Dear God: I Feel Like An Impostor

Average reading length: 7-8 minutes

It's almost been a MONTH since I last posted, despite my goal of bi-weekly posting. Why? I've been down in the dumps, for lack of a better phrase. I have been STRUGGLING and unable to muster any strength to be encouraging to others nor get any of my goals done. I've felt like such an impostor, so I decided it wasn't a good time to post. But was that a missed opportunity to write from a genuine place of vulnerability and my humanity? We do non-believers and new Christians a disservice when we "sell" a faith that parades perfection instead of flawed humans indwelled by a flawless Savior.

What’s the Lie? What’s the Truth?
Our feelings can get us into so much trouble! Should we ignore them? No. In Matthew 26, Jesus was caught between his feelings and faith in his purpose. He was agonizing over having to go to the cross: feelings. He didn't stop to say, "I really don't want to do this, so let me desert it or postpone it until a more opportune time." In his humanity, he named how he felt, to God, and kept pushing forward in purpose.

 I convince myself that if my feelings don't line up with what I'm trying to accomplish, I'm fraudulent and need to feel better before I can move forward. That means I put a halt on every single thing God has called me to do until I "fix" my feelings, which never really happens.  Something I am continuing to work on is recognizing my feelings without wallowing in them to the point of debilitation.

So much of the Christian life can feel fraudulent TBH. Fraudulent describes the common dissonance between our flesh & humanity versus the Spirit that lives in us as believers. Our feelings and faith often say completely different things.
For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. Galatians 5:17
Do you know how many great men and women of faith, in the Bible, felt like impostors yet God moved mightily in their lives? You can be discouraged or unsure about your situation, yet still have joy and persevere because you know that God is with you through it all. It doesn't mean the feeling goes away... more like, what you give weight/focus/priority to is what is magnified.

It's not comfortable, but I'm learning to (not perfect):
-blog when I feel disqualified from speaking
-study when I don't feel like getting my doctorate anymore
-check on friends and mentees when I feel disqualified from pouring into others
-sing songs of worship when I don't feel "in the mood" to praise God
-show up to church when I'd rather be in my house under a blanket

and it's humbling me. In my humanity, I am so much weaker than the strength I tap into when I magnify God, in the situation, instead of my own perspective.

Moving Forward:
  • Determine: Are you genuinely being fraudulent/hypocritical OR are your feelings just not in alignment with your faith? If you're feeling convicted because you know you are genuinely living a life/lifestyle contrary to what God desires of you, honor that conviction and get right. Don't be a hypocrite. Our generation needs to see real Christian living, not the "I don't practice what I preach" lifestyle that's becoming far too common and turning people away.
  • Communicate your feelings to God. When we feel this dissonance between our feelings and our faith, we can shame ourselves and convince ourselves to stay away from God because we think we've disappointed Him (or is just me?) God wants us to depend on Him for everything, that includes depending on Him when you think you've somehow disqualified yourself from drawing near to Him. Newsflash: You're not powerful enough for that to ever happen.
  • Don't abandon Christian community. Withdrawing and isolation is comfortable to me when I'm "in my feelings." It also makes it much harder for me to choose faith over my feelings if I don't have Christian community that's pouring in to me and pulling me forward, even when I don't want to move forward. You NEED community especially when feeling like an impostor makes you want to retreat.
  • Worship. Our feelings make us elevate ourselves and magnify what we're going through. Worship (music) can serve as a refocus on to God. Create a playlist curated for moments of these. I have a playlist titled: "Focusing on the Character of God." As I listen and sing those songs, I'm reminded of who God is, and that He is, and always will be, bigger than what I'm feeling. Being inundated with songs of this theme also remind me that I'm not alone because He is with me.
  • Understand how the devil wins when you wait for your feelings to align with faith. Sometimes God can use your feelings shutting/slowing you down to help you re-evaluate and get back on the path of His purpose for your life. Most times, for me, when I choose my feelings over faith and that impostor feeling takes over, I KNOW the devil is excited because I stop doing EVERYTHING. When I choose to just sit in my feelings and not take them immediately to God, I stop fulfilling my purpose on earth.

Being humbled as we speak,

Dear God, It is so easy to see impostor syndrome as confirmation to give up. We convince ourselves that maybe this Christian life isn't for us if we feel what we're feeling. What a lie! God, when we feel this dissonance, help us to see it, instead, as a healthy reminder to stay humble by running to your for all things. Our world can be falling apart, but we can look to you, in the midst of chaos and dissonance, and see the light to pull through. You're with us. You never leave us. We have a job to do. Help us to stop choosing to slow down and wallow when we can stay steady and win. In Jesus' name, I pray, amen.

Encourage Yourself- Donald Lawrence and Tri City Singers
All Hail King Jesus- The Upper Room
Surrounded (Fight My Battles)- The Upper Room
Step Aside- Yolanda Adams
The Battle Is The Lord's- Yolanda Adams