Grace for the Doubters

This post is part of a series where I unpack the wise words of a friend and mentor. You can read more about those words here.

My dad was a Presbyterian minister and my mom is the most amazing Christian. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know about Jesus or His love and sacrifice. Most of my friends growing-up were from church. In my small-town, I rarely encountered people who didn’t believe the same things as me.

When life got hard during my teen years, my faith never faltered. As I watched my family fall apart, I told everyone, with confidence and conviction, that I knew God had a plan for us, and that I was okay. When my mom battled breast cancer, my fears never once caused me to question God’s goodness and love.

I went through plenty of hard times, but I never doubted, I never questioned. And, I wore that fact as a badge of honor, a symbol of how strong my faith was. Sadly, I used that as a weapon when anyone around me dared to question the Almighty.

As my horizons expanded and I met people of other faiths, or even other Christians who were questioning certain beliefs, I spoke of my God with an arrogance that completely belied His love. Instead of an instrument of Love and Grace, I was a right-fighter.

Then one day in my early thirties, darkness descended upon my world. It moved in so quickly, I had no time to rally my defenses. All of the answers that once flowed from my smug lips, now appeared to be lies.

I was free-falling when my wise mother gave me a net. She encouraged me to gather up all of my doubts, my unbeliefs and my rage and lay them at His feet. I was so lost I didn’t even question her, I just did it. I cried ugly sobs as I prayed out my anger and uncertainty.

When I did, answers, resolution and peace still evaded me, but Grace flooded in. Grace for my doubting self and for every other doubter I’ll ever encounter. Just a few weeks later when Judith Lasater spoke those words that rocked my foundation, I wrote this adaptation of her quote in my journal:

“Don’t be afraid to question. Deal with your own doubts in such a way that enables you to be in the presence of someone else’s doubts without needing to push them away. He is there, even when we doubt.”

How do you deal with your doubts or those of others you meet? I welcome your thoughts!

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What do you think?

  1. [...] It was such a loaded sentence, one that was too hot to be gulped down. In fact, I’ve been sipping on this truth for almost four years. It has informed my parenting, my yoga practice, my relationships and even my faith. [...]

    by A Story – Healing Begins
    on April 24, 2012 at 8:10 am

  2. Such a powerful post and so timely for me! As I have worked through my own doubts, I’ve struggled to be accepting of those I know who doubt and ask me difficult questions. I want to let them be where they are in their own journey without any judgment against them. Thank you for this!

    by Jessica
    on April 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

  3. Thank you Jessica! You are not alone! As I look back at the way I used to arrogantly respond to doubters, I’m sure I never helped changed anyone’s mind. We do so much more to testify for Love when we calmly hear them out, share our own experience with doubt and extend grace!

    by Jennifer Hoffman
    on April 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm