Monday, January 19, 2015

SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A FAKE


I do, you know.

Sometimes I feel like a Christian fraud.

Will you allow me to explain?

Let me start by saying that I believe what I believe.  I know that I know what I know.

I have wholehearted faith, full-hearted faith.

And yet…

Sometimes I don't live like I do.

Sometimes, I am living according to fear.


Yes, all too often I am overcome by feelings of anxiety, dread, worry, and panic.  All too often, I buy a ticket and jump on the "What-If Train" – what if this happens, what if that happens.  I don't just wait for the other shoe to drop – I am convinced that it's going to drop on me.

The things I worry about are too numerous to count.  Family, relationships, finances, health.  You know, all those little *worms* that niggle into your mind and refuse to leave.

And all too often my actions are motivated by the deep need to avoid feeling fear.

Sometimes it all gets out of control. 


When my fear rises and begins to spiral out of control, there are two areas that flare up.

I find myself "check-check-checking" over and over again.  Is the front door locked?  Did I lock my car?  Did I leave the lights on?  Did I forget something? (Honestly, you should see me trying to leave a hotel room!)

I also find myself overly concerned with germs.  I wash my hands a bunch, and get nervous about eating leftovers.  (Which could be a good thing if you're dieting.  But in this case, not so much.)

And then that leads to me becoming a first-year medical student.  I remember talking to my doctor about this once.  And he used that example. He said he didn't know any newbie medical student who didn't think he had every disease he was studying about!  And let me tell you, when this frame of mind takes over, the Internet is NOT my friend.


So, here's where the issue of "fake" comes in.

I write a lot about faith and hope and peace and trust.

I believe strongly in these things.

But when I get caught up in a web of fear, when anxiety cycles out of control, then I feel like I am preaching something I'm not doing.

I feel like I'm "talking the talk" but not "walking the walk."

And then, to top everything off, I end up feeling guilty that I'm a lousy Christian.

Door opens.

And the enemy comes in.

"Boy, Sharon, some Christian you are.  You talk a big story, but when it comes right down to it, you don't trust God at all.  What a hypocrite you are."

Worst part?

I listen.

And internalize the lie.


So, friends, this is my true confession.  I sometimes find myself so fear-full that I can barely breathe.  And I felt the strong need to tell you this.  To *come clean* with my struggles.  To admit that sometimes I don't live like I believe the Truth that I truly believe.

It's a spiritual dilemma, for sure.

Do any of you struggle with this?

Maybe not fear, but maybe some other character flaw that makes you feel like you're not living the way you believe?

I suppose I'm not alone.

I do hold on tightly to what Paul says in Romans 7.  Here's how I might paraphrase it:

"I want to trust God, but sometimes I can't.  I want to believe all His promises, but sometimes I act like I don't.  I don't want to be fearful, but I am anyway.  I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, when I want to follow Him closely, I am inevitably hit with an onslaught of fear.  I love God and His Word with all my heart.  But it's like there is another power within me that is at war with my mind and heart."


Yup.

That's it exactly.

But, even as I typed those words, I see that something snuck in there without me really thinking about it.  A phrase, a clue.

"…when I want to follow Him closely…"

Is this the crux of the problem?

Am I a threat when I seek to follow God closely?  Is this why the arrows come out?  Is this why the enemy steps up his attacks?  Does this explain the bazooka barrage of fear that batters me?

I wonder.

And I wonder how I feel about that.

Truthfully, I feel divided.

Sorta not wanting to be on the enemy's radar – not wanting to be his target. And yet, I sorta feel an "in-your-face" moment of small victory.  Like it's sorta nice to feel that my faith is strong enough that I might be considered someone to be reckoned with.

Yeah, me.  Fearful, anxiety-ridden, but somehow still faithful me.

I actually looked up the word "fake" in Sharon's Acrostic Dictionary.  Here's what I found:

F aithfully
A cknowledging the
K ing in
E verything

Not what I expected to find, but that is indeed me!


So, friends, this is my confession.

That sometimes I feel like a fake because my fears belie the faith that I have in the Lord.  That sometimes I don't live out what I truly believe.  That sometimes I have trouble "walking the walk" that I talk about so sincerely.

