Recently, I had a dear friend transparently express to me that she feels like a “fake” many times as a Christian woman. Yay! Somebody was finally real enough to say it! I can so relate and just maybe you can, too! Our feelings and flesh are at war against our Spirit. When life is not going as we had hoped, prayed and envisioned the wrestling is fierce. We put on our smiles and our best foot forward in front of the watching world as we battle against anxiety, stress, pain, anger, unbelief or doubt behind closed doors.
I vividly remember that feeling of “fakeness” during countless seasons of feeling betrayed and deceived. I sucked it up and lived many of my days pushing aside my brokenness in front of the outside world. I would intentionally put on my mask like makeup as I headed out the door, all the while hearing whispers about how “fake” I was being. But what I didn’t recognize at the time was that satan wanted to not only destroy my family but the very foundation of who I was as a beloved daughter of God! How? By accusing me of being a “fake” Christian, time and time again. For a broken girl who wanted nothing more than to serve the Lord and honor Him, those accusations were felt to my core. The majority of the time while attending church events, girl’s night out, small group meetings, family gatherings, prayer meetings, etc., I was there with my smile in tact but inside I was a train-wreck. The accusations of the enemy left me feeling even MORE defeated. Since then, I have gained a different perspective. It reminds me of the verse in 2 Corinthians 2:11 in reference to satan…”For we are not unaware of his schemes.” This feeling of “fakeness” is no doubt, one of his “schemes” to cause us to lose our footing and faith and give up all together.
Here’s the deal…I believe that when I chose to stubbornly walk in a room with my head held high, replacing tears with a smile, forcing one foot in front of the other, faith was winning! Sister, that is NOT fakeness! Did my smile make me fake? Did my determination to hit the floor each morning in spite of wanting to give up mean that I wasn’t authentic? All of this wasn’t because I was a “fake” in my walk with Christ, BUT because I HAD faith even though my feelings were all over the place.
It is true that sometimes, okay…many times, we put on our masks. Let’s just be honest. We ALL do it! If we all walked around allowing our feelings to dictate our lives, what a messy and ugly world it would be! Therefore, we wear our masks. We wear them NOT because we are fake but because we live by faith. Faith that doesn’t reveal our brokenness but our hope that our lives can be a testimony of God’s faithfulness to those who need it. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about transparency, sharing our stories and by all means, inviting others into our brokenness….but I believe that the enemy tries to discourage us by telling us that we are less than and not authentic in our walk of faith when we choose to put on that smile while feeling as though we are dying inside.
I am extremely proud of my dear friend that I mentioned earlier. Why? Because her wrestling proves that she is throat punching the devil every time she chooses to continue to serve Jesus even though behind her smile she may be filled with doubts, fears, anger, pain, anxiety and all that other unwanted yuck that life tends to dump on us.
As women of God, we cannot base our life on our feelings. You may feel “fake” but if you are holding onto Jesus and battling those negative emotions by believing His Word, you are anything BUT fake! You are walking out your faith in a way that trumps your feelings! “Faith it till you make it” wins! The next time the enemy whispers that you’re living a “fake” life, sweet sister remember this;
Your faith is the very reason you can STILL smile even if it is forced for a season and even if, behind closed doors, your tears cover the carpet.
Your faith is the the very reason You can STILL get up and show up even though you may not “feel” like it and getting out the door takes all the fight you can muster.
Your faith is the very reason You can STILL worship even though it may be the last thing your flesh “wants” to do as the enemy is relentlessly whispering his lies in your ear.
Your faith is the very reason you can STILL serve and minister in spite of the tears and wrestling that no one sees because your faith is not based on your feelings but on choosing to do the right thing, in spite of them.
It is God’s grace that upholds us in the darkness so that we can display His Glory in spite of our fickle and changing feelings and circumstances. That is living by faith!
Let God lead you, my friend! There are opportunities that God places before us for the purpose of being real, vulnerable and transparent that is beyond the scope of our intimate circle. However, there are many more times that you may need to intentionally put on that smile and put on your faith as you walk out the door AND that’s okay! You are NOT a “fake”! YOU, my friend. are a daughter of God Almighty who is walking out her faith in a way to bring honor to her Lord! Keep walking, keep shining, keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that one day your faith will become sight! Faithin’ it and smiling with you, my sister! Faith wins!!
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7