I'm not sure why, but when I was in junior high and high school, I felt like the personality I presented to the rest of the world was mostly false. I wasn't sure how, but I was convinced that my grin and my endless optimism and any wit that I possess couldn't be real. I had to be putting them on. It was as if somewhere along the way, I had decided I needed to defend myself, and this is what resulted.

But when I stopped to examine my heart and find what was underneath this front, I didn't know what it was.

Fast forward to a year ago, when I received one of my favorite compliments of all time from a close singer friend of mine. He told me that I was one of the most genuine people he had ever met.

Me? Really?

The realization that I was honestly, truly myself came slowly, sluggishly, and then all at one time, crashing over me. It was so quiet that I didn't hear it sneak up on me until it revealed itself with a thunderclap.

Maybe we're all that way. Maybe we're all looking around for who we feel like we're supposed to be, only to look down at our feet and realize we are already exactly that person.

The person we thought we were pretending to be is actually our real self.

What is this, to feel like an imposter in your own soul, only to awake one morning and discover yourself at home?

I think that when we make this discovery, we see that we can stop pretending altogether.

We can stop feeling like imposters and walk into the world at home within ourselves.

What a glorious thing, to be at home.

To be comfortable.

To realize you were always yourself -- you just didn't know it.

What a joy, to know that we don't have to do any deep soul-searching or go on a hunt round the world. Because, you see, though we often try to suppress it, the version of us that God created is always lurking underneath our skin, waiting for a chance to burst out in all its radiant glory --

If we let it.

And that takes courage.

It takes bravery to allow yourself to be who you were created to be.

May we be this kind of brave.