And yet, perhaps this does not make me fake.  Perhaps this makes me real?

And perhaps that is where the *real* walk of faith walks.

In the trenches of real life, with all its ups and downs.  On the stony path of troublesome circumstances and stumbling hardship.

In the innermost and truest feelings where flawed personalities meet God where it really counts.

But this is also the place where we are most apt to turn to Him, to throw ourselves upon His mercy, to cry out in our agony, to know to the depths of our souls how very much we need Him.

For this is, indeed, where my fears drive me.

To my knees, crying out to the One who I know exists.

To the One I love.

To the One I know loves me. 

To the One I know is good, no matter how much I doubt Him or fear the path ahead of me.

Somewhere underneath the quicksand of fear, there is the bedrock of faith. 

The Rock of faith – who even when I cannot drum up trust, is still unchangingly and permanently trust-worthy.

Sigh.


Yes, sometimes I am full of fear.  Overcome with emotion.  Tossed by stewing and fretting.  Paralyzed by anxiety.

Riding the "What-If Train" – choo, choo – and running away from falling shoes.

But even here I find the Lord.  

And here the Lord finds me.

There is peace in knowing Him.

This day and tomorrow...

Forever.





Take courage.
Do not be afraid.
It is I.
I am here. 



"Oh, what a miserable person I am!  Who will free me from this life...Thank God!  The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7:24-25, NLT)

"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'" (Romans 8:15, NIV)


"Listen to my prayer, O God.  
Do not ignore my cry for help!  
Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.  
My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats.  
They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down.  
My heart pounds in my chest.  
The terror of death assaults me.  
Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking.  
Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!  
I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness...

But I will call on God,
and the LORD will rescue me.
Morning, noon, and night
I cry out in my distress,
and the LORD hears my voice.
He ransoms me and keeps me safe
from the battle waged against me,
though many still oppose me.
God, who has ruled forever,
will hear me and humble them...

Give your burdens to the LORD,
and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall."

(From Psalm 55, NLT)


"Say to those with fearful hearts, 'Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.  He is coming to save you.'" 
(Isaiah 35:4, NLT)

"I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4, ESV)

"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.  In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid." (Psalm 56:3-4, NASB)

"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.  And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, AMP)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." (John 14:27, ESV)

"For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'" (Isaiah 41:13, NIV)



Where do you struggle to "walk the walk" of faith?



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61 comments:

  1. Sharon, I could have written this myself. I do get gripped with anxiety and worry and fear (and why is it always in the middle of the night when it happens?) I know all the promises of God, I can recite them and believe them, but when seized with those fears its hard to recount them. I too feel like a fake so many times and stumble at times with prayer and reading the Bible, but yet like you do I would imagine too, I struggle on, refusing to give up and continuing to believe in Jesus and trying to walk the best walk I can for him. I know he loves us in spite of our troubles. It is an uphill walk so many days though, but like you, I'm going to keep on walking it.

    betty

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    1. It's 3:30 A.M. and I'm feeling like a fraud again. trouble with my youngest daughter leaves me examining the way I've raised her , why she was brought into my life, all the ways I didn't mother her to her liking.... and on and on... I kneed to turn this over to God, let him wipe my slate clean again, I know all his promises too, I've heard his voice calling my name ,he's lifted me beyond anything I had ever dreamed of for myself. I thank him that I read your reply to this post! I have to follow Christ's lead and like you keep walking the path the best way I can.

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  2. Underneath the conflicting thoughts of the mind, will and emotions, there is a strong place in your spirit where His Spirit dwells. When you sift past your emotions, you know that you are going to be ok because you are in His hands. Don't let your mind condemn you but listen to your spirit.

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  3. I can always count on your posts to speak directly to me, Sharon and today more than ever. Many times I have used the work "fake" to describe the way I feel about myself at times. The scripture in Romans 7 has been one that I have clinged to since when I became a Christian. I also struggle somewhat with anxiety and fear but sometimes it's just keeping a godly attitude...like you said, not just talking the talk but walking the walk as well. I want people to look at me a know right away that there is something different about me and that is not always so apparent. I know that God knows my heart...that I love Him desperately...and that He understands these struggles that we ALL go through because He made us. It is so reassuring to know that He will never leave us or forsake us, no matter how we feel we have failed Him...Praise His holy name!

