Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Confession #28: Some days I feel like a phony...FAKE

I sit here surrounded by beauty and writers. I sit here in silence as over twenty people are quietly creating, editing, revising, and crafting with words. I sit here in awe as I see them each engrossed in their own world with such focus and purpose. Or maybe not, maybe they are fighting the thoughts of their everyday lives to creep into their heads. What they are thinking about, I don't know. What I do know is that from the outside looking in they seem to be so much better than me, so much more focused than I am, so much more talented, so much more of a "real" writer than I'll ever be.

My day started after a two hour drive to come here. A write away day. I didn't know what it was all about, I just knew I needed to be there (here). Working a full time corporate job along with being a mom, wife, and friend leaves little time for what I believe God called me to do a couple of years ago, and that is to WRITE. When the year began and I sought the Lord to give me a new direction and purpose, I found that He wanted to show me new and creative ways to do it all. He wants us to renew and abide in Him, not running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Part of this journey of finding new ways led me on a search for a writer's retreat.

So here I find myself. In a beautiful home surrounded by beauty, nature, and silence. As I walked in there were already several writers gathered around a huge table. One of them was giving out general housekeeping instructions. I snuck in the back and got settles as I listened in. The sweet lady interrupted what she was doing to tell my friend and I that there were two seats available next to her. Just like that, insecurity and doubt crept in. I felt called out, exposed, and insecure as I took my place in front of everyone. Then I settled in, she continued to share how the rest of the day would go and which areas we were allowed it write in. But before any of that we had to introduce ourselves first. WAIT...WHAT?!?

I slowly and subtly tuned her out as I prayed not to go first, as I was sitting right next to her. What would I say? Who would care? I'm not a real writer...I'm just a girl that piddles away at her blog. Damn, I'm not even good at that. I started this write 31 days challenge in October last year and I'm still not done. Say what, she wants us to share our writing goals?!? Oh man, I'm in way over my head. No place to run though and I was two hours from home and I didn't bring my own car.

I pause to say as I type this out, I am taken back to a memory of the last time I found myself in a room full of people, far from home, not in my own car and wanting to run out. That was right before I encountered the most beautiful and powerful spiritual experience of my life up until that moment. Yes, that last time I wanted to run but didn't I encountered the full and perfect love of Jesus and found my freedom from fear, depression, and anxiety. So there truly is something about staying when all you want to do is run. It can be life altar-ing. 

So here sit and there I sat a few hours ago. Did God answer my prayer of not being first? Yes, of course He did; and be careful what you wish/pray for. Our leader for the day started with my friend who sat on the other side of her. After my friend went, we went around the table and room. By the third person, I was officially freaked out. These were REAL writers; poets, academic writers, screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, even a photographer and journalist. I let the voice whisper into my ear and sink into my soul that I somehow didn't belong. What would I say? I don't belong here. 

After what seemed like an eternity, it was my turn. I was the last one to go. So what did I do? I introduced myself, shared about my blog, why I was there, and my writing goals. You see, along the way as I was freaking out, I felt like God said it's ok, just be yourself, you belong here because I've brought you here. So I did. I was myself. I'm not gonna lie though, as soon as I got up to find my spot to write in for the day the same thoughts kept creeping in. I found myself, got settled, and began to write.

Sometimes you've gotta push past the thoughts of being a phony or a fake. In the end, they are just that, thoughts. Lies created to make us believe we cant walk out our purpose and calling in life. It's not about faking it until you make it. I wasn't quite sure what it was about when I sat down to write but soon, I would.

We took a break for lunch and had a chance to chat with some of the writers there. I sat down, ready to eat and struck up conversation with the lady next to me. I saw it as a perfect opportunity to come clean. I confessed to her, how I had felt. We talked about it and she said something, that AHA moment that comes when someone else says something you know but haven't necessarily believed in a while. She said it's an identity issue. BAM! It hit me. The reason I had felt the way I did is because in that moment I allowed my identity to lie in my achievements as a writer, which were none. They were none, not for any other reason than that I hadn't been writing for long or blogging consistently.

Ugh! I believed the lie...once again, I let my identity lie in something other than being a child of God. It happens. It happens a lot. It happens to all of us and sometimes we just need someone, even a stranger to point it out. Isn't God good? He didn't allow me to wallow and sit in that puddle of self-doubt and belittling. He knew it would have been a waste. It would have been a  waste of a day away from everything, a day of silence, a day to create, a day to pour out my soul on this keyboard, but most importantly a day to be still enough to encounter Him and His love for me.

God can pour out His love as you write, sing, work, cook, or do just about anything. So I sat and wrote, and that makes me a writer. Pretty simple, eh? I found a spot, one of the rooms where I was close to the main room but at the same time away from everything. I would write and take stretching breaks. In one of those breaks I took a peek into the main room and I saw all these different people working away on their short stories, novels, poems, dissertations, and screenplays. This time, instead of feeling like a phony or fake I felt like I belonged. I was inspired by their silent creativity, their passion, their focus.

I'm sure there are times when you've felt like a fake or a poser. Maybe you didn't feel like that but maybe you let self doubt creep in to the point where you didn't even put yourself out there. When this has happened in the past, have you asked yourself why? Wait, maybe that's not the person you should ask. Have you asked God, the Holy Spirit why it is your feeling the way you are feeling? If you haven't I invite you to do so right now. No need to make it complicated, you can just say, "Yo God, what's up with this?"

He's good to respond and the answer may surprise you. Now, if by any chance (and it does not necessarily have to be this) it's a case of mistaken identity, I am here to remind you of where your true identity lies my friend. I promise you that no outwardly imposed label is as fulfilling and purpose filled as knowing that:


Much love,

**This is part of the 31 day series: Confessions of a Faithonista**

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