Hello dear one,
You that is experiencing anxiety. The one who feels like a fraud.
I get it. I soooo do.
This week gone I was asked to give the offering message in Kids’ Church on the topic of generosity.
I started to prepare the message in typical ‘Di’ fashion. Tried to find a cool video clip to engage the kids, or a funny illustration.
But as I spent wayyy too long trying to make the kids like the message I felt God say ‘Tell the truth. Be yourself and I want you to tell that story about Italy and the homeless lady.’
Umm ok God.
And this is my message (modified just slightly to suit you lovely ladies). I shared this on Good Friday with the kids. It’s straight from my heart, and God orchestrated.
‘I’m going to confess that being generous with my money isn’t one of my strong points. I’m generous with my time and I give in a lot of ways but generosity with money hasn’t come naturally to me. Growing up Mum was very strict with what she gave us. She wouldn’t buy us the coolest and latest items. (And seriously why would you when you have 4 kids to look after right?) Our clothes weren’t the fanciest labels. I remember going up to my grandpa’s house in year 12 and asking if he’d buy me cool togs because I just wanted to fit in.
And when I went through a season of bad thing after bad thing (you can read my ‘about me’ page for more details), it made me cling onto money tightly. I wasn’t like that straight away, it became a habit.
There was a situation that made me really think about God and his heart for us to be generous givers. When we went on holidays to Italy we put money into the ticket machine at the train station BUT extra money came out. I can only assume someone didn’t collect their change from their previous transaction.
Just as I got really excited about my free money a lady who looked homeless, had no shoes on and a whole heap of kids around her put her hand out. BUT here’s the thing. I was nervous because I didn’t know if she was genuinely homeless or part of a gang. My husband is a generous giver, he doesn’t even think twice about giving his money and he said ‘give it to the lady.’ And I was like ‘nooo. It’s my free money.’ And that memory has stuck with me today. You see it’s easy to get sceptical.’
And you dear lady reading this may be feeling sceptical right now.
You may feel like a fraud. Like you’re not living a generous life. That anxiety is making you mask the real you.
Anxiety makes you feel like you have to pretend that you have it all together…
That your spiritual walk with God is AMAZING…
And that your career is skyrocketing to great heights.
But on the inside you feel like you’re falling apart.
And you feel like God doesn’t want to even listen to you because you’re kinda been using him like a magic genie. You know, just approaching him when you want a wish granted (aka prayer answered).
And this is the beautiful thing.
The message of God is the message of GRACE.
That you are loved because you acknowledge that you want a deeper faith, and that despite what you see as your failing to have a true friendship with God, he says ‘I love you, you’re my child. Lean in.’
I always say time and time again in here that the nature of faith is asking questions.
And even though I do feel like a fraud, especially when it comes to living a life generously (in regards to money), I can keep bringing this to God. I can ask for help and I can give generously because God gave so generously his son Jesus.
I can come before him in my fraud like nature and just say it as it is.
I can stumble around others.
I can tell my friends that this is my mask, my struggle.
And as you too start to share the story of whatever the mask is you’ve put on, anxiety may rise up in you but it won’t have a strong hold as you share.
Because you have others cheering you on and you build your shame resilience through talking it through. (#Truthbomb – Brene Brown renowned shame researcher explains this through several of her books).
Yet, It is easy for anxiety to tell you to shhhhhush! Don’t tell anyone what it is you are experiencing. They’ll think you’re a whacko! Crazy.
But you seriously don’t know how you can impact someone else’s life through the simple act of sharing your struggles and doing so vulnerably.
Don’t keep your struggles to yourself.
Tell someone. 1 person even.
And free yourself of the imposter syndrome.
You are NOT a fraud. You are NOT your anxiety. You are EXPERIENCING anxiety.
And here’s the good news.
You are the BELOVED child of a God who loves you beyond measure.
Rise up dear one.
You’ve so got this!
If you want to share below the things that make you feel like a fraud feel free to comment below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s no judgement here. Please share using the buttons below if you loved the post.