Have you ever felt like perhaps you have every one fooled now, but sooner or later they are going to figure out that you aren't who or what you claim to be?
I have felt that way a few times in my life.
I felt that way the first time I held my newborn daughter in my hands. The doctor smiled down at me and said "She's all your's mommy!" And I felt like a fake. I was no mommy. Yes I had just pushed out a 7 pound baby but that did NOT make me a mother! I had NO IDEA what I was doing and I was pretty sure someone was going to figure that out pretty darn quick! Honestly I had to sign more papers to adopt our dog than I did to take home a baby. But slowly, with LOTS of mistakes and a couple more kids (while still managing to keep the first one alive), I started to feel like a parent, not just a fake.
And then a couple years ago a friend of mine with younger kids came to me with a question, she said something along the lines of me having this parenting thing all figure out, and I felt once again like a big huge fake! Is that really what she thinks? That I have this figured out? Do I act like I have this all figured out? Because let me tell you, I don't!
My kids fight with each other. They fight with me. They have horrible table manners. They don't clean up after themselves. And when I am fed up with it all, I yell. I make idle threats, I stomp my feet. I too often am a complete failure at this parenting thing. We took them to an indoor pool yesterday for "family time" and I sat in a chair at the side of the pool reading while my husband and kids had family time! I don't have this parenting thing all figured out! And if I have ever led you to believe that I do then I am a fake.
The next time I felt like a fake I was sitting in a small church basement in the inner city. That morning at church my pastor had asked me if I thought I had teaching gifts. Let me preface this with the fact that I was on my way to teach his children! I felt like the only appropriate answer, seeing how I was TEACHING HIS CHILDREN would be to say, yes, of course! So he told me to come to the church that evening. What I didn't realize is that he was asking if I had adult teaching gifts, like preaching. Did I want to preach? Oh, well, that's different. I felt like a fake just being there.
But I am nothing if not stubborn so I stuck it out. There were 5 of us our Pastor had recruited to be part of a teaching team, to take the pressure of constant preaching off of him, none of us had any type of seminary or preaching experience, and we often joked that the disciples were not seminary trained either, but they seemed to do okay. Still, the first time I got up to speak in front of a congregation I felt like a fake. I was pretty sure most of the people in the congregation knew more about the Bible than me. Who was I to teach them anything? I was nothing but a fake.
That was years ago. These days I actually do have some seminary training, but I still believe it isn't absolutely necessary in order to be a Bible Teacher. I still look at the disciples and all they did just from following Jesus and living as he did. I truly believe anyone can do amazing things when they obey the words of Jesus and live like he did.
This year I had an extra special Christmas present in my inbox. An opportunity to write on a regular basis for another blog. I am overjoyed. This is what I have wanted, what I have prayed for since I started writing years ago! I couldn't have been more excited! And then they asked for my background. And once again, I felt like a great big fake.
I don't have a background, at least not a writing one. My background is this blog. My background is journals upon journals of pouring my heart out to God. My background is one children's book no one ever published and a magazine article that was accepted but never printed due to the magazine shutting down. I felt like a fake.
The good news is God will use anyone, even a fake like me, to further his kingdom, to spread his love. He doesn't discriminate based on age, sex, or educational level. He loves us all the same, and uses each one of us in the way HE has gifted us. This may or may not have to do with our training, education, or skill that happens to bring home a paycheck. God will give us all the skills we need to do what he has set out for us to do. And when you are doing what it is God wants you to do, you are not being fake. You are being more real, more truly you, more truly the person God put on this Earth for you to be, than at any other time!
You my friend, are not a fake. And it turns out, neither am I.