I am an imposter.
This is a lie I fight with EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It may not sound exactly like that, but it sounds like…
Outside: “Just keeping the tiny humans alive!”
Inside: “Will there be a day when my motherhood isn’t in survival mode?!”
Outside: “As your Illinois WMU President…”
Inside: “Who hasn’t been on an international mission trip for 5 years…”
Outside: “Nathan and I own our own business.”
Inside: “He could do it without me easily.”
I’ve been taking a deep dive into Imposter Syndrome lately because it’s had a mentally crippling affect on a couple places in my day to day life. And while I was bobbing up for air, I asked myself, “What has Imposter Syndrome robbed me of in my spiritual life?”
I was first introduced to this concept via social media and understanding the career of an “Influencer.” But in reality, Imposter Syndrome came about back in the 70s by a couple female doctors noticing women in higher positions experiencing almost crippling self doubt and fear of not keeping up with their male counter parts. So, in short, it’s me secretly or subconsciously doubting what or who I am hoping that no one comes along and discovers I’m a fraud.
Taking it a step further to Spiritual Imposter Syndrome… Yes, I spoke the sinner’s prayer, I put actions to my words to appease James, but am I who I proclaimed to God I was and when people see me in all the different areas of my life, do people see me as a fraud to my faith?
Wow, just writing that sounds…UGH. These thoughts mainly creep in when I get home from my Spiritual Leadership class and then fight with my five year old on how to brush her teeth. Or when I sign up for another church mission trip out of state & feel guilty for not helping my physical neighbors in need.
But I’m about to blow this nonsense UP! There is a BIG difference about being an IMPOSTER… trying to be something you’re not, and being an IMITATOR, being a copy of the real thing. The fear of not measuring up to the real deal or “faking it ’til you make it” can hold you back from even taking a step. Or the insecurities in each step are so crippling you break under pressure. The freedom of being JUST who God made you to be while mimicking the actions of Jesus…now that is super natural. There’s nothing fraudulent about being who God made you to be, aligned with what God has for you, accompanied with the spiritual gifts He’s divinely given to you. That looks a lot like apologizing to your spouse and/or kids on the hard days or coming along side other women for a coffee or Bible study. Most days we don’t need an example, we need a friend and supporter.
All in all, Impostor Syndrome has the GREAT (or not so great) ability to keep us in check. It constantly reminds us we are not capable of what God can do. There is room for improvement in EVERY area of my life. But before I wreck my self esteem or resort to utter failure, I resolve to being the exact believer God called me to be. I’m not an IMPOSTER of God, I am an imitator of Jesus in my marriage, imitator of Jesus to my children, I’m an imitator of Jesus in my church body… and so on and so forth.
This week, will I pretend to be something I am not? Will I emulate Jesus’ character where God’s called me to serve?
Written by Lindsay Wineinger. Lindsay Wineinger, with her husband & 3 daughters, live in Princeville, Illinois, a small agricultural community outside of Peoria. There, they own & operate an animal feed store and a restaurant. They work diligently to share God’s love to their community and raise awareness and support for small towns, small business, and agriculture. You can find Lindsay on Instagram @theWineingerFarms and on Facebook.