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  • Writer's pictureNicky Stade

The Center of Who You Are

Have you ever felt unqualified for something? Despite your training, your calling, your experience, and your ability to grow and learn, do you sometimes wonder that if anyone knew “the real you” the jig would be up? You’d be fired, dumped, or forced out of town?

This, my friend, is Imposter Syndrome.

And I’m quite familiar with it.

I think at some point in our social or spiritual development, we begin to believe the lie that “you have to fake it till you make it.” We lose the ability to be our authentic selves, because we’re too busy being our “best selves.” We get so comfortable striving for the ideal life, that we no longer recognize when we’ve actually reached it.

“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭9‬-‭10‬ ‭MSG‬‬

This verse jumped off the page for me this week. It’s simple decree is a breath of fresh air:

  • Love.

  • Really love.

  • Love deeply.

  • Be humble.

  • Be real.

  • And for the love of all that is holy, run from evil and hold on for dear life to what is good.

Imposter Syndrome lies to you. It turns the words of others into seeds that are planted deeply into your soul. It makes you forget how to love and be loved—especially how to be loved.

Somewhere down the line, someone told me I wasn’t cut out for ministry. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday, and it still makes my breath catch in my throat. I’ve been left out, uninvited, excluded—you name it.

Another time, someone told me I was making a mistake to forgo college to marry and start a family so young. The accusations of being selfish if I do and selfish if I don’t still echo in my mind.

Once I was told I needed to be quiet because I was just seeking attention. In fact, I was terrified to speak but knew the Lord had laid the words on my heart.

I’ve been told I laugh too loud, and too often—that I need to be more serious.

These are the voices that attack like a snake, hiding in the grass when I least expect it. These are the seeds that still try to sprout in my soul if left unchecked.

But I don’t have to live in defense of my calling, my abilities, or even my quirks. My offensive weapon is love. Loving others, authentically, from the center of who I am. I don’t have to be fake. As a Christ-follower, it is His Holy Spirit who is at the center of who I am. I can’t let those voices be the thing that keeps me from being authentic or from following where God may lead.

Instead, I surround myself with good friends who love me deeply, and I recall the many encouraging words they have said to me, said over me…and said about me when I wasn’t in the room.

I think of all of the people who have prayed for me, cheered me on, and called me on my insecurities when I needed it.

When old roots try to take hold or that snake tries to strike, I remember that I am surrounded by people who believe in me. God-given friends who love deeply. They don’t allow me to fake it.

I think tonight I just want to say thank you to those friends. And to those who haven’t yet found friends like this, I see you. You are loved. How can I be that friend for you?

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