No More Pretending

“I wasn’t sure how long I could keep this up.”

photo courtesy Hannah Amoako

I always wanted a boyfriend and so when I got one, I started making small compromises to be with him. I would skip out on an after school activity and eventually I started skipping out on school all together. I became who he wanted me to be. I did what he wanted me to do when he wanted me to do it regardless of the fact I knew it was wrong and sometimes even dangerous. In order to be with him, I had to create this Hannah that was only his.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident, who I was at school was different from who I was at home, which was different than who I was at church. At school I had a foul mouth and was quick with a dirty joke. Then at home I tried to be what my parents wanted me to be and at church I played the good little girl. But one day it caught up with me. I was talking with this girl at church and I accidentally dropped a curse word right in the middle of our conversation. You should have seen the look on her face. Basically, I had splintered into 4 different Hannahs: any given week was like reaching into a hat and pulling out a Hannah hoping she was the right one for the right time for the right place. It was exhausting living this lie.

But balancing all these different Hannah’s was all I knew how to do. Still, I wasn’t sure how long I could keep this up. But one day, when I was at school using my typical colorful language, a friend of mine looked at me straight in the eyes and asked, “Hannah, why does someone so beautiful have to use such ugly language?” In that moment it was like God had spoken directly to me.

This was a turning point for me. Growing up I heard that we were designed to live in this relationship with God, but that was not what I was doing. I was searching so desperately for acceptance that I not only lived these multiple lives, but I did things that I knew were wrong. The Bible calls this sin. And this sin was definitely separating me from God. Sin always has a price. I was spiritually dead. But God loved me enough to provide me the solution.

2,000 years ago an ordinary looking man spent 33 years showing people how to live. And He did something supernatural that is still changing lives today. Jesus wasn’t just any guy. He actually claimed to be God and He lived a perfect life. He never hurt, betrayed or even lied to anyone. And He was killed on my behalf – on our behalf. Jesus died on the cross, willingly suffering the punishment that we deserved. He died so that we can live simply because He loves us. When Jesus Christ died on that cross, 3 days later He rose from the dead proving that He is God. God did all this to show us His love, His unending, unconditional love and when we live in light of being loved like that our lives are completely changed. And we have hope for the future.

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most incredible gift and God extends that gift to each one of us.

I know that I don’t have to become someone else for God because He accepts me for me. I talked with God. I was finally honest with Him. I agreed with Him that my sin separated myself from Him and that I was trying to live life apart from Him and I asked Him to forgive me and I thanked Him for dying in my place. And I told Him I wanted to live life His way to be who He created me to be – one Hannah the real Hannah no more pretending.
 

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Hannah lives in New York and works as a voice teacher. During the summer, Hannah toured with Backbeat Serenade, an a cappella group of Keynote, which is a ministry of Cru.