Doubt: Remembering Truth

Red beauty

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—DOUBT. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

***There were a number of directions I could have taken this post. This is still pretty fresh on my heart, so I hope it makes sense!***

DOUBT

The email came today. Though I’d expected it, I hesitated to open it. Anytime someone is evaluating something I’ve created, I know the words can build up, or cause doubt.

Today, they caused doubt.

Why did I ever think I could write a story? Who am I to think I can convey God’s love and messages through my written words?

Part of the reason I’m struggling with doubt right now is because I thought a little more highly of myself than I ought to think.

Without realizing it, I’d hung some of my personal value on the affirmation I’d hoped to receive from others.

How many times am I going to walk around this tree? The one where words drop from the branches and bang me on the head, leaving wounds in my thoughts, bruises on my heart?

When am I going to truly believe that my affirmation, my value does not come from people, but from God?

People see a part of who I am. God sees all that He has created me to be—both where I am today and at the end of my life. And, He says it is good. 

Phil 1-6

He uses the disappointments in life—the criticisms—to refine our character . . .

. . . the way fire pushes dross up from the bottom of the silver kettle. He wants the dross to rise to the top so it can be scraped away.

When my dross is pushed to the surface through the heat of criticism, the doubt of my value is what rose to the top this time around.

God’s a gentle purifier, though. He knows what needs to happen so I’ll remember Who I belong to.

He knows the plans he has for each of us . . .

. . . and He never promises that everything will go exactly the way we want them to go. He uses the disappointments life tosses into our mix to stir things up, to show us areas of our character He’s working on, and to remind us Whose we are.

Yellow glory

When we turn to Him with our doubts . . .

. . . when we listen to the truths He declares over us, those doubts can turn to hope. Hope restores the spirit and gives us strength to keep walking forward in the messy, beautiful plans He’s crafted for us.

What about you? How do you manage doubt when it comes knocking on the door of your life? When have you turned doubt into hope?

Visit Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Doubt

 

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25 thoughts on “Doubt: Remembering Truth

  1. So much THIS: “When am I going to truly believe that my affirmation, my value does not come from people, but from God!” Amen sista! God calls us to toss doubt out the window and trust in Him doesn’t He? Parked in the 11 spot this week.

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  2. I’ve got an agree/ disagree thing here…I agree that it’s not wise to base one’s self-worth on the judgement of others…but I disagree rather violently that you had too high an opinion of yourself, or your work.

    It’s been what, a few years now, and in your words, you come across as being far more humble…more realistically humble, and that’s important…than most. It’s not an act; you could not have kept up that kind of facade, because arrogance is the dross that rises to the surface.

    You don’t have it.

    You are an extremely gifted writer, and you have contest results to show it. Those views are far more pure than the ones offered by those who work in the publishing industry, because the latter really are not interested in quality – they are interested in trends and sales. They have to be; it’s their rice bowl.

    You communicate God’s love and grace as well as anyone I’ve ever read. You have a gift for this; you have a gift for reaching people like me who can be extremely hard-hearted, and viciously cynical with themselves. Very few people can break through the internal dialogue of one who is satirizing his own efforts – you do.

    And as for pleasing people…anyone who even remotely has his eyes turned to God, or is open to that possibility, will not fail to be charmed by you. You don’t need to seek approval; you will get it from Godly people because you reflect His love is a unique and very clear way. Those who reject you are rejecting at least an aspect of the Almighty, and it’s their loss.

    On my account – for me, doubt is turned into hope every day.

    By people like you. My friends.

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    • Andrew, thank you for your words. They lift my heart. I’m moving past the sting of yesterday, but I’m bolstered by what you shared here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thank you for showing so many what it looks like to choose hope and determination in each day. Praying for you, my friend.

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  3. Jeanne, Andrew captures my thoughts better than I could express them. You do not have to doubt; you are a gifted writer. As you showed in Phil 1:6 God is faithful in what He has called you to do. Do not doubt.

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    • Thanks, Mom. I saw Phil 1:6 in a different light as I wrote this post. I love that God shines different facets of His truth into our lives as we need to see them. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragements!

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  4. Oh Jeanne, I don’t have much more to add, really, on to what Andrew has already written….you are an absolutely A-class writer, a gifted writer. Your words make a difference to so many…if nothing else, this should ease your doubts. [I often come back to your posts to find comfort when things are really tough]. Helen xxx

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  5. Your words made my stomach roll, Jeanne. I know those doubts and they are vicious – they are the crawl under the covers variety. And sometimes I do that to get passed the doubt. 😉 But better yet, I cling to God – He who calls us. He pursues us with the passion for words, right? He keeps knitting that story in us and He writes His story over us and until He says “stop” we just have to keep going, right? He’s the driving force and every note of disapproval just drives us to seek Him more – to be assured that His call is irrevocable. But I agree with Andrew – I don’t think ONE PERSON’S VERY SUBJECTIVE OPINION should cause you to question your humility. I think the enemy would very much like you to question your value and worth – even cause you to question whether you are handling rejection right – he is such a deceiver that way. You have a gift – from God and for God – and from where I sit He has no plans of you shelving that talent anytime soon!