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  4. oh my goodness, you are SO not alone! I think every one of us struggles with this to some degree. I feel like a fraud every time I post a blog! Today's blog had to do with seeing results based on your effort. My friend sent me an email saying how great it was, and I read it as I was laying in bed, trying wake up and not wanting to get up for work. By the time I finally got up, I had about 15 minutes to take care of the dog and make myself presentable, pack up and go. How's that for practicing what I preach? Yeah, I know all about feeling like a fake. Welcome to the club, friend. On the other hand, God knows our struggles and loves us anyway, and it's not based on what we do or don't do; feel or don't feel. It just is. He's a GOOD GOD! Loved this post.

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    1. I agree with you, Mary...I have also felt this way after posting on my blog. I think that many of us can relate here...we ALL love Jesus and want to do our best for Him. I am SO thankful for His amazing grace! I am so glad that it is unmeasurable, aren't you?

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  5. If we are honest with ourselves as you have been here, there is not one of us who wouldn't agree wholeheartedly with these words. It's those 'little foxes that spoil the vines'... we each know what our 'foxes' are. It's also in those areas that God is teaching us to be what he has in mind for our lives. The journey is full of vines, and the foxes are going to do their best to spoil them. But God... who understands us, forgives us, loves us and never finishes working in us.

    You're preaching to the choir here my friend, and she is listening! :)

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  6. Hi Sharon! Does anyone else struggle with this? You must be joking!! EVERYONE struggles with the feelings you described, in one way or another. (I really related to the checking things 2 and 3 times by the way. Classic anxiety.)
    You and St. Paul, and all of us are in the same leaky boat. He did lots of things he wish he hadn't because he knew it was bad/counterproductive. Did that stop his preaching? No way! He had the truth inside an earthen vessel. The vessels we live in are fragile and made of clay, they are going to fail. But the faith, strength of truth and our love for God will stay. Always. Even in our rickety vessels.

    Keep singing it sister! I don't expect you to be perfect. As a matter of fact, I can relate much better to someone who isn't. Let's just hitch up our imperfections and start running toward the prize. It's more fun with a buddy :)
    Have a graced Monday!
    Ceil

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  7. Ahhh Sharon ... this is what I love about you!!! (sigh) not that you're a "fake" (although I love your "acrostic" much better than the actual word) but that you are as REAL, honest and willing to be vulnerable about your life and emotions (feelings, worries, fears, anxieties, 'whatever'...) with us and you're not afraid to go out on a limb and share 'em as you share God... the good (ever so good) ... the bad (sometimes so bad) and the ugly (ever so hideous).

    I once again read this earlier and had to contemplate (take it all in) meanwhile quite a few earlier risers than I chimed in and let you know THAT you're not alone in this. However, I think we knew this (in some ways) that if people were willing to admit it, most of us fall into this category. My dilemma, I think, was with the word 'fake' and even 'fraud' and that I was not able to come up with a better term to categorize this or identify this false pretense (or the 'fake' syndrome) other than the human frailty of not being the Jesus we profess to know, love and serve. Yet the truth in your words clearly rings true to most of us and the conflicts of how our everyday lives and how spiritual life do not seem to line up.
    I wrote a similar blog 'post' on paper that I never published on my blog ... and often use the Christian terms/phrases: "walk the walk"; "talk the talk"; "walk the talk"; "talk the walk" (which most of us do without realizing this is what we are blogging). I'm not sure what my struggle is (fear, worry, anxiety like yours) or something more of a combination (and my insecurity, so much of my emotional mess and uncertainties, failures of not living what I hold on to spiritually to get me through, etc.) but no matter what we call it, it definitely is a tactic of the enemy to skew us off course and we can all relate. It is the dilemma that Paul clearly writes about ... perhaps this is why the book of Romans was so difficult for me most of my Christian walk. Or maybe I have yet to "walk" the Christian walk. Maybe I am just walking the talk or talking the talk but have yet to be awakened to the actual truth of how to live in God's aMazing Grace and live like I believe or have read so often in the Word and other's words. For me, it is what you write about so often here, and applying God's Word, Truth, Promises to my actual life.

