When We Give Our Doubt a Voice

voicing our doubt

“So what are you going to do?”

It was an honest question, but it hurt. My new acquaintance was already getting on my nerves, and after responding with feigned confidence, I made my exit as politely as possible and went looking for my husband.

Doubt can be such a lonely place.

I was seven months pregnant and my husband and I were living over two thousand miles from the place I’d spent my entire life. We had no family nearby and friends were slow in coming.

So the question, “What are you going to do?” was very real, but I hadn’t voiced it out loud. Whenever it darkened my thoughts I’d recite trite phrases like, “sink or swim,” but the cliché didn’t make me feel any better or make the uncertainty go away.

I knew nothing about babies and I trapped myself in a cell of my own making, afraid to give a voice to the thoughts which filled my head. I saw other moms who seemed to possess such unshakable confidence and wondered why I couldn’t grasp hold of any.

For months, I feared giving my doubt a voice. I thought speaking it out loud would give it life. As long as I kept it buried, never sharing it or voicing it, I believed it would simply go away.

But the longer I kept it buried, the more it continued to grow.

If we look at scripture, we encounter many men and women of God who experienced doubt. But few of them move me and shake me more than Thomas, who is often dubbed “Doubting Thomas.”

Thomas didn’t just doubt inwardly. He spoke it loudly and without hesitation. When the disciples told him they had seen the risen Lord, he declared he wouldn’t believe until felt the scars on his hands and placed his fingers into his side. (John 20:25)

Pretty bold in his uncertainty, wasn’t he? And do you know what happened when he uttered those words of disbelief?

Jesus appeared to him. Not as a passerby or by chance, but specifically for the purpose of helping Thomas believe.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

John 20:27 NIV

When we give our doubt a voice, Jesus can expel it with his voice.

When We Give Our Doubt a Voice

Doubt, when wrestled through and given a name, can create greater faith.

Jesus didn’t appear to Thomas and rebuke him for doubting or punish him for saying something so outrageous. He gave him want his heart desired, followed by a straightforward command, “Believe.”

I spent my first year as a mom not believing. In myself, in God’s ability to use me, or anything else. I hid my doubt and disbelief because I was ashamed.

Over time, God used some beautiful women in my life to show me it was okay to open up the vault and be real. And when I voiced my true feelings, my darkness was met with his Light.

Are you facing a wall of doubt today, but afraid to speak the words aloud? Can I encourage you? Speak. Come before the throne of grace and speak.

He takes those thoughts of “not enough,” and “not worthy” and shows us He is able to provide more than we can ask, think or imagine.

And like Thomas, whose bold declaration of doubt brought a face to face encounter with Jesus, we can say nothing but, “My Lord and My God!”

Fall at the feet of the One who can turn our doubt into bold declarations of faith.

 

Linking up with these communities: #LiveFreeThursday

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20 thoughts on “When We Give Our Doubt a Voice

  1. I appreciate the kind of faith and community that makes room for doubt. God is not afraid or ill equipped to handle our questions or insecurities. It does seem like doubt is rooted in shame so dealing with one is really dealing with the other. Thanks for sharing for #livefreethursday

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    • Me too, Astrid. And yes, God is not ill-equipped to handle any of our questions. He is more than able. I love how you point out how doubt and shame are related. Good thoughts there. Thank you.

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  2. I love that Jesus is enough for us. That his love and grace are new each morning. Thank you for this beautiful post. I love this: “…when I voiced my true feelings, my darkness was met with his Light.” Just when I think I might not be “good enough”, God shows up to show me that I’m not because HE is. All glory and honor up high. Have a blessed week, Abby!

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  3. I’ve certainly been right there in that same place. Isn’t it amazing that God knew exactly where we would doubt? And through Jesus, He gave us all the encouragement we would need to meet our specific situations. Awesome! Thank you for these wise words today, Abby:)

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  4. I have been there too, friend. Doubt can be such a lonely place. You put such beautiful thoughts down here, pointing us to Jesus with our doubt, where there’s hope because doubt turns into greater faith. Thank you so much for this gift today!

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  5. Totally agree with you on speaking doubt out loud! When we’re kept in that lonely place, doubt keeps its hold on this. I’ve seen this again and again, but still, it’s so easy to keep quietly doubting rather than share my burden with someone else. Yes to this: “Doubt, when wrestled through and given a name, can create greater faith.”

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  6. Abby, I’ve never thought about “giving” (allowing, granting permission, offering time and attention to, etc.) doubt a voice. Truly, we have control over that permission. I’ve been a doubter in my own parenting skills off and on over the years, more “on” than “off”. The doubt is such a downer, isn’t it? Crazy. I love how you bring this full circle through Thomas, through Jesus showing Himself real. Oh, that Voice that stills the swirl ~ crazy good! I’m so glad you’re hearing Jesus in your parenting journey. I imagine you’re a stellar mama. xo

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    • Yes, I agree Kristi. We do have control over that permission. I think sometimes when we speak it aloud, though, it gives opportunity for the truth to come to light. Thanks so much for your encouragement here. You bless me in so many ways.

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  7. Abby, I have fallen victim to hiding my doubts more times than I can count. I have never thought about Thomas though and how Jesus didn’t condemn him, but met Him face to face and expelled all his doubt. Thank you so much for this encouragement! Bless you dear friend!

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  8. So good, Abby! Recently, God has been teaching me that, instead of rejecting all doubt, fear, and worry that I need to be shedding light on them. I need to confess my fears, then find a scripture that speaks to the root of it – let His love and truth cast it out.

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  9. I haven’t thought of this before but it is so true. I remember praying about a job promotion I was offered and I said, “but God I can’t do this” and his reply was “you can’t, but I can through you.” And he did. He gave me confidence despite my doubts. Thank you Abby for always writing Truth here. Bless you.

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  10. I love your reflections on these truths, Abby. I know God can expel our doubts, but I never thought of it that we need to give a voice to the doubts that rumble and jumble around in us. It’s so true. I love how Jesus never condemned or punished Thomas for doubting, and it actually led to a greater faith. Thank you for this hope-filled post!

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