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.”
Hey there friend! I’m Angela J Herrington, MA, LSCC and I’m a Faith Deconstruction coach who provides soul care for people who are untangling from toxic religion.
As a certified life coach and seminary-trained online pastor, I have a lot of experience helping people connect with God. But this is also a very personal journey for me.
For the last decade, I’ve been on my own journey to break free from learned smallness and step into wild sacred holy womanhood. Long story short, after finding faith in my early 30’s I began to realize that what I was hearing from the church about women didn’t always line up with what God was telling me. I loved God but realized the church was teaching some really toxic stuff.
So this Enneagram 8, first born, Gen Xer started deconstructing. I questioned and challenged everything I thought I knew about faith, gender, and myself.
It was messy and took a lot of work to sort it out. Therapy. Coaching. Bodywork. Spiritual healing. Conferences and retreats. And even a couple of college degrees.
You name it…I tried it.
But the thing that made the biggest difference was the presence and support of wise people who helped me up when I didn’t know where else to turn.
That’s why in September 2021, I created and hosted The Deconstructing Faith Summit. I gathered 20 phenomenal deconstruction experts to share their expertise and hosted over 1100 attendees in the week-long virtual event. Those who attended realized they weren’t alone, had a safe space to ask questions, learned dozens of strategies to help them deconstruct, and released tons of pent-up emotions they didn’t even know they were carrying around.
We laughed, we cried, and we danced, but the best part was…We did it together.
It was AMAZING and it was just the beginning.
So now, I’m doubling down on my commitment to create an inclusive support system for people, like you, who are longing to get away from toxic religion and cultivate a nourishing spiritual life.
I WOULD BE HONORED TO BE YOUR GUIDE, BE BY YOUR SIDE THROUGH THIS ENTIRE PROGRAM, UNCOVER WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK, AND CO-CREATE A PLAN TO BREAK FREE.
This is so spot on. It tends to happen most when we get caught up inside the “Comparison” Game and when Jealousy rears its ugly head. I have found that I have to be reminded daily of “Who I am in Christ”. There is a book by this name, at the moment I am not remembering the author.
But when my Hidden Autoimmune illnesses flare up and physical pain is at its highest that I tend to slip back down my Mountain once again. Right now, it is even tougher since we have no transportation to get me over the treacherous mountain pass to my Specialists. It gets so very discouraging. Today, my sister-in-law emailed me and stated that “You just have to get well soon as I have been praying for healing for you. If you do not then my Faith will be at a serious Low.”
What breaks my heart more is that to believe that every. single. person will be healed simply because we are praying for them is not a true Biblical View of Healing. As there are times when the person was not healed for various reasons. One was so that the Glory of God was seen, another was due to it simply being a natural disease. As well as results of accidents (ie. The nurse that ran off trying to save the young boy and fell causing him to be a cripple for the rest of his life. ) and we all know that Paul was never healed of his eye disease. But many people assume that this was his “thorn in his side”. But if you read the very next verse, it tells us that the “Messenger of Satan” was that thorn. Then the Paralytic who was paralyzed for 48 years. There is also the people who died of the diseases that could have been preventable if they simply had water and been taught proper hygiene but were denied due to being the wrong class such as the poor or even simply due to being the wrong race such as being Samaritans. Then you have Miriam who chose to stay a Paralytic as she knew that she would be of better use in that condition rather than if she had been healed.
So many people I know just read one verse without reading the verses before AND after the verse, they are focused on and to do so sometimes takes the meaning of the verse out of context. Also, History plays an important role in understanding the Bible in a much clearer way when you know about the Culture, the treatment of various people groups and so on.
Just my observations, not trying to preach or rile any Y’all’s up in any way shape or form.
Chronic Pain and Chronic Illnesses have taught me more about having compassion for others and more patience and how to be longsuffering. But even still, I struggle with heavy Seasonal Affective Disorder, Complex PTSD, Major Depression and when my pain escalates I tend to turn into a hermit even more so since I have hit my head for the seventh time after already having retriggered my Closed Head Traumatic Brain Injury. Along with a rap sheet long Detailed report of all my diseases and illnesses. Some are simply due to having been medically and nutritionally neglected for thirty years and the physical and sexual abuse I had been in until my now husband got me removed from the situation. But as a result of being stuck in “Survivor ” Mode and too fearful of my own mother, I let her force me into giving up both of my Children whom I loved more than life. This has been my deepest Regret and it still kills my soul. The deepest part of who I am. I know that I am not technically to blame, but my own daughter hates me and wants nothing to do with me as well as my son and I have one sweet Angel in Heaven already. I am too poor to adopt and we were not able to have children. No blame on either side, it just is.