    {continued in next comment/reply to this}

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    1. Romans 7:14-16 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."(v. 15)

      (I just so happened to read, watch and listen to the Grace Immersion, Week 3 videos:*sermon and small group today- as well as read today's Day 19 and go back and read the other texts in Romans before reading this illuminating blog of yours-*which is the most profound teaching on Grace I have ever heard and I think I may have seen a new glimmer of light come on). This is what stood out from today's:

      "Bill Hybels said, “There are only two religions in the world: The religion of human achievement that asks, ‘What must I do?’ and the religion of divine achievement that says, ‘Because of God it is done.’”

      Do or done. Which religion are you?

      For years, although I had been saying all the right words, in my heart I was really still in the first religion, trying hard to earn absolution. How did I finally get a sense of peace and security?"


      Clearly once again, you and I (and a few others) are on the same page and hearing God speak to us. And just think, I wrote this much without sharing the answer to your question nor my unpublished blog post. Guess this is a hot topic and clearly one we each need to take into account better in our real lives. But no matter what ... "His Grace is sufficient"! and praise God, we believe this and all of your ending, beyond the caboose of the "what if" train right along the track to Jesus, our eternal goal and example, it's not in what we've done, but in ALL that HE has DONE ... and we will never measure up, nor are we intended to ... "because we are all sinners saved by grace" whether we "walk the walk" or fail (as I often do and have) we must believe with our whole hearts in Christ in us, alive in us, and He is able to do immeasurably more than us, He is not fake nor a fraud ... nor is our unbelief or doubts ... however, God's grace covers us, redeems us, atones for us, cleanses us, and eternally adopts us!

      "Where do I struggle?" it's better to ask me "where don't I struggle?" and it's not a question of my faith or lack of "walking the walk", I keep on keeping it on and moving forward with all my human weaknesses, realizing I am nothing without Him, I will stumble a zillion times more but how can I help one more to see and believe all that we've been given in Christ Jesus, in all our inadequacies, He will pick us up, if we come to Him (broken, beaten, blemished, burdened) and confess that He is Lord and Savior (and that is enough)!

      Love and blessings (sorry for sharing so much, perhaps if anyone reads my ramblings, it may help them because it did not come from me)
      Peggy
      {plus I had to divide it into 2 comments}

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    2. Really appreciate and enjoy reading all the comments. So good!

      Oh and the terms I finally came up with instead of "fake" and "fraud"
      Authentic and Unauthentic Christians ... kinda like the false prophets we are to be watching out for ... {and those in wolves' clothing}

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    3. no, I thought about those terms too and they won't work ... because I believe most of us try our best to live the Christian walk ... (hmmm)
      so scratch that as I continue scratching my head ... but whatever the term, Sharon, you are far from it and are as "Authentic" as we come.

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    4. an another quote that was in my email by Francis Chan ("Forgotten God")

      "Without action and fruit, all the theology in the world has little meaning"

      "But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

      Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds." to go with James 2:18 "Relentless God"

      aren't we so thankful that God is relentless?

      {since I am not signed in (online on computer) I cannot delete-sorry} Feel free.

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    5. LIFETIME Daily DevotionalJanuary 19, 2015 at 9:56 AM

      sorry one more

      "A Sinner-Defeated? Or A Saint-Completed?

