Battling Doubt

The last couple of years have not been easy ones. Closed doors academically and vocationally have dreams seemingly crushed dreams and left me questioning whether I really knew how to hear from God. Which grew into questioning if I really knew how to follow Jesus. This past year especially has left me wrestling with my faith. For the first time that I can remember, I began to have some serious doubts about God, and that terrified me.

For most of my faith life, I have prided myself on not doubting God. Even when hard things happened and the proverbial poo hit the fan, I would ask God why certain things happened or ask Him to help me see and understand His plan in whatever situation. I never questioned His sovereignty or His good plan for my life. I would proudly share parts of my story and declare that even in the extremely difficult and confusing times, I never doubted God. Well, you know what “they” (and Proverbs 16:16) say about pride…

Anyone who has been around me for more than 30 seconds, probably knows that I’m not a very graceful person. I’ve been known to walk into walls, run go-karts into ditches, and seriously injure my ankle by tripping over nothing. Well, this pride-induced fall into doubt wasn’t some cutesy little trip that I could laugh off.  There was no pretending that I was trying out a new dance move when this music of insecurity began to play. This was a full-on, tumble down a snowy hill, picking up more snow as I rolled along kind of situation. Plans hadn’t come together in the ways I thought they would. I was sad, confused, and allowed the enemy to speak lies into my disappointed heart, and it led me into a dark period of doubt. This year, I doubted parts of who God is, and who He said I am.

Please hear me out, I never completely walked away from God. I still had faith during this time, it was just clouded by lies that I believed. When things didn’t work out for me to move, I knew that God had another plan, but as the year went on that sadness over a lost dream turned to bitterness. I allowed the enemy to speak into broken parts of me. I think the hardest part was that after these crushed dreams and a shattered ego (more on that in a bit), I cried out to God, and He seemed silent.

I didn’t know what direction I was supposed to go and the more disappointment I felt, the more I doubt feasted on my faith. I felt like God had forgotten about me. There have been some extremely tight financial situations in the last couple of years, but I’ve always had food to eat and rent money. While I was doubting God’s provision, and whether or not He even remembered me, my needs were being met. He was providing. My modern-day manna was always there.  I read Deuteronomy 31, where He said He’ll never leave or forsake us, but the lies made it difficult to see clearly.

Not only was I doubting parts of God’s character, but I was also doubting who He says I am.I was having a pity party, and rarely did I allow truth to be a guest. Before I felt God was leading me to move away and pursue an area of ministry that was new to me, I had heard several sermons and people using the phrase, “God moves or I fail.” That was my mantra and my prayer going into this new chapter of life, as I was preparing to leave my family, my friends, my home, and my church. So when plans didn’t work out the way I thought they would, I saw myself as a huge failure. 

Here I was (and still am), in my mid-30s, no husband, no kids, and no idea what career path I’m supposed to be following. It was an embarrassment to my ego whenever someone would ask my plans or if I was still moving. Even as I type this, my eyes are filling with tears because it’s a feeling that still comes often, and that I am constantly having to battle with spiritual warfare. It is too easy to go down the dark hole of believing lies about who I am and what God has for my life. That darkness is always just a small step away.

I know this post has been pretty bleak, but here is what I know in spite of my feelings: God is still good. He is still on the throne. 

It hasn’t all been darkness and doubting this year. There have been some beautiful glimpses of God’s love, light, and truth as well. I know that He is sovereign. He has a plan for me (although, I wouldn’t be sad if He decided to actually reveal part of it to me anytime soon.) Being in His word and talking to friends and family who love Jesus have been crucial during this time. Music has been huge, playing on repeat and speaking truth over me. 

One song that has been crucial during this season is “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. I have belted out these lyrics over and over again in desperate chords that beat away doubt, whether I was feeling the truth or not. Sometimes I’ll sing them in celebration, and sometimes they just come out as a whisper with tears streaming down my face. I’m begging God to take away my doubts and show me which direction is the next right step for me. So I let these lyrics wash me with truth, and do serious battle with the insidious doubt. 

I’ll leave you with that song and pray that we, as the body of Christ, trust our Savior and don’t believe the lies and doubts that the enemy so desperately wants to use to steer us away from the perfect Lord.

“You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing

You say I am strong when I think I am weak

And You say I am held when I am falling short

And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours

And I believe.”

Karly Grant headshot

Karly Grant is a 30-something, single, enneargram 9,  follower of Jesus who likes to keep life entertaining and real. The circumstances of the last few years of her life have held many twists and turns, but she can’t wait to see where God leads.  She has a heart for adoption and is waiting to see where the Lord guides her on this path. She can often be found in a coffee shop, curled up with a good book, or spending quality time laughing and having fun with her family and friends.

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