Fake it till you make it.

Fake it till you make it.

Fake it till you make it.

I heard this adage over and over again.

When in high school, struggling through figuring out how to use my graphing calculator in Calculus.

When in college, struggling to get through cramping fingers and aching wrists as I practiced scales and etudes for hours on end.

When in an eating disorder treatment facility, struggling to not compulsively do a million leg raises and donkey kicks after eating a slice of apple pie.

When in the classroom, head pounding from lack of sleep and too much caffeine, trying to muster up enough excitement and energy to teach proper quotation mark usage.

Fake it till you make it.

In each scenario, in all of those moments of my life when I thought, “There is absolutely no way I can pull this out!”, I always reverted back to just “faking it.”  Putting on my big girl pants, taking a deep breath, and enduring.

But you know what?  Faking it is not all it’s cracked up to be.  And in fact, I don’t fake it anymore.

I’m not a faker.

The new school year started just last week, and although we are only 10 days into the first quarter, I am loving every minute of it, even those headache inducing ones.  How can I be so joyous about planning tests and quizzes?  Why is grading summer reading homework not giving me stress?  How am I relatively calm commuting in morning traffic?

No, I’m not faking it.  I’m embracing it.

Yup, I’m embracing every moment of the day.  The early alarms.  The emails.  The school calendar updates.  The emails.  The meetings.  The emails.  Because I am learning to see those instances that would normally set my teeth on edge as learning experiences.  Because I am not faking it.

There’s a difference between “faking it” and “persevering.”  When one fakes, there’s a falsity to her actions.  She may have a smile on her face, but she knows it’s not real, others know it’s not real, God knows it’s not real.  But to persevere?  It’s gritty.  It’s not always pretty.  It’s gut wrenching and sweating inducing.  But it’s real.  It’s honest.  It’s true.  And the best part?  There is an opportunity for God’s redemption, God’s joy, to shine through.

And so as I begin my umpteenth year as an English teacher, I know there will be times in the upcoming months where life will get hard.  Lessons will not go as planned.  Seven page research papers will be written, read, and corrected.  Tests will be taken.  Curveballs will be thrown.  And I will be tempted to white-knuckle my way through the work day, through the work week, through the quarter.

But during those times of fatigue and mental strain, rather than plaster on a wide saccharin grin and fake my way through another long work day, I will endure.  I turn to God for His strength which surpasses all understanding, and rest in His goodness, knowing that by His faith I can persevere with truth and honesty.

And I won’t have to fake it.

No fakers here.

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