I’m still pondering our Five Minute Friday word from last week. There are several wonderful posts on doubt, if this is something you struggle with.
I’ve seen it throughout my life. My tendency to doubt. Looking for that teaching job after college, the perfect husband, babies and motherhood, and writing . . . doubt walked by my side through each of these seasons.
Doubt reveals itself in different forms. When I really want something—especially when it’s not coming—I doubt that I’ll ever have it.
Or, when I’ve experienced success, and then a setback comes, I begin to doubt that: 1) I’m worthy of that good thing, or 2) I will ever achieve my dreams.
When I’m tasked to do something bigger-than-me (raising children, anyone?), it’s easy to doubt that I can do this well. Will hubby and I teach the boys how to walk with Jesus? How to live a productive life?
Every time the kids and I have an argument, or they push-back, doubt condemns by making me question my ability to mother well.
When I assume more responsibility than I’m designed to take on—when I try to take on God’s role along with mine—I’m going to fail. And doubt will have the upper hand. Again.
When I try to live up to my expectations for perfection, I’ll fail every single time. Doubt strikes when we’ve tried our best at something, and our best efforts fall short in the eyes of someone else. We forget to walk in God’s grace.
God’s grace doesn’t require perfection; it only requires a yielded, accepting heart.
Doubt surges in to fill the empty places in my heart. After something disappointing happens,
. . . when I wonder if I’m really supposed to be pursuing a dream,
. . . doubt whispers in my ear that I’m not good enough.
If I listen, my emotions end up in a tailspin. I question everything I’ve prayed over and worked toward. Doubt leads me into dark places when I allow it to.
And there’s the key. When I allow it to.
Have you noticed something missing in my musings? When I leave God out of the equation, doubt barges in. The thing is, doubt can never replace God in the equation.
When I only rely on myself to accomplish something, it’s not going to happen . . . at least not as well, or beautifully, as when I invite God into the process.
These are a few steps we can take to overpower doubt and invite God in:
- Believe God’s word. Doubt’s goal is to tell us lies. God’s word splays truth on every page. We need to embrace it, memorize it and cling to it when disappointments come.
- Remember God’s grace is enough. We’re going to make mistakes . . . to fall short of where we were aiming for. God’s grace is there. Even though these things happen, it doesn’t mean we’re not headed in the direction He has planned for us. We need to lean into His grace and accept it.
- When we feel like we’ve fallen short of someone’s expectations, we need to re-evaluate the standards we’re measuring ourselves against. I find that my standards for me are often higher than God’s standards for me. He doesn’t require perfection. He asks for our trust. And, we may need to see if our perceptions of the expectations are accurate.
- We need to know our role and God’s role in the endeavors we undertake. And we need to complete our role while trusting that God will complete His when and how He knows is best.
- When struggling with doubt, be bold enough to be a Peter. Step out of the boat and call to Jesus, trusting that He will take our hand and lead us.
Doubt won’t stop coming around just because we take steps to stop it’s effect on our lives. We need to remember who we are to Jesus, and walk with confidence, knowing we are treasured by Him.
What about you? How has doubt revealed itself in your life? What suggestions would you add to my list for dealing with doubt?