      Oh, please!
      Listen to what I am saying.
      You are deceived as I once was.
      For me to be a "saint" was a lost
      a hopeless cause.
      Satan badgered me,
      belittled me,
      and blamed me for each infraction
      large or small,
      until he had thoroughly convinced me
      that I wasn't a righteous saint at all!
      My thoughts and my emotions were puppets in his scheme
      to persuade me
      that a life of victory was an elusive dream.
      "Me? A new creation? A saint?
      Oh sure! The day I die.
      But for now I'm doomed to know defeat
      no matter how hard I try."
      "I just can't do it!"
      "I am so unhappy."
      "I'm so far from what He intends me to be."
      These thoughts kept running through my brain and
      Satan was controlling me.
      How it must have grieved my precious Jesus
      to know I listened-I believed.
      When "in Him" I have been made righteous-a saint!
      But I was so deceived.
      Praise God! At last I've seen! I know!
      I am a saint, clean and forgiven!
      I am accepted in the Beloved and seated in God's heaven.
      I am beyond reproach. I am holy.
      I'm altogether lovely, redeemed, alive in Him!
      It's true!

      I know that I'm blameless, righteous, and complete.
      And my dear Believer, so are you.

      2 Corinthians 13:13

      from LIFETIME daily devotion for day 141 (in other words) not by me

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  8. I've felt overwhelmed by fear many a time--but your conclusion is correct--admitting to our fears and our inability to follow our own advice doesn't make us fake--it makes us real. Thank you for pointing that out!

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  9. Oh Sharon...Thank you so much for putting so clearly into words something that I deal with every so often also.
    Just this morning me and a friend were talking about how fear can come into our life and dictate how we are going to act and react to things! In fact, I've come to realize recently that it was fear that built up a wall around my heart for so many years...Making me hold back real love for others because of past hurts, and fearful of getting hurt again.
    Thanks for posting this...I am sharing it with my friend now!

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  10. Last year my husband went through treatment for cancer and in the midst of that I would at times become fearful. When those days would come I put 2 Timothy 1:17 on my phone and looked at it when fear would start to creep in. It says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." I would say it OUT LOUD so that the enemy of my soul knew he didn't have a remote chance of winning the war. Our words spoke out loud can bring life. Proverbs 18:21 Start speaking life over yourself. God loves you so much and wants to free you of your fears. Thanks for sharing yourself so honestly.

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    1. Oh my goodness, Nancy! Seeing your words confirms what God has taught me over and over in the last three years. In fact, on January 12, I wrote a post about exactly what you wrote here (I linked my name in this comment to it). Speak those words of trust out loud ladies, there is power in it! Power we don't even fully understand.

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  11. I think that most women, me included, have a problem with fear. Even though you trust God with all your heart, you may still need some medical help and that is okay. Don't feel that you are not a Christian if you have to take something. Our bodies are not perfect. Sometimes we are born with imbalanced hormones. Something that has helped me is the phrase, "Let God Write Your Story." We may not like it at first, but it does help when life doesn't turn out the way we wanted it to. I've been listening to this pastor. http://liberate.org/2014/09/05/how-to-be-perfect-a-sermon-series-from-pastor-tullian/ Sometimes we want to be too perfect and we cannot be. Thanks for sharing and being so transparent. I think I understand what you are going through. I've been there.

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  12. not a fake - truly transparent and clinging to Him in the midst of your fears. And yes, I think being on the radar should give you some amount of confirmation you're doing the right thing. satan does't attack those who are idle and minding their own fleshly desires. He's after the heart who desires and loves God. But it's worth being a target because we can be prepared in various ways. And you're doing the most important one - claiming God's word. Thank you for sharing so openly in this post. And tonight I pray where fear and anxiety is that peace will replace it. Where overwhelming thoughts of doubt rise up they will be trumped with truth. In Jesus name, Amen.

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    1. There is this quote that I love: Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!"

      It's good to be on his radar, because it means that we are fighting for the right team -- seeking God with all our hearts!

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  13. Two lines in this rind especially true for me, Sharon -
    "And yet, perhaps this does not make me fake. Perhaps this makes me real?"
    and this "Somewhere underneath the quicksand of fear, there is the bedrock of faith."
    For me, that bedrock is the love of God. I hear it described once that like a boat moving through fog we have to practice surrender - to practice falling through fear to the love that catches us, faithfully, always. I also need to say, though, that this past year I began taking medication for a sudden bout of severe anxiety - I believe that anxiety is part of the spiritual experience - not a sign that something's wrong always, but that we are uncomfortable - but there are times when our life circumstances and body chemistry move us to a place that's unmanageable and in those time other resources can make a big difference.