I have been trying since 2009 to live my own Dream of owning my own Online Boutique and Website. I actually chased it last year and then I was hacked with Ransomware and lost everything. Including my PC. This year I have been too ill. I have been trying since 2014 to get well after being in the hospital three times. Then I retriggered the CHTBI and I have not been allowed to rest my brain as I need to. So this year I told Family I am not doing Christmas, not because I do not want to, but I have needed to get well for so long that I no longer have the energy to do anything. I am also experiencing Muscle wasting due to spine issues and cannot even get to the Specialist I need to see. Also, due to the CHTBI Symptoms, I am not able to handle noise and this Family is nothing but Loud and Noisy. Neither my husband nor I can handle it well due to Social Anxiety. We are only good for two-three hours max.
Anyhow, to those who have read this in its entirety, I do want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Many Abundant Blessing s in the New Year <3 May God shine His face upon you all !
Praying for you and your family, Karen. You are not alone.
Thanks for sharing your story! I can identify in many ways! Recently one of the things that helped with this was a Bible study I’m in where the teacher talked about our story becoming an idol to us… My story is messy and I’ve been blogging for a while but am grateful that everyone story is messy and I don’t need to be perfect but I will keep reaching to have the mind of Christ and see myself as he sees me and not have the difficulty of my story be an idol to me. Blessings and love!
So sooooo good ! Such a refreshing read ! We don’t see what others suffer to carry out their cross , but to put Gods thoughts of us on the throne ! Amen
Thank you so much for this. My past is full of mistakes, heart break, bad decisions, betrayal, basically ever wrong thing that any one could do, I’ve done. But never my intention. I’ve also learned so much from each and everything I’ve done. I’m closer to God now than I have ever been. I’ve over come an addiction, relapsed, over come again. I know what I’ve learned since I have gotten back on track. I can relate and have actually talked about with other people. I know the negative thoughts are lies. But I still find myself believing them. I’ll go through so many emotions, get depressed, then remember it’s lies. I don’t want to keep putting my self through those. I want to over come imposter syndrome. Hopefully help someone else with this as well.
Keep fighting sister and when you’re weary, rest and know God is always fighting for you. When you sit at His feet everyday it’s easier to overcome the attacks of the enemy.
I’m unsure of what to say other than I feel this completely. I feel at times like I’m struggling to keep up every day, I feel like I’m in constant shadow of my husband n im just being tugged along by a string & not actually by his side where I should be & at times I question should I actually be where I’m at. We have to be careful that certain things we do are actually of God & not put in place by man, but in that case let’s pray for discernment. Lets also be mindful to take captive of these thoughts, feelings &wants &stand on God’s promises. If any one is feeling like praying keep me on your heart & pray blessings over me. But I know God is faithful & that He knows what He’s doing. we need to walk by FAITH & not by sight ..sometimes that can feel scary & make us uncertain. But when we keep in mind what a mighty God we have, it makes it easier to blindly trust Him n be able to walk step in step with His perfect will for our lives. –much love to all you ladies out there! Remember intimacy with the Lord is KEY. Be on His word DAILY, growing in faith. Pray daily &don’t just talk but take time to listen for an answer or just a response. Intimacy with God will help so much with knowing who you are in Christ & will help cancel this “imposter syndrome” ..praying God ignights a fire in us all to strive more n more for HIM &that we seek constantly more of Him &less of us. I hope this helped someone!
Oh friend, God totally sees you and loves you more than you know. Push through that uncertainty and allow Him to replace it with peace and wisdom. You’ve got this!
I struggle with this exact thing I truly love the Lord and desire to share my faith, but I struggle with smoking and feel like a fraud. God has met me in so many other ways, but this one area I can’t seem to overcome. I often wonder what people must really think of me and if because of my struggle with smoking this relationship with the Lord really works.
Smoking is an addiction and it ca be really hard on you BUT that doesn’t mean God loves you any less for it. Don’t let shame creep into your life about the addiction. Instead march right up to God’s feet and drop all your worries about smoking there. He can help you with the mindset and addictive behaviors that are so hard to break and you can add those to the behavioral changes like medication, counseling, or therapy. Don’t give up on yourself! You deserve to be healthy and free from this addiction.
I have been a high school teacher for 25 years in the state system and now 3 and a bit in a Christian School. for those 25 years I was constantly put down and received so much negative feedback on myself as a person and my teaching ability. Within three years of being in the private school I was promoted to Head of faculty. I cannot help but think that they were desperate and that if someone better comes along they will ask me to step aside.. How do you quiet those thoughts and believe that God actually intended me to be in this position?
Hey Lisa! Thanks so much for your comment. I’m so sorry that people have spent so much time pouring negative words over your head but you need to know that’s not the anointing God is speaking over you. Having a sense of who He says you are will really help you shut out those old, negative voices. Are you working with a Christian coach, counselor, or healing minsitry to help you work through this? It’s definitely something you want to get help with so it doesn’t continue to weight you down.
The enemy is using all that hurtful stiff to keep you from showing up fully for the staff, kids, and families you impact. Don’t let him distract you!