You’ve Never Exactly Been a Wall Flower, You Know.

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His words from almost 48 hours before still rang clear in my ears.  “You’ve never exactly been a wall flower, you know.”

As I sat all alone in my apartment in Texas, sprawled out on the floor of my living room with my open Bible, a box of tissues, and a bright blue Icicle pop (you know, the colorful ones that come in packs of 50 and cut the sides of your mouth when you try to open them with your teeth–I’m 23 years old and I bought those) meant to help numb the throbbing pain in my head from crying way too much, I found myself chewing–more like grinding–at his words he said to me.  He meant them as a compliment, of course.  He meant to say that he thought I stood out in a good way, that I was unique and should be admired as such.

But, all my life, I have tried so hard to plant myself by the wall.  I always had reasons to do so, or at least I believed I did.

(I’m an extrovert by preference, meaning I usually process my thoughts better when I can say them out loud, and I get energized by groups of people rather than drained by them.  But, I have never been one to demand the center of attention.  I never felt that I was worthy of it.  What if I said something stupid?  What if I’m not funny or entertaining enough?  What if I am truly seen for how physically ugly and imperfect I really am?)

“You’ve never exactly been a wall flower, you know.”

One of my closest friends introduced me to this psychological term called “imposter phenomenon,” which can basically be boiled down as the feeling of not being worthy or deserving of your current position or situation. When she first explained it to me, she laughingly told me that I was probably one of the worst cases she’d ever met.

Maybe you can relate to these feelings of mine: There are friendships and new relationships in my life that I do not feel like I deserve to have because I believe that I am not fun enough for them.  That I am not funny enough.  Not interesting enough.  Not pretty enough.  Not nearly enough to have them or keep them.  I rationalize that I am a charity case for these individuals, that out of sympathy and the goodness of their hearts they do their best to convince me of their sincerity.


[Insert my living room Come-to-Jesus-Meltdown.]

For the first time in what felt like a while, I talked To God.  I’m guilty of talking plenty At God or About God, or even talking To God on behalf of others, but I struggle with talking To Him about ME.  That would require me to quiet my mind.  That would require me to be still and wait.  That would require me calling the spades spades–calling out the continuous thoughts in my head as lies from the Enemy.

And when I say I talked To God, it was really more like when a young kid throws a tantrum until he exhausts himself completely and can finally give up whatever it was he was upset about in the first place.  And so after reaching my end, after exhausting myself with tears of frustration as a “walking imposter” who questioned her Creator for why in the world He decided to make her this way, I finally threw open my Bible.  (You know, the way you do when you decide you’re literally going to test God by seeing if you end up turning to the perfect page with the perfect passage of scripture that pierces you right in the gut and restores your faith in God’s Word and ability to speak through it. ) 

Side note: Don’t ever try to test God in spite.

As I began to read the Psalm open before me, still with tears pouring down my cheeks and a stuffed-up nose and ears from all my crying, I didn’t even pay attention to what chapter I was reading from.

At least, not until I read this part:

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the Holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day.”

If you’re not an active reader of my ramblings blog posts, I’ll catch you up to speed. About a month or so ago, I wrote “Diary of a Broke Down Jesus Girl, Part 1 & Part 2 about my experience one Sunday at Antioch Church here in Bryan, Tx, when a young mother felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to read to me Psalms 46 during praise & worship. (Hint, hint, wink, wink–this is the same passage that God had me read tonight.)

What’s even more significant here is that on that particular Sunday I was struggling with the same thoughts when she approached me with this Psalm.  I was trying to convince myself that I deserved to be unseen and unnoticed at this church of perfect-looking Christians.  I was trying so hard to plant myself at the wall before I even met anyone or gave anyone a chance to know me.


So here’s what I hear God telling me through Psalms 46:

Throwing aside all the complex thoughts lies I have believed about my place as a wall flower in life, I recognize that God delights in me. He Loves Me. He Dwells in Me. And He would not choose to Dwell in Me if I deserved to be a wall flower in His eyes.  And when those complex thoughts lies come back to plant me where I don’t belong, God will not let me be conquered by them.  God will help me when I break through the lies and reach for His truth.  (He will do the same for you also.)

Imposter phenomenon. Wall flower condemnation. Lies. However you slice it or dice it, you weren’t made to have it or believe it or be held back by it.  God made you to be a river whose streams make Him glad, a river where He may dwell within you and break you free when a “damn of lies” is built up in you. 

“You’ve never exactly been a wall flower, you know.”

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5 comments

  1. ncoers · July 16, 2015

    Beautiful and brave…always remember you are not alone in such sentiments. Keep being you and becoming more of who He has designed and desires you to be…what delight He takes in these breakthroughs… however messy-entangled with life they are.

  2. Pat Cooper · July 16, 2015

    I so enjoy your sharing what God is revealing to you in and about your life. My prayers are always with you…my love as well. God will continue to bless you and direct your path.

  3. Dustin · July 16, 2015

    We’ve discussed the “imposter phenomenon” before. What can one do to shake that feeling and realize they belong?

  4. Dustin · July 16, 2015

    We’ve discussed the “imposter phenomenon” before. What can one do to shake the feeling and move toward belonging?

  5. TheLifeOfRiley · July 17, 2015

    Hey it must’ve been someone really really neat that identified you as having IP 😉

    @Dustin- from what I’ve read, one of the most universally accepted ways to quell those fraudulent feelings is just by learning about Imposter Phenomenon and through self reflection. BUT obviously that doesn’t work with everyone, as is evidenced by our gal, Val.

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