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    1. I've been there with you. Sometimes we need the medicine to put the fear and anxiety in a box so that it is more manageable. There are physical as well as spiritual causes for anxiety. I'm glad you pointed this out! The evil one would love for us to be filled with shame for needing help from the medicine along with prayer. But there is no shame in it! God loves that we are trying to move towards more trust in Him. The TRYING in itself has so much merit!

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  14. Your Scripture quotes show that even the saints and the prophets, and men who knew Jesus suffered from fear and anxiety. I think "fear not" is what Jesus said most often. So yes, anxiety is always nearby. "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is shifting sand."

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  15. Hi! stopping by from Unite! My first visit to your blog... I can hear your deep faith in our Lord pouring out on the page of your blog. Oh, so often I have prayer as well... please Lord help me in my unbelief!! He is so very patient with us all. Love and blessings to you :)

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  16. I understand what you mean about sometimes feeling like a fake. Just know that is feeling and thoughts that come from the enemy. When I tend to worry or become fearful this is what I do (besides grab the word) - - I take a DEEP breath and let it out slowly. When you are anxious your breathing is shallow and slow. Deep breathing is like letting in the breath of God to fill your body and spirit. Thank you dear Sharon for being human and sharing your honest thoughts with us here at "Tell Me a Story."

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  17. I respectfully apologize to the person who left an Anonymous comment here today. Though I appreciated your comment, I have a policy of removing anonymous comments on this blog. Thank you for your understanding

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  18. Sharon, very much enjoyed this post. Probably because my one word for 2014 was "faith" & my one word for 2015 is "believe". Believe >>> "Do not be afraid, just believe....." (Luke 8:50). Yup, that is my focus for this year. So yes, I am right there with you :) My desire is to grow deeper in Him this year so that my first response will always be, "God said it, I believe it. Amen!" No wavering. May we both grow in faith & believe Him greater in 2015! Blessings!

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  19. I had to stop myself from replying to every single comment! You have opened up such an important topic here for us, and it's a topic that is so close to my heart. Fear and anxiety had a grip on me for years. Now I'm consciously moving towards more trust in God. The words you have written are so true. I can see without a doubt why the evil one would love to stop you in your tracks with feelings of being a fake. Thank you for instead sharing your heart with us. I think just speaking about our gremlins - the negative thoughts the evil one plants in our minds - starts to free us from them. What a blessing you have given us all!

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  20. I have so many moments of feeling fake. But God has been speaking about it to my heart.
    It's not you they see, He has been saying, it's Me shining through you. And if I choose to show myself through you, well, that's My decision and not yours. And it's not because you deserve it but because I choose to do it.
    And it's amazing to be part of something like that. Especially knowing that I didn't do anything to deserve it. It was all God.

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  21. I am living this right now. I am even having panic attacks that I've never had before. My fears are getting the best of me. Right now I feel that our crazy world is scaring me and also between blogging and Facebook I come upon so much sadness, so many people's loved ones dying and I become scared for my loved ones. Yet lately I seem to be getting signs from God and his protection when things could have gone in another direction. I believe, I love Him and deeply want to know Him and trust Him completely. I want to know that no matter what happens He has been next to me and that I will for sure see my loved ones in Heaven. Thank you for sharing your heart with me.

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  22. I couldn't help but to think of your word HEALING as a read through this. And maybe I was most thinking in terms of the places are mind can go. It's one reason, actually probably the main reason) why my word is SELFLESS. I believe, I really believe, but I must confess too that my thoughts don't always line up with what I believe. But I appreciated what you shared about the enemy. Pondering those thoughts. Here's my healing thoughts . . . I am aware of the lies I believe and it's leading me to seek Him (like lots and lots lately) for healing. So that's all a good thing! It's a journey. So grateful for the work He is always doing in us.
    P.s. I always feel like I'm rambling but hoping I make some sort of sense. :)
    Much love.
    xoxo

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  23. We are so human, aren't we, Sharon? Thankful for mercy and grace and new mercies every morning.

