I shot up out of bed like lightning had struck me and looked around heart still pumping. Realizing it was still dark I picked up my phone and clicked the side button to see the clock. It was 3:45 am...again.
I had started a new job that week and the pressure to perform haunted me. Literally. Each morning I was pulled from sleep at nearly four in the morning stressing over all the things I needed to do to make a great first impression. And this was after struggling to fall asleep until well after 10 pm. I was not even drinking my normal amount of coffee, which, yes is too much normally, but has never caused me sleeping problems.
No sleep, and half the caffeine, and yet I was still flying like a kid after a sugar-filled birthday party. Negative energy buzzed around me all day and even through the night. My mind was racing with an anxious fear that kept analyzing over the same ill-fated what if statements in their various forms.
What if I fail?
What if they don't like me?
What if I heard God wrong and was now on the wrong path?
Sitting down with God on Thursday morning, however, after a well-timed conversation with one of my mentors where she had asked the questions I had been afraid to ask of myself, I realized I was headed down the track of imposter syndrome... again. God reminded me that if I sought my glory through achievements, focused completely on self, I was ripe for the Enemy to seduce me into fear, confusion, and ultimately disbelief in Him and His goodness toward me. Just like he had been for the entire week.
I knew where this path led. I had been down it many times in my day and I had no desire to go there again.
"Father," I said audibly sitting with a wide-open and desperate heart in my prayer chair, "show me the better way."
And like He always does when I truly seek Him, He pointed out something I had failed to notice in my thought pattern before. Every single one of those if statements centered around me. What if I...
The Truth is that imposter syndrome is a scheme of the Enemy. He gets us to focus on ourselves, then when our eyes are off God, he reminds us that we are not good enough on our own. Which is true! But we were not made to walk into our callings on our own and we are not on our own. We were called by God and He will equip us as we seek His face.
The key to overcoming this tricky ploy from the Accuser is to turn your face toward God and His equipping. His awesomeness and sovereignty. His goodness and faithfulness to provide for us. There is no "what if I?" when our eyes are focused on God.
Just before Jesus launches into the famous do not worry passage of His sermon, He states,
“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!" Matthew 6:22-23.
Where our eyes are focused is what we will see. And what we see affects the rest of our body. If we are focused on ourselves, we will fall into fear and doubt and be filled with darkness. But if we are focused on the light that casts out all darkness then we will be filled with light. The key is to refocus on the truth and light. His eyes are on you.
Father, you are always turned towards us, ready and able to help those who seek you. It is us who turn away. Help us to turn our faces back toward you and see that you are there. Fill us with the light that comes from looking toward the light and equip us with everything we need to glorify your name in all the places you have called us. Help us to be the light you have called us to be. In Jesus' name, Amen.