I remember how badly I used to want to be just like you.
I remember the tears when leaving your fancy, stained-glass churches as a young woman, wanting so desperately to fit in.
I remember looking in a mirror outside of the sanctuary and wondering how expensive plastic surgery might be.
I remember being a newlywed and worrying I wasn’t beautiful or religious enough for my handsome husband.
I remember spending $500 on his credit card to purchase clothes and jewelry so that I would look like you – money we did not have.
I remember playing the part—treating other young women with disdain, sticking my nose up in the air, and putting on my robe of self-righteousness.
I remember thinking God was pleased with my act—my ability to look like a perfect Christian woman and my penchant for speaking Christianese with a haughty tone in my voice.
I remember attending Bible study and working hard to emulate you and your wisdom of all things holy and posh while feeling like I would never measure up.
And it worked—for a while. I became a pro at the arrogant believer masquerade.
Until I finally realized that I could never be like you…and that I no longer wanted to.
I could no longer obey the One on the mercy seat or sit at the feet of a humble Savior while sitting on my high horse looking down at others and pretending to be better.
I could no longer assume an identity of privilege while spending months at an orphanage in a third world country combing lice out of hungry babies’ hair.
I could no longer walk into my place of worship where people only looked like me while claiming I loved every one of every nation and of every kaleidoscope shade.
I could no longer be the new Mom with a fake plastered smile on my face and play make-believe house, while my son was struggling to live, and I was struggling to breathe.
I could no longer quote long verses and chapters of Scripture at Bible study to impress the other women while feeling like my whole world was caving in and fearing my anxiety would reveal itself.
I could no longer hide behind theology and doctrine and seminary degrees while questioning my faith as I watched my little boy through the autism evaluation room window.
I could no longer judge other Moms or feign having my act together when I saw their children acting out in the store, while my son was doing the exact same things or worse.
I could no longer cover my face in layers of make-up and muck and wear Gucci shoes to a praise concert while singing about the Jesus who came to make me new and whole.
I could no longer be a snobby Christian woman.
I won’t ever be. Not then, not now.
Even if that means I am standing alone.
I want to be a godly woman. I don’t want to position myself on a goddess-like throne.
I want to be an imitator of Christ. I don’t want to imitate women who only appear to be Christ-like.
I want to be clothed in His holiness. I don’t want to be a holier-than-thou woman with a false sense of self.
There is a difference.
I want to be different.
Written by Sara Fleming