from the grave tearing the veil separating us from God in two.

He paid the price, our ransom, so we can have freedom. All we have to do is believe and allow the truth of Jesus to penetrate our hearts. The truth will set us free! Jesus is all we need! Jesus is the answer!

If you wish to accept His love and redemption, please pray this prayer right now. Pray it wherever you are, just as you are.

“Be gracious to me, Oh God, according to Thy lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Thy compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned,
And done what is evil in Thy sight…
Purify me with hyssop and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice.
Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Thy presence,
And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit. — Psalm 51:1-4, 7-12

Nothing separates us from the love of God. His love never fails.

If you’ve prayed this prayer, does this mean you will never fail again? No, it doesn’t. But it does mean that you have an advocate. There is a war for your soul, but Jesus is in your court fighting for you. So if you sin, let Him pick you up, dust you off, and once again set your feet on solid ground. Listen to truth. Cancel out the lies of the enemy. Seek the face of Jesus. Pray. Read the word of God. Surround yourself with other believers. We are all in this together. Know that you are not alone.

Dear Reader, I believe in you! If you’ve prayed this prayer or if you are struggling and would like me to pray for you, please let me know. I’d love to encourage you in the Lord! He is our all in all!!!

In Loving Memory of Alicia Roehrs, 8/13/78 – 10/20/15