On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

We’ve all heard the term “put on your Sunday best” and for some people, that didn’t just mean their nicest clothes. For some families it meant putting together a picture-perfect front for everyone to see. Yoli Kong lived this out. She remembers going to church as a “Brady Bunch” type family and recalls seeing her dad in his red usher jacket serving week after week.

But at home, behind closed doors, it was a different story. Her dad’s drinking was divisive and destructive. She and her siblings tried to cope by being small and invisible so as to not draw attention to themselves. Her mom tried to keep everything around the house in perfect order in hopes not to upset her husband. And Yoli grew up with this way of living as her standard: keep the family hurts and struggles a secret and run a perfect household to keep the peace.

As an adult Yoli slipped into the same pattern that she learned growing up. She calls it her “happy mask,” as she kept up the perfect family image and would never let anyone in to see her real self.

It wasn’t until her teenage son was struggling with a serious issue that Yoli came face to face with the truth that her faith in God mattered more than her appearance. She began attending EastLake Church and realized that church wasn’t for perfect people, but a place for real people to grow and get healthy together. She stopped pretending and started answering honestly when people asked how she was going. In her words she says her life has changed for the better and she’s learned “that it’s ok to not be ok.”