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Mom on Faith: When in doubt

Posted October 12, 2010

Growing up, I always assumed that doubt was the opposite of faith. That is to say I thought that if I doubted something, then I must lack faith for that thing.

Like many of us do, I wondered if I was really a Christian or if it all really mattered anyway. And then I felt guilty for wondering that and decided that I needed to hold the line if I was really going to do this thing called following Christ. However, as I grew older I realized this issue has a lot of grey area amongst the black and white lines. Especially when the faith I have in God became seriously tinged with doubt. When my life got hard and I really had to deal with a lot of pain all of a sudden.

Was I losing my religion? Or did I realize that God is dead?

Actually, quite the opposite.

This week, I watched the latest episode of GLEE which was all about religion and doubt and struggle. I won't get into the whole episode (it's been a while since I did any singing), but there was a beautiful scene that I would like to share. There is a character with Down syndrome who purely says without a tinge of doubt "God doesn't make mistakes." It was a perfect scene because there isn't a single character on the show who isn't plagued with double-mindedness other than this one woman, yet she is the one with the biggest obstacles. In her simplicity, her faith was clearly shining through.

And then on Sunday, my pastor spoke of doubt as a valid part of the journey. That it isn't something that should bring shame or wavering, but simply a part of the process meant to help us release some of the need for an answer to every. single. question. And it clicked. Doubt isn't bad. It ISN'T bad. What matters is how we react to the inevitable.

And here is the part where I think it gets tricky.

Often times, when I consider my own doubt, I can see that it stems from an experience. Maybe something bad happened to me, or to a loved one. Or maybe it was something good that happened to someone else and not me. And I start comparing and asking "why me" or "why not me." This leads to me ascribing my state of being to God instead rather than to a fact of life as we know it when the plain truth is, the world we live in is flawed.

Through this struggle, it seems that I play the blame game and focus on what I don't have instead of what my faith in God gives me. Doubts are good. I believe they are healthy and sometimes it IS good to get some clarity on certain issues. But, I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. If faith has brought me peace and closeness with God, then I can embrace the doubts in one hand and the faith in the other.

And that is a journey worth taking.

Andrea is a Raleigh mom who writes monthly on faith and parenting. She can be found at her blog Lil-Kid-Things, on Facebook or on Twitter.

4 Comments

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  • annpanaro Oct 14, 2010

    Loved what you wrote. Thanks for sharing.

  • abswitala Oct 13, 2010

    Oftentimes we doubt because God is doing something in our lives that is causing us to think He may be untrustworthy- when really He is allowing us to discover our need for Him. I highly recommend Jerry Bridges' book, "Trusting God." Great and challenging read!

  • luvbailey Oct 13, 2010

    I really like what you have written here. Of course doubt is a part of the journey. The bible is filled with examples of doubt by the most faithful (Sarai laughed at God when told she would have a child at her old age). Here is a great passage that helps understand the issues that raise doubt about our faith. James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
    Have a blessed day!

  • lokayatra Oct 12, 2010

    It is very simple. Just contemplate where does space start and where does it end. If it really starts somewhere, then is there a boundary there ? Who made that boundary and what is it made of. Sounds ridiculous to limit space. Just contemplate when did time start and if it did start, then we are defining time using time. Space and time are 2 simple infinite realities staring at us. Wait a minute - can there be 2 infinities ? I will let you think further.