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  24. Oh, dear friend! How I needed to read this tonight! Your words went straight to my heart and resonated deep! I am in the midst of a severe test and battle of fear, and it is just so comforting to know that I am not alone and I am not the only one who experiences these things. Your transparency is SO refreshing...so authentic. It means the world to have you...and your encouragement...in my life. God bless you abundantly.

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  25. Yes I do feel this way often. The enemy knows my address and if I don't keep that "no solicitation" and "beware of LION" sign out he is sure to trespass. And truth to tell, sometimes I am stupid enough to open the door and let those lies trot right in. Thanks for posting this because I sure needed this today.
    Donna
    visiting from #TellHisStory

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  26. Fear has been on my mind lately. God keeps reminding that His perfect love drives it away. So that's what I've been focusing on. It's a hard, good lesson. Your words here encouraged. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

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  27. Clearly, you are not alone here - your honesty, authenticity and reverberated through community and you know you aren't alone. You aren't a fake Christian. You are a real Christian who daily has to live out what it means to live in the world and be not of the world. Trusting and having faith and believing is a daily practice and we don't always get it right, which is why there is such grace that HE has given us. I so appreciate your realness, Sharon. When we confess our struggles, the shame lifts, doesn't it? Praying for you, sweet friend.

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  28. "In the innermost and truest feelings where flawed personalities meet God where it really counts." Amen - being real with one another and standing transparently before God allowing Him to search our hearts and sift through the rubble. I don't think there is a single person who can't relate to what you've experienced - it's our nature - our flesh. I'd be much more concerned if you claimed to be the perfect believer who had it all together and never made a mistake. You are leaning into grace and I am leaning right along with you. So blessed to have been your neighbor at Kristin's today.

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  29. I came back to tell you that I directed a friend to your blog and after reading she told me "That blog was awesome!"
    ((hugs))

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  30. This is the third blog post tonight dealing with fear. I think the Lord wants us to hear the truth and not the lie and He has put it on many Christian women's hearts to write. Thank you for writing this as I wash myself in His word this year so I renew my mind.

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  31. I think we have all felt like fakes at some time or another. Our faith is not based on our feelings though. Our emotions can spin out of control sometimes, but if we set our minds on God, he gives us perfect peace. We're not fake, we're real. God knows our struggles.
    Thanks for this post!

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  32. Exactly, I think we all feel like this at some time, and I agree with Chris above, we are not fake we are real. Thanks for sharing this great post at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  33. So glad you joined us for "Tuesday Talk"!

    Stop back by today for "Pincrazy Thursday" - We just went live! :-)

    Elizabeth

    www.allkindsofthingsblog.com

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  34. Of course I think we all feel fake once in a while.... but this is what I think, if you were fakem you would not think and worry you were fakem you would just know it!
    Thanks for sharing,,,, and no, you are not fake!

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  35. Don't feel like The Lone Ranger! All of us struggle with fear. Period. Some more than others. I tend to be a lot like you in most ways and this one is no different.

    I've had some serious "fear" issues over the last six years and God used this time to draw me to Him in study. I still have a now wrinkled up verse from Isaiah 8:13 scribbled out on a piece of notebook paper sitting beside my sink in the bathroom.

    When we "fear" or revere the things of this world more than we do the sovereignty of our Father, we fall into a form of idolatry. We put more faith in the things that He controls than we do in Him. Kind of silly really, but we are fallen after all and our weaknesses are without end on this side of the Great Curtain...

    You're not alone... in fact, this boat that we're all in is getting over crowded... Oh no! We could tip over! ... a pathetic stab at humor...

    God bless, Sharon.

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  36. I can relate to that fear of what's coming next. You are not alone. It pushes us to trust even more.

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  37. Naming all of your fears to God, really helps. It alleviates the burden of carrying them alone, even if they're ridiculous to you. And even if you have to tell him over and over. He listens. :)

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  38. Ah friend... I totally identify (as usual.) I have learned to identify when Jerkface enemy is trying to sneak in... especially when I am home alone at night with the baby (which happens a lot due to army schedules)

    I think it is a lifetime process-- recognition is the first step. Keep at it-- God is at work friend.

