Witches, Imposters & Ghosts

29. October 2018 Blog Posts 16

The first contest I ever won involved a tiny clay sculpture I crafted and submitted to the Harper County Fair. I remember being very surprised that I had won a ribbon, considering I had only taken one art class.  And I was sure the other entries came from professional artists.


Empowered by that Reserve Grand Champion ribbon, I asked for a pottery wheel for Christmas the next year. But then my sculpting dreams died somewhere around fourth grade when I realized that it wasn’t a highly valued career choice in rural Kansas in the 70s.


Honestly, I didn’t feel like I was good enough.  As hard as I tried, I never felt like a real artist.


For at least ten years following the fair victory, I had a recurrent dream.  It started out like a blank home screen on a computer (in those days, more like a snowy TV screen after midnight).  A white, blank rectangle.  Slowly from the top left corner, something would start creeping in. After I had this dream a few times, I knew exactly what that thing was:  a witch.


She came in and grabbed a lump of clay that had appeared in the middle of the space.  With her long green fingernails, she started to insert wire throughout the clay.  I begged her to stop, to not ruin my clay by putting wire in it, but she just laughed and continued.


That was it.  And I dreamed it over and over and over again.


Lately, I have thought about that dream often.


Another witch has now begun putting wire in my creativity:  Imposter Syndrome.  That feeling of phoniness, despite achievements and credibility, living in fear of being exposed.  Neil Armstrong suffered from it, John Steinbeck did, as well as Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein, and many other very accomplished people.


So it shouldn’t come as a shock that a much-less accomplished person feels it, too.


Writing is new for me.  I have little training in this field.  My blog is less than nine months old.  Feelings of inadequacy abound.  Often, the words in my head sound so unique, so insightful, so groundbreaking.   But on paper they seem so ordinary, so trite, so warmed over.


Technically and philosophically, I struggle with the social media required to be successful as a writer.  I fear I have missed my moment with Facebook and Instagram.  And Twitter is even more foreign to me.  But without them, I feel incompetent to communicate the story God has entrusted to my life.


Sometimes I even wonder why I write.  Is it helping anyone?  Is anyone reading it?


Doubt and fear from the Enemy can cause us to shrink back and lose our voice.  He gets in our heads and renders us useless.  Even Moses begged for an exemption, feeling that his own words could never be enough.


The bible is full of many followers who felt that they were imposters, inadequate, not the real thing, not enough:  Gideon, Joshua, Solomon, Jeremiah, even King Saul.


Every human heart suffers from this affliction:  big tasks to do, overshadowed by a crippling feeling of incompetence.


But the God who made us out of nothing whispers through the overwhelm, “When I choose you for something, I already know you are enough.”  In first Corinthians, “God assigned you a life to live.”  It may seem unlikely.  It may bear no resemblance to your childhood dreams.  It may seem awkward.  But if you are walking in step with the Spirit, it’s right where you are supposed to be.


I know even in my Christian walk, I have felt like an imposter, a plagiarizer.  Often, the words coming out of my mouth, like the words flowing off my keyboard, seem to be someone else’s.  I was just borrowing them out of convenience.  Or safety.


But then I realized that the words are borrowed.  The Spirit has given me words to say, in life and in writing. They taste foreign because they are made of more than we are.  Jesus Himself said that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say at just the moment we need them.  They may not be our words, or our message.  But that makes us no less the uniquely chosen messenger to deliver them.


My daughter’s close friend is a ghostwriter.  Ghostwriters are writers for hire who take money but none of the recognition for the work produced.  The listed “author” takes all the credit for the ghost’s original writing.  Apparently this is common practice for everything from websites to business copy to full-length books.


Our God is the real author of this blog and of my life.  The website may have my name on it, but the words come from the Ultimate Ghostwriter. I have had the privilege of seeing firsthand that only He decides when and how to move the plot along.  And what characters to use.


Two years ago, I had wires inserted in my chest and in my heart to keep me alive.  When those wires went in they could have made my heart useless, but instead they made it stronger.  Right now, I am out of transplant range.  My heart became even more alive, even more “enough.”


The wires in our creative clay and in our Christian life can do the same.  Instead of making our words useless, they can spur us on to something much bigger.


Take it from a County Fair Reserve Grand Champion:  the wires are there as a reminder.  You were chosen for this.  Use His Holy words, His Sacred thoughts.  You may feel like an imposter.  But with God as your Ghostwriter, you have already been made more than enough.


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16 thoughts on “Witches, Imposters & Ghosts”

  • 1
    Barbara Crone on October 30, 2018 Reply

    I read your blog faithfully, so you have at least one follower! And I think you do a wonderful job.
    It’s an A+ from this retired teacher!!!

    • 2
      Lori Ann Wood on October 30, 2018 Reply

      Thank you, Barbara. I have always admired your faith and example, so this means more than you know.

  • 3
    Joanne Bodner on October 30, 2018 Reply

    Lori, you cannot know, but this piece came at just the right moment for me-I could swear you wrote it just for me. What touches me about your writing is your honesty: no glossed over feelings, no cover ups. This honesty shines through. Thanks!

    • 4
      Lori Ann Wood on October 30, 2018 Reply

      Joanne, I am so thankful that it was meaningful to you. When I first heard the name “Imposter Syndrome,” I felt like it was coined just for me! It is an interesting phenomenon, and I feel certain that Satan takes advantage of it.

  • 5
    Janell on October 30, 2018 Reply

    People do read your writing,even if you don’t get comments. I always enjoy seeing your email so I can read your inspired words. Please keep it up!

    • 6
      Lori Ann Wood on October 30, 2018 Reply

      Janell, you are a great encourager, and not just with your words. When I glanced over on Sunday and saw your dad as I do most Sundays, my heart warmed. Thanks for being who you are.

  • 7
    Chuck Da on October 30, 2018 Reply

    Keep writing. I read them all and inspired to relax and live with the health I am given, even if it is waning.

    • 8
      Lori Ann Wood on October 30, 2018 Reply

      Your attitude and faith are an example to so many, Chuck. Thank you for encouraging me!

  • 9
    Dell on October 30, 2018 Reply

    I love the twist in your post from the witch with the wires in your clay to the doctor who wouldn’t quit on the difficult task of wrapping your oversized heart with the healing wires. Purple ribbons to you and Dr. T… both of you are healers and life givers!

    • 10
      Lori Ann Wood on October 30, 2018 Reply

      Forever indebted to Dr. T for not giving up!

  • 11
    Brad Grabs on October 31, 2018 Reply

    These blogs have meant so much to me on so many levels, Lori. I’ve really been inspired by your insights and your real-life applications of your faith journey!

    • 12
      Lori Ann Wood on October 31, 2018 Reply

      Thank you. I feel like everyone has those stories and retrospective understandings. It is a blessing to me that I get to share mine with such a supportive audience.

  • 13
    Leigh Ann Zeller on October 31, 2018 Reply

    Dear Lori Ann,
    I so look forward to your blog posts because they really do comfort me with what I’m going through and encourage me to be the kind of person I want to be. Thank you for the powerful and beautiful work that you’re doing with your writing.
    Hugs and prayers and blessings to you,
    Leigh Ann

    • 14
      Lori Ann Wood on October 31, 2018 Reply

      Leigh Ann, I think of you often when I am writing. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I continue to pray for you.

  • 15
    Carol Willis on November 25, 2018 Reply

    Lori. After reading this blog. I feel inadequate to comment. But you always inspire me to keep looking at your blog. Love you all. Carol

    • 16
      Lori Ann Wood on November 26, 2018 Reply

      Your reading inspires me to keep writing! I appreciate your comments so much!

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