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    • You’re right, Tiffany. Doubts are vicious. They do not play nicely at all. And yes, clinging to God—especially when the doubts surface—is the absolute best thing we can do. He’s the best one to speak truth and realign my perspective when those doubts strike. He can even use these to conform us to the image of Jesus. When we turn to Him rather than the lies, He speaks truth over us. I appreciate your exhortation!

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  6. I get it. Putting ourselves out there for others to see, to judge can cause us to waver in our belief of the talent God has given us. Like everyone above me said, you are talented Jeanne! But that little shred of doubt because some unknown didn’t like your talent can turn us upside down sometimes.

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    • Yes, Christy. Doubt can turn us upside down sometimes. We can be like Peebles-Wobbles and not stay that way though, right? And you pegged it, doubt in the talent is what sometimes hits me hardest. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Thank goodness God has ways of speaking His truth over each of His children.

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  7. These are my favorite words… “When we turn to Him with our doubts . . .

    . . . when we listen to the truths He declares over us, those doubts can turn to hope. Hope restores the spirit and gives us strength to keep walking forward in the messy, beautiful plans He’s crafted for us.” I know this reminder in a season of uncertainty is one that I will hold onto and speak into my heart as I learn what’s next. Praying your weekend is blessed.

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    • Mary, I’m so blessed that you stopped by. And, I think the hope aspect became more real to me as I wrote last night. Crazy, huh? I am praying for you as you make your own life change. May He continue to speak love over you! Have a great weekend.

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  8. I am not sure I can add anything to what all the others have said except that I love to read your words. Not only are you talented but your words a real and honest. I know that doubt can cut deep and if allowed that wound will fester. I pray that these comments of affirmation will be a healing ointment to your soul.

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Amy! And thanks for the kind words. We all need to hear them from time to time, don’t we? I’m looking forward to reading your post this weekend. It’s been a busy few months on my end. 🙂 Hugs, friend.

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  9. Though I didn’t share this post fishing for affirmations, all of your words and encouragements have truly blessed me deeply. Thank you so much for stopping by, and for reminding me of the bigger picture. I tend to lose sight of it sometimes. 🙂 You all blessed me today!

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  10. Jeanne,
    is it the fear of something new? Or the inability to control the circumstances? Or the end result that we can’t please everyone? Whichever of the three (or all) that you pointed out, it’s in me too. Wow.
    And yet, perhaps we are Gideon. 🙂 Doubting our calling, our selection. (God, we can name several others we perceive to be a better fit, here.) God says, if I choose you, I will be glorified.

    The criticisms and the missteps and the humbling, though so painful (this entire week for me!), they are growing me to be more dependent on Him and more like Him and more concerned with His opinion. One little baby step at a time, He’s calling to me and cheering me on, and you too!

    Oh Jeanne, you are so much a minister to me. (And many others!) I’m very excited to discover this writing project you’re working on! It gives me hope that maybe someday God would use me that way too. You are a blessing and an encourager. You are so willing to give away His love and strength and life to others, that He delights to use you in this way!!!

    Many thanks for your comments to me today. I read them in a passing break at school and it was needed very badly!
    Love,
    Tammy
    (#16 this week)

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    • Yeah, Tammy. Some days, I’m totally Gideon. I confess. I am. The thing I am learning is that I need to listen to His voice of truth in the midst of the doubt. His words are words of life, not words of condemnation, questioning the calling, or outright lies. When we depend on Him rather than on others, that’s when doubt gets kicked to the curb. And that’s what I’m working to do now.

      I’m praying for you, Tammy. Teaching is difficult, and when you add teaching junior high? That was my biggest fear when I was younger. God’s called you. He’ll enable you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, cuz they’re gonna happen. Just remember God will help you and give you wisdom for each situation. 🙂

      I’ll be praying for you today, my friend.

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  11. Oh, I’m sorry about your disappointment, Jeanne. I’ve been there too. Your question, What do you do to turn doubt into hope? Nothing. Only God does it for me because in my own strength, I worry, I fret, I think. I doubt. But He changes that when I draw near and DECIDE to believe and declare His truth. Have a great weekend.

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    • Betsy, wise words. God does this for us. I think you hit the key: When we draw near to Him and decide to believe and declare His truth. That’s when doubt is removed and hope is restored. Thank you so much for sharing your insights! Sorry it took a few days to comment back. 🙂

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  12. Jimmy Fallon writes a children’s book that immediately hits the best seller’s list. There are about a dozen words in the entire book. Is it popular because he wrote the best dozen words ever written…or because he is Jimmy Fallon? There is little justice in the publishing industry these days.
    For me, good writing should bring about a smile, a tear or cause me to think deeply. Jeanne, your posts almost always cause me to think, often smile, and even on occasion bring a tear to my eye. While you may not have reached the notoriety of a “Jimmy Fallon” I think you’re pretty talented and I wouldn’t follow your blog if I didn’t.

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    • Gene, your Jimmy Fallon book point is well taken. And so true. 🙂 Your words are such an uplifting encouragement. Thank you, Gene. I always look forward to hearing your thoughts, and I’m truly blessed that you stop by here and share them. Thank you!

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