"Can you tell me why I would agree to do a radio show tomorrow when I can't even open my mouth without coughing?"
This was my text to a friend minutes after agreeing to do an interview. Having just recovered from the "death flu" I sounded more like a frustrated bull frog than an author with something to share. I was afraid that my weakness would ooze out over the airwaves of live radio exposing my humanity.
You see, I have an impostor. She is the part of me that has spent years building an identity worthy of your approval. And she lives inside of me.
The impostor in me longs to speak eloquently and to have all the right answers. She longs to come across as intelligent and put together, not sick and weak. My impostor is the one who desires the accolades. She does everything she can to hide her weaknesses and showcase her strengths. Her biggest fear is that the real me might be exposed and she will do anything to make herself appear capable and strong. She longs for more than anything to be well thought of.
What am I to do with such an impostor? The inner-self that tells me that my worth is in what others think? The one that drives me to perform in a way that hides all of my scars?
In his book Abba's Child, Brennan Manning speaks of a man named Bob who says that,
"The heart of it is this: to make The Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God's love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that and let it become the most important thing in your life."
Whether your day finds you taming endless tantrums, facing a difficult coworker, or baking cupcakes for the school bake sale will you remember this truth with me?
"Our identity rests in God's relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ."
This is what quiets the impostor and diminishes her power. Because Christ has secured our identity as his beloved we no longer have to yield to the imposter's demands to hide our humanity. We are free to be wrecked. We are free to be weak. We are free to fail. We no longer have to live a life in constant fear of being exposed. We can now live in the freedom of knowing that we give glory to God simply by being our ragged, scarred, sorry old selves.