I had lunch with a new friend yesterday. We've met face-to-face a couple times, been Facebook friends for quite a while, and done our share of texting. But this was the first time we were able to spend any significant time together in person. And what a joy it was to watch God at work - breaking down walls and opening hearts.See, this dear woman has been through some rough stuff in her life and is therefore a little gun-shy when it comes to trusting people and forming friendships. In spite of that fear, she felt comfortable being open with me and sharing her true self. And when she expressed her own surprise at how much she was sharing - because she believed I was "safe" - I suggested what I thought may an explanation for why she felt that way about me.When I was a young mother struggling to hold myself together, I was living a lie. Every day when I left the house, I wore a mask trying to convey that I was a perfect mother - just like I thought everyone else was. Although on the inside I was a mess, I tried to portray confidence and happiness outwardly. And, wow! Was that ever a tiring charade to play!!!So I shared this confession with my friend and explained to her that, by God's grace, I got over trying to be who I am not. I told her that by His gentle (and sometimes painful) refining fire, He is transforming me to be more like Jesus - and that I no longer feel I must try/pretend to have a handle on life. I am fully dependent upon my Lord. For everything! "So, you see," I told her, "I know I don't have it all together, and I don't expect anyone else to pretend to, either. Maybe that's why I feel safe." After further conversation we agreed: Any "together-ness" we have, anytime we get it right, or live virtuously, it is only by the grace of GOD and all the glory goes to HIM.Without HIM, I am a hopeless mess. But with HIM - all things are possible!