I think I’m a fraud.
I did the correct things in the right order. I read the guidelines thrice. I edited my word count and submitted in the appropriate format.
I slowly wound my way through the bureaucracy of writing, posting, submitting, designing. I built trust and loved on the few who were called to hear this message.
It never became big; I never garnered a following.
It felt like I was a fraud.
So I spent those years in the trenches, usually learning the slow, hard way, without enough money or time to purchase the help I needed or get “somewhere” quickly. By the time I was proud of myself for learning the new thing, pouring hours into mastering whatever the thing might be, a new technology had already been created to do it for me.
Hours wasted; years of work gone, spent.
I followed the formulas, too, the sequences, the seven-steps, and the ordered paths. Set forth by marketing masterminds and blogger gurus, these blueprints were arduous and exhausting to implement. They chafed at my dyslexic brain as I fought to grasp their sorcery–so effective, so improbable to comprehend, and so impossible to implement.
I wrote my bio as if I am someone. I seem impressive, and what I said is all still true. But I still feel like I am presenting a facade for I am really quite ordinary.
But the message went out. Only to a few. But those few heard. I did my best to bless them and serve them well.
It was worth it; it is worth it, I must tell myself over and again. My calling feels so big, a message to deliver from the God Almighty, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, Himself. It feels surreal that He is just as interested in developing His royal daughter as He is in achieving a mission of exhorting a few people through me.
Even if for just a few. Even if it didn’t go the route the gurus and coaches tell me it would…it is worth it.
If I am honest, I am not okay with being seen as a fraud.
I’d much rather prove myself. But each time I climb onto that glorious high horse, I tumble back into my Daddy’s lap, where He lathers His grace into my hair, gives me unconditional hugs and whispered reminders of “I’m already enough for you,” until I believe His truth more than my own.
That I am not a fraud.
True, I made it past the red tape this time, but it was only a laughable leap and an outside chance that landed me here. I think it is because you are one of my few. You’re probably also tangled in the red tape, hanging upside-down in all the things to do to get somewhere and the effort is continuing to drone on, spending itself worthlessly and pointlessly.
Jumping through the hoops is exhausting, but we’re hanging there together.
Let me tell you something: You aren’t a fraud either, in whatever you’re called to. You will feel it sometimes, yes. But push through the steps, push past the bureaucracy of the system, push through the failures and wins that seem so little.
Because if God walks and leads you, as you follow Him to make a difference in our world, feeling like a fraud and pouring out all the effort for what seems like minuscule results is still worth it.
For you get to move and walk and breathe with the Spirit. What a chance you have! How lucky you are, even if it seems like all you are doing is filing papers, blogging for no one, crunching numbers, or wiping down tables that will never stay clean. For you do it all with the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. And He is a Good Father that doesn’t need you to prove yourself to Him.
Even if that message, that gift you have to give, that push-and-pull that is so huge only seems to only affect a few, it is enough. And when you wonder, “why bother” because so-and-so does the same thing already and does so, so very well, your absence in the story is horrific. Because there is room at the table for you.
Some bloggers do what I do and influence thirty thousand people. On an incredible day, I might influence three hundred, or more likely thirty, and possibly just three.
But those three make it worth it for me to give what God has called me to give them. They are as important as the thirty thousand. And even if I cut through red tape, jump through hoops, and spend my life doing the right thing simply for those three, I am not a fraud.
And neither are you.
Elisa Johnston empowers ordinary people to make the difference they were born to make at Average Advocate, procrastinates on Instagram, and gets really excited about bringing freedom to modern day slaves via the LBD.Project. And whenever and wherever she can, she explores with her three littles and adopted-ish adult kid. Thankfully, God, her husband, and other favorite introverts are all particularly grounding, because otherwise her passion to raise-up leaders, disciple well, and start world-changing things would compel her into a creative oblivion.
Elisa! Your words are cool water to my soul. I found my heart beat increase with every word and the guttural cry in my soul….”yes! Yes!” I relate to every word. Thank you for the drink from the holy well you provided me today. Blessings for your faithfulness to follow Him! Christine
Thank you so much for unmasking the God honoring truth! This is a huge encouragement to me at this very juncture in my life. I have been allowing the thoughts of my lack of singing skill to rob me of an opportunity I’ve been given. I’m half way through radiation therapy for breast cancer at the moment and if I stepped away from singing now everyone would totally understand. I’m tired. But mostly I’m tired of feeling like a fraud. My voice needs work after many silent years. Yet now & then God blesses me with the ability to hear something good in cooperation with others. I’m not leading, but just showing up may be all that’s required. Someone said a faithful obedience in the same direction is pleasing to God. He’s the one leading, we are following. He reminds me too that when we are weak he is strong… and is delighted to demo His power through us.
Keep on writing & I’ll keep on singing and we’ll trust the Holy Spirit to help us each to keep showing up. There may be more people than we know who will be blessed & encouraged through watching.
You are greatly loved! Laura
Ooops so sorry Elisa. For misspelling your name!