I don’t know about you, but I have spent years worrying about people seeing the real me.
I worry about people seeing through the nice smiles and the polite phone voice and all the extra effort it takes for me to be up and out in public, and present an image of someone who has their stuff together. I worry that my kids will recognize that I don’t always know the answer when they ask those hard questions. I worry that my husband will wonder if he got scammed, if it was a bait and switch, and somehow the girl he dated had run off somewhere else and he was left with me. I wonder if my parents look at me and think, “How did she get here?” instead of where they thought I would always end up.
I wonder if you, my beloved sisters, who follow me online and read this blog and read my emails see me as a false prophet, and recognize that my messy words may not always reflect the heart of God.
I spend a lot of time feeling like an impostor, feeling like Moses at the burning bush, saying “You want me to do what?! Why should I talk to Pharaoh? I’m not good with words, send somebody else.” Maybe you do too.
But the more time I spend with courageous Christian women who are taking God’s word of hope and encouragement and salvation into every dark corner of the world, the more I hear them say they feel like impostors too.
The women with more books than me, the preachers who take my breath away because their words so perfectly reflect exactly what I needed to hear, the bloggers with huge platforms, the women who are prettier, the ones with nicer homes, the ones with bigger email lists who always make home cooked treats and have million dollar launches.
Sisters, the more time I spend with God, the more I learn what He says about me, and it’s making me question this whole impostor syndrome.
It’s real, I don’t doubt that it’s real. And I’ve realized while deconstructing toxic religion, that toxic religous culture reinforces the belief that God views me as inadequate too. The church is known for twisting certain passages of scripture, altering their meaning, and weaponizing passages that were meant to set us free in order to hold power over people. Imposter syndrome is real, I don’t doubt that. What I question is why on earth do I give it so much credit? Why does the voice of doubt, whom we call the saboteur in the coaching world, get so much time in my head when I have a God who is incapable of speaking lies? Just waiting for me to make time to listen to Him so He set me straight and released me from those doubts (again)?
That’s the trick that the world plays on us.
That’s the trick that evil and darkness have going, and they’re really good at it, because most of us question our value. Most of us question whether we’re good enough to sit with God, whether we’re good enough to be a mom to our kids, or whether we’re good enough to do this big scary calling that God has put in front of us.
But here’s the thing: God doesn’t lie.
God doesn’t make mistakes. And God isn’t an infomercial salesman trying to hype you up so that you’ll go along and make a spontaneous purchase that you’ll regret later. That’s not who God is, He’s incapable of those things.
God is Truth.
God is Hope.
God is Life.
Which means those are the ONLY things that He is pouring into us.
He’s pouring His truth, which is greater than any lie the enemy can tell you. He’s pouring His hope, which is greater than any fear that’s in the world, and He’s pouring His salvation and His grace, which is greater than any mistake we ever have made or ever will make. Perhaps impostor syndrome will diminish when we recognize that God’s not going to scream and shout and jump up and down to get our attention. In fact, I’ve found that part of listening to God is learning to trust ourselves, our intuition. When the church tells us we are lacking but God’s word tells us we are made in HIs image, an internal conflict arises and makes us doubt our worthiness. That gets messy, fast. Sometimes the best thing we can do is take a step back, stop listening to the loud, external voices, and turn our focus inward.
Because I believe God’s voice is that small still voice at night that says,
“I love You.
Let’s go do this amazing thing.”
Angela J Herrington, MA, LSCC is a Faith Deconstruction Coach for Christian Women at AngelaJHerrington.com who empowers women to break free from toxic religious culture by deconstructing their faith and helps them recover from #churchhurt.
Angela is a spunky Gen Xer who creates sacred spaces for vulnerable exploration. Her specialty is helping Christian women untangle themselves from limiting beliefs, toxic religious culture, and all the ways the enemy tries to keep them small. She holds a BA from Indiana Wesleyan and a Masters in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Her graduate research project focused on leadership development and opportunities for Gen X women in the US church.
Angela and her unique online ministry were featured in Lyz Lenz’s 2019 book God Land: Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America. She also has been published in Hope for Women and HOPE is Now magazines.
Angela is also a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach who reaches hundreds of thousands of women in 40+ countries each month on Facebook, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, and two blogs. She is Director of Communications for Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy, a women-led organization dedicated to engaging, empowering, and equipping women to lead in the church.
Angela is also a wife, mom to 6, and proud resident of Marion, Indiana with her family when they’re not traveling the US in their RV.