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

The Lie We Tell Ourselves As Moms

moms who care 2

“Summer is wearing me a little thin,” I confessed to my friends while the boys wrestled in the family room. “I’m running out of things to do to keep these kids occupied.”

They poured out grace with their words and my weary soul drank it in, but I still felt the singe of guilt. Why was this so hard? I perused pictures of smiling mothers on Facebook and Instagram and wondered about the story the pictures didn’t tell.

Was I crazy to need a break? I looked at my calendar and realized a writing conference I planned to attend was coming up in a couple of short weeks. It was as though God was sending a beacon of light to my tired, frazzled being and I held onto it like an anchor.

But the closer the date became, the more I questioned myself.

Were the boys going to be okay? My in-laws graciously offered to watch them, allowing some much needed time with their cousins. Still, my worrier brain continued to race in a state of overdrive.

I wondered about bedtime and dinner and my son’s food allergies and would they miss me?

Perhaps the trip wasn’t a good idea. I recalled a time a couple of years ago when my three-year-old, then one, had gotten sick while staying overnight with the grandparents.

We guilt-laden moms convince ourselves the world will fall apart if we take a day to recharge. But often, a day to refresh is exactly what we need.

Moms who take care of themselves are better equipped to care of those who love them.

So why do we so often convince ourselves otherwise? We neglect date-night with our spouse because of the kids’ sports schedules. We neglect seeing a doctor even though insomnia is affecting our home life, attitude and relationships.

Even though my worried mind continued to run through worst-case-scenarios, I went to the conference. I had a room to myself, took uninterrupted showers for two days, and swam laps in the hotel pool without panicking about the kids drowning.

I came away from the weekend recharged, both spiritually and emotionally. My cup was full, and I poured life into my family and friends instead of constantly asking for forgiveness.

Over those few days, I learned a valuable lesson: My family doesn’t fall apart when I’m away. Yes, they miss me. Yes, they are glad to see me when I return.

But they would much rather have a joy-filled, rested mom than one who is over-tired, edgy, and stressed. When I don’t take care of myself, it affects everyone else around me.

Today, if you’re running on empty but feeling guilty at the thought of taking some time for yourself can I encourage you to listen to that voice telling you to take a break?

Maybe it’s coffee with a friend. Maybe it’s a movie with your spouse, a pedicure, or a weekend away with your women’s ministry.

The options are as different as our personalities. But the need to recharge is the same.

Be refreshed, exhale, and love on those closest to you even more. You will not regret it.

 

*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday to encourage and be encouraged. Come join us.