What am I doing here? What is my life? Am I really who I say I am? I feel like I’m wearing a mask. I feel like a shell. I’m a fraud.
Can I be real with you a moment? I’m really struggling. I feel like an imposter. I call myself a believer. I say I love Jesus. But I’m not reading my Bible daily. I’m not actively seeking the Lord. I’m not in prayer or following up with my sisters to keep them accountable. Sure I go to worship every Sunday, but the words I’m singing seem to bump off the ceiling. The message taught to me is vibrant for the morning but dwindles as the day progresses…how am I supposed to carry it throughout the week! (Matthew 13:20-21)
Wow, Kathryn, you’re really being a downer. I thought we were supposed to be spurring each other on “all the more.” You’re right. I don’t even feel qualified to be writing right now. More fraudulence.
Only 4% of the Bay Area is churched. (For context, check out my last post: When God Says No.) I’m not sure of the merit of that statistic since I don’t know the source. But I can tell you for sure that it feels true. It was super easy to “be a Christian” in my former Austin community where I was surrounded by believers who exhorted me and kept me accountable and showed me Jesus and what the Lord was doing in their lives – and even in mine when I couldn’t really see it. But now I feel isolated and alone and world-weary and drained. Am I really a follower of Jesus? Can I call myself a believer? Are you really there, God?
I’m sure you’ve felt this way before. You may not be a missionary in the 10/40 Window or moved to a new city. But maybe you are the only believer at your workplace. Maybe you’re surrounded by the world at school. Maybe you’re the only one who knows Jesus in your apartment complex.
A few Sundays ago, I was feeling particularly counterfeit. While we were driving to church, I even thought the exact words “Oh my goodness! I’m a fake!” I felt literal despair. But God is sovereign, sisters. Our pastor preached out of Hebrews 6 that Sunday, and it felt like God was saying pastor’s words directly to me, reminding me of the confidence in my hope in Christ. I felt the Lord ask me: Are you calling me a liar? (Dang!)
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
I am not a fraud. You are not a fraud. He has called us by name. He has redeemed us. He knows us (Psalm 139:13-18). He who created you, O Kathryn. He who formed you, O reader. He calls us His. The Creator of the universe. The One who spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1:3). The One who raised the dead calls you His own (1 Corinthians 6:14). You cannot be taken from Him! It’s madness to think that! Are you going to call Him a liar?
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one. (John 10:27-30)
We have confidence that we are who we say we are because He says who we are. Period. Who you are may feel inconsistent, but who He is will always remain the same. And in the words of my fellow blogger, Rachel, Who Can Compare to God?
Other ways to encourage yourself and others: Reach out to the missionaries you support. Text that friend who moved recently. Get coffee with your sisters who work or do life in places that make them feel isolated as believers. Remind them that God has called them by name and they are His.