    And praise the Lord for His grace. He knows we all need it!!

    PS: Love your acrostic dictionary. Especially the one you left on my blog today. Saving it!

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  39. You're not alone... I can completely identify. I criticize my walk with God often and it's not healthy.

    I think it's something we all need to work on daily. Always on our guard and looking to Christ.

    Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop.

    Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

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  40. And here I thought I was the only one who felt like a fake at times. I cringe when someone give me a compliment in the area of being a strong Christian woman. I sort of buckle inside because I know the fringes of how frail I am. Then I remember, I am suppose to be frail, I am not finish yet. He has to do more work on this frail simple woman and while He is doing it He is getting the glory. You just wrote a giving you all the glory post my courageous wise hearted sister.

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  41. You are not a fake. I see a beautiful testimony of God working in you! In my life, I do feel the attacks of the enemy as I become closer with my walk with God. I have especially felt it since I started blogging last September. We can't believe the lies and must cling to the One who has already conquered for us. :)

    Erin | It All Matters Mom

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  42. The release of your authentic words is evidence of you are no fake. Not to mention how everyone else along with myself can identify with the words you have written. Thanks for giving voice to what many of us walk through on this journey of faith.

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  43. I always think of us as really fragile human beings. But for His grace....Hugs Sharon. Stay strong and know He's got your back always no matter what.

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  44. Oh boy can I so relate to this, Sharon. I always feel like a fake when people ask me for advice and I give them what I know but when I'm on their shoes, I doubt if it would be that easy for me to follow.

    I live in fear too! I'm such a worrier I take comfort in listening to podcasts (currently it's Joel Osteen playing again and again on my phone), and reading blogs like these. I have to constantly motivate and encourage myself especially now that I feel like I'm stuck somewhere in between moving to the next phase and staying comfortably to where I am. :(

    Thanks for sharing this. I feel better knowing that I'm not alone in this struggle. Your honesty in showing me your scars and flaws gave me hope to keep on keeping on. :)

    Happy weekend!

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  45. You just put what I am thinking and feeling.in words. But I am a happy woman because the more I fear, the more rely on God's help. Very uplifting post.
    Dropping by from Spiritual Sundays. My entry: Are you carrying a heavy load?

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  46. Oh, my friend, you do encourage! The rest of that scripture in Romans is the answer, of course, and you well know it. I'm also so encouraged by those in the Bible like Paul and even Elijah who were so honest about their fears and failings.Blessings!

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  47. This could be my life! I struggle with fear at times and often wonder if I should be writing and encouraging others at all. But God knows our weaknesses. He understands our human frailty. He will continue to come to us and show us the way and the light will dispel the darkness. Hugs!

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  48. How is it that you get in my head ALL THE TIME???

    This is sooooo me. And, I'll tell you a secret. I feel the twinge every time I sign off with "Joy!" at the end of a post or comment.

    Am I truly walking in Joy? Do I believe it? By FAITH--yes. But, my FEELINGS are not always on the same page. A dilemma, to be sure. I would love to go through my days light as a feather PROVING in my walk my talk. Not always so easy to do so. BUT, I know Whom I've believed and that makes all the difference.

    Great post - worthy "encore performance" at ATBB!
    JOY!
    Kathy

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  49. Good to know I am not alone. Yes I struggle with these things too and feeling sorry for myself and useless, always wrong. Please pray for me, I have been feeling this way on and off for too long. I need to let god get on with His refining and eat of the food I don't much like. I tried to comment on your latest post, without success I think now it was because the Lord wanted me come and read this one as well - God Bless and thank you for being His Channel

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  50. this is the exact battle i've been studying and praying and writing through... the verses and thoughtfulness with which you share give me ammunition for the battle... the encouragement from a sister to strap on the shield and march forward. THANK YOU. :)

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  51. You are one of the most real ladies I know. Your confessions make it possible for others to be brave enough to confess too. I love this quality. The Lord uses you because you aren't afraid of the cracks in your pot. You don't pretend to be someone you aren't. Fake? No way! <3

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)