Faking it

I was standing up at the front of the church surrounded by five or six other women. The women were much older than me because at the time I was about 11.

The voices around me were uttering words and sounds I couldn’t understand. Before I knew it a woman had placed her hand on my shoulder and was prompting me to speak.

In a loud voice she said,”Say what the Holy Spirit is telling you to say.”

I instantly felt my face grow red as my body grew tense. My mind was racing.

What was I supposed to say? I felt nothing!

The scene I just described occurred at a church I attended as a child. The church was Pentecostal and the women huddled around me were “speaking in tongues.”

Speaking in tongues is a special prayer language some Christians use to communicate with God. (If you would like a further explanation on this prayer language check out Acts 2.)

Immediately after I was told to start speaking I started crying. The women in the church thought I was crying because the Holy Spirit was coming upon me. I was really crying because I was so overwhelmed.

Quietly, I uttered something about loving Jesus. Inside I couldn’t wait for the women to leave so I could just be alone.

That evening as I laid in bed I thought back to what had happened. I felt like a fraud, a fake. I hadn’t felt anything but intimidation and fear.

What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I able to feel or experience Jesus the way everyone around me was?


This pattern continued throughout the rest of my life.

I would go to church, participate in worship and raise my hands all while praising Jesus.

Eventually, I grew up and went away to college. I stopped attending church and going to Bible study.

My life did not seem to change all that much. I did not miss the church or “God’s presence” in my life. I began to wonder if I even ever felt his presence in the first place.

That brings me to the present. I am currently graduated from college looking for a job. I do not miss the church or God. Yet, I have this burning desire to figure out how and why the church and Christianity is relevant to my life.

I do not experience God, nor am I sure I ever will.

I have been told for years that it is important to have a relationship with God. I am not quite sure what that means. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who I cannot hear or see.

Has God forgotten about me? Why do so many other people in my life seem to “experience God” or see his greatness at work in their lives?

What am I missing?


6 thoughts on “Faking it

  1. Christina, He loves your honesty. I do too. I’m not very religious myself and I can’t stand the phoniness and legalism of some Christians and some churches.
    I have been seriously wounded in my life and I think you understand what the pain of betrayal, rejection, and feeling completely let down by those closest to you feels like. And that is where we run into Jesus…because He gets it, and He is totally and completely FOR you, Christina.
    You probably know deep down, in fact you called it a “burning desire,” that His love is your one and only hope to be able to forgive and to have your heart healed from the inside out, fully alive, grounded, with a destiny in God that only you can fulfill.
    Sometimes our hurt and pain is so deep that it blinds us for a while, I understand that. I judge no one.I have done crazy, awful things in recent years. But I kept running back to the only One that will ever love me like I want/need to be loved. I feel whole and strong now. Content. Excited about my future,with or without a man. I’m here to love people well no matter where they are in their journey.
    Feel free to call me if you want to get coffee and hear more. I promise to listen and never preach 😉 And no faking.

  2. Maybe you should examine whether or not god is real. You’ve clearly experienced that a life without a relationship with god or fellowship with a church is not necessary to live a completely fulfilled day-to-day… some people are unhappy in life and the delusion that god loves them and they need that fellowship with the church leads them to fill up their emptiness with the sort of social circle you acquire by regularly attending church activities. They are faking it too, some just don’t realize they are doing it as blatantly as you did.

    You can’t feel god, because god isn’t real.

  3. Christina — what you experienced was the Penecostal version of what they think is Godliness. They tend to think that everyone, if they are a true Christian, speaks or has the ability to speak in tongues. They are wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOME people may speak in tongues, but God gives out different gifts to different people. One example is the gift of prophecy. It makes me angry to think you went through that because of a bunch of neurotic zealots shoving that down your throat as a child. You may not have the gift of tongues, but you certainly will have another gift that God has bestowed you with. Just find out what it is and use it. Don’t give up on God. He hasn’t given up on you! Please don’t turn away from God because of what humans did to you. Keep your eyes on Jesus and not on people. People will fail you every time.

  4. Pattie Liptock Graw What a wonderful written article. Honesty is a beautiful and wonderful attribute and I love and appreciate that in you Christina. What I espesially liked about your article is how you were able to write it so consisely and yet with great care and kindness. You are a gifted communicator in many aspects . One of the many other attributes I love and appreciate in you is your desiire to be non- judgemental. I have benefitted greatly from your honesty and your insatiable desire to want to encourage and help others. I experience these attributes of yours every day and first hand. I also know many , many other people through out your whole life do attest to the wonderful joy, encouragement and happiness you have brought to their life. Thank you for being you. I am very proud to call you my daughter. Love mom { p.s. I most also say, I love your never ending love of learning , discipline and persistance.
    Yesterday at 1:44pm · Like · 3

  5. I read your article and your mom is right! It is very well written and balanced!!! As I read this I kept asking myself why I wanted to comment? I defiantly have an opinion about everything but rarely feel the need to contribute anything online. So, something you wrote was much engaging!

    I won’t defend God or interpret those women, even though I’ve been in that exact situation with a very different reaction – not necessarily or entirely understanding but definitely feeling genuine in my experience. What I will say is two fold. What does this say about you…where in your life do you feel the antithesis of “faking it?” Where are you most authentic and sincere…in those moments and times recognize what you’re responding to. What allowed you to be raw or provoked a confident reaction? Take those elements and apply them to your search for God. (Now I recall why I never post, I sound like I think I have a clue…hopefully I’m just trying to be sure of what I believe while maintaining openess conserning all that I have yet to learn).

    I’ll wrap it up here: Secondly, tear down your idea of God – and what everyone else projects onto you that He is. Start from scratch and question everything! It will take work! Everything that matters does. What is sin? What is grace? What are morals vs spiritual truths? Am I prepared to change? Do I believe in repentance or feel any conviction in my life? Do I REALLY care about truth or am I just trying to feel something for my own justifiction? What is righteousness? Esc. Just don’t be fake with yourself or your own heart

    Okay, I’m just a stay at home mom…but I have run a marathon 😉

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