Lately I’ve felt a quieting in my faith. I’m not sure what else to really call it. I just haven’t felt the fire inside me. It’s led to questioning, searching and even… doubt. To be honest – I’ve been a bit ashamed and frightened of it. Almost feeling a slight panic as I looked inward over and over again trying to see what had changed. Where had I gone wrong? And when I listened I kept finding a silence that wasn’t there before. The normal stirring in my soul was empty.
This morning I was tired, had a million excuses of why I shouldn’t go to church (piles of laundry, dishes, getting ready for back to school, etc.). But I knew something wasn’t right and I NEEDED to be there. As we walked in to church and were greeted by friendly faces and a kind elderly gentleman handed me the bulletin. I looked down to see what today’s sermon was on only to catch my breath. Today’s sermon was titled, “Faithful to the Doubtful.”
That silence was gone and I could hear God shouting at me, “Hey you! This one’s for you!” *winky face* As the pastor began preaching about EXACTLY what was inside my head I felt the tears begin to surface and my chest clenched so tight I could barely breath.
And then something special happened – I felt someone telling me to WRITE. My faith has always inspired my writing and over the last couple of weeks I just kept coming up empty. But at that moment I could feel the written word bursting from me. I grabbed a pen and as I was listening to the preacher I let the words go – blanketing my bulletin – and invited the Holy Spirit to just pour through. I could barely write fast enough as this blog post flooded across the pages.
DOUBT has always been a word that scares me – especially when it comes to my faith. It makes me feel guilty and off course. As Christians I think many of us never want to admit when we are experiencing doubt. We are supposed to be strong and unyielding in our faith at all times, right? But today my pastor explained that, not only do we all experience times of doubt in our faith, but it’s OK to have doubts. It’s what we DO with the doubt that is what is truly important. He said, “If you’ve never experienced doubt then have you ever SERIOUSLY thought about something?” How true is this?! I mean… if you stop and seriously think about something you very likely may encounter doubt in some shape or form. But here is the kicker… just because you have doubt does NOT mean you don’t have FAITH and doubt can actually STRENGTHEN faith if you allow God to work.
There were a couple things he taught us to help deal with doubt that really spoke to me:
- Admit that you are having doubts. (I know in my case sometimes admitting it is the hardest part)
- Don’t be afraid to borrow some faith. (Ask for help. My Aunt Shanda is my go to on all things of faith. She’s my teacher, my confidante and my prayer warrior. Go find yourself an Aunt Shanda!)
- Act on your FAITH not your doubts. (Even when there are doubts – trust that your faith is there. In those times when the doubts are the strongest fight them by going to church and reading the Bible. FIGHT for your faith)
- Doubt your doubts. (Don’t place your trust in those doubts. Understand that there are some things you will never understand.
I went in to church today with a heavy, silent heart but I walked out with PEACE and my fire is lit again. Our God is always listening. He knows what’s in our hearts and minds. He knows our faults, our shortcomings and our doubts. And also remember just like my pastor said today, “When we are faith-LESS, He is faith-FULL!”
God bless you and happy Sunday!