We wear masks. 

This blogpost is something that has been on my heart. It isn’t a beautiful, make you feel real good message. It’s honesty, vulnerability and scars wrapped up into a short, few paragraphs.

I find that more than ever before, there seems to be a spirit of comparison, especially amongst the milenial generation. We scroll through our news feed and compare and wish and hope and dream. “She’s so pretty. He’s so cool. I wish I had their life.”

I remember when someone told me: I wish I could be you. Your life is so cool.

And, it hit me real hard. We wear masks. On social media, we wear masks. And, in our churches and our schools, we wear masks.

Amongst the milenial generation, we spend so much time on our phones. The average young person spends 7-8 hours on media. We seem to know a lot about people, but do we really know them?

My name is Jennifer Brianna Malech. I am 21 years old. I am a Communications/Journalism student. I am a youth worker. I am a leader. You know that from my Instagram profile.

That is only an image of who I am, though.

I used to struggle with an eating disorder. I used to struggle with mild depression. I have struggled to even by groceries at times(if you are a college student, you know the struggle). I have cried on my back porch at three in the morning. And, there are things that are too personal for me to write on this page for all to hear. Those who are closest to me know the pain, the struggles and the journey I have been on these past few years. Why? Because they took the time to hear my story. We took the time to both take off our masks and reveal the truth behind the smile.

I love these words by Lauren Sadler: @Lauren_Ash7: I’d rather maintain my identity than maintain my image. I refuse to be a brand that people buy into. I want to be a human they connect to.

I am writing these things to say: don’t judge a book by its cover. Before you compare and dream and wish, it is important for you to understand that we are all human. We all wear masks.

Yet, there are people who are willing to reveal their mask. We all need to be willing to reveal our masks so that people can connect to one another In a true and authentic way. If we are only connecting through the masks that we see on social media or even in person, I’m afraid that in this world of instantaneous connection, we might find that we aren’t really connected to one another at all.

To those who are closest to me, I have taken the mask(the brand) off and as we converse, cry and laugh with one another, we aren’t comparing, but rather we are realizing just how similar we are.

We have pride and prejudices towards one another. We have envy and admiration towards one another. And, as we continually admire, we forget to realize that you and I are so similar. I am not completely who you think I am and you are not completely who I think you are.

Share your testimony. Share your story(your identity) not just the image of who you want people to think you are.

We are all stories. We all have scars. Take the time to know one another’s stories, and the journey that we are all currently on. If we do so, we can help guide one another. We can encourage one another. We can pray for one another.

I am not perfect. My life is not perfect. But, I have found that it is beautiful, scars and all. God created beauty from ashes and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. We need to rid of the spirit of comparison and embrace the spirit of authenticity. A spirit that screams “This is my body, this is my skin color, these are my hands and feet. I am unique. And, I struggle or have struggled with this and that. I am not perfect. But, this is my story.”

May we truly know and identify with who you and I are, rather than just trying to put up an image on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or even in our church pews that leaves it there and says: “this is me.”
Take the time to laugh and admire one another’s photos. But, then take the time to ask: what’s your story then?

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