To the Girl Who Doubts
Friend, this has been a season of doubt. Sometimes it is hard to believe that He is good and working when all you see is darkness and pain. And I know I am not alone in this.
We see things that are supposed to inspire us to a stronger faith but end up feeling worse about ourselves. Our friends will ask us what they can pray for, and we have nothing to say because we don’t think there’s a point. We try to believe, we try to “hold onto hope” as some might say. But nothing seems to work. We can’t see Him. We can’t feel Him. It’s upsetting, angering, disappointing.
I’ve had many days during which I yelled at the sky demanding answers. I’ve read my Bible and cried, because as hard as I tried, I couldn’t believe the words I was reading. I’ve stood in a worship service unable to sing the words because I couldn’t believe them in the moment.
Doubt. It’s crippling, discouraging, infuriating, shaming. And most of the time, we are afraid to mention it to anyone for fear of being condemned or misunderstood.
We believe He’s up there. We may still believe He saved us and redeemed us. But sometimes, we just really doubt His character.
If this resonates with you, let me speak some truth that I hope will act as a balm for your soul.
Your doubt is accepted. Your doubt is allowed. God does not think less of you for doubting. He does not love you any less. He does not discredit your prayers. He does not turn His back on you. You are allowed to doubt, to question, to cry out in anger. He is not angered by your doubt, but rather filled with compassion for His hurting child. His heart is breaking along with yours, not turning cold against you. And He will continue to pursue you, even when you don’t see it, so that one day you will once again feel His love. He will protect your hurting soul. And He is waiting for you with restoration in His open arms.
Now, let’s look at some Scripture. I’m not going to throw any verses about faith at you, because that doesn’t help me in the seasons of doubt and heartache. Rather, I’m going to give you an example of a doubter who has encouraged me throughout this year.
David. He’s known as the man after God’s own heart. And if you’ve read the Old Testament, you know David is a hot mess. Adultery, murder, deceit. Those are some of the heaviest things on his rap sheet, yet God continues to rescue and redeem him, calling him a man after His heart. But there’s something that David does regularly that I relate to: the man doubts. A lot.
He has witnessed miracles, been anointed by God, been forgiven and delivered from deep shame, watched as armies fall apart which were intended to destroy his people. Yet the man doubts God’s presence.
I would encourage you to read Psalm 39, because I’m sure it will resonate with many of your own thoughts.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner lie all my fathers. Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again before I depart and am no more.”
For a man who has witnessed God’s redemption and goodness, he still grapples with fears and anguish towards the Lord. He doesn’t see the Lord’s hand at work. He doesn’t feel close to God, going so far as to say he feels as if he is a stranger. He feels sometimes that God is behind the pain, persecuting him for no reason.
And I think most of us can relate to that deeply.
I have no magic cure to erase all doubts and give complete peace of mind. I cannot tell you that one day you will wake up and have this unshakable faith. But I can tell you this:
If David could doubt with his entire being, yet still be used by God to lead a nation and be chosen to be a part of the lineage of Christ, then we can be powerful women of God even while we doubt.
Here’s the thing about doubt: it keeps us honest. It pushes up to keep searching. It urges us to never settle for the faith of our fathers or the doctrine of our church. It can lead us to an even stronger faith because in a way, it strips us of our spiritual pride.
So friend, if you’re like me, I feel your pain. I know the frustration. But our sweet Lord is not finished with us, nor does He plan to be. And He isn’t telling us to suck it up and just believe. He’s going to keep showing up, keep loving, keep working. And He’s going to use us if we let Him. Our doubt does not disqualify us.
Anna Leigh Mayfield // @adelightedmind
Hey, y’all! I’m Anna Leigh. I’m originally from north Georgia, but I’m now living in Cleveland, Tennessee. Besides Jesus, my loves include cats, Taylor Swift, and a good cup of tea. I spend much of my time outdoors or in coffee shops. Writing is a way I express best what is going on in my soul, and how I communicate what the Lord is doing in my life. One of my most favorite things is to walk alongside of other women and experience God’s grace together. The way I usually live out my faith is through relationships with other people – I’ve seen Jesus work so powerfully in community!