January 27, 2011
When the One You Doubt is You
T. Suzanne Eller
"Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,' he said, ‘why did you doubt?'" Matthew 14:31 (NIV)
I walked away discouraged. It was a disaster! The end of the world! I mentally listed all the ways I had messed up.
Things had not gone the way I had hoped. Later that night as I lay in bed, going over the events one more time, regret plopped right in the middle of my chest.
I wish that I could say that self-doubt was never a problem again after that day, but it has tried to spring up again from time to time. It's just that I handle it in a different way now. I finally recognized self-doubt for what it is. It's an unhealthful twist on humility. It appears to be self-assessment, or even meekness. Instead, it is distracting to my dreams and the direction that God is trying to lead me.
Self doubt can be paralyzing unless we learn to unpack it. Asking questions like:
Is there a valid reason I am doubting? Maybe there are gaps that need to be filled with education, with knowledge, with training, or good old-fashioned time alone with our Heavenly Father.
Is it due to a certain person or my past? My friend and Proverbs 31 Ministries sister Lysa TerKeurst describes twirling around as a child, her dress fanning out around her, to capture her father's attention.
How many times do we twirl, trying to fill that place where a father's words or a mother's hugs didn't? We keep on twirling hoping that someone might notice, and we come up empty if they don't, even when there is no way that anyone can see that need.
Is it the enemy? We have an enemy according to Scripture. An enemy that desires to steal, to take away, to wound by distracting us from God's grace, call, and leading. Do we so intently focus on the things we didn't do "right" or well, at least in our eyes, and fail to see the good that took place?
When I stopped to take an honest look at the event where the world was coming to an end, the reality is that it was a small hiccup. A perfect learning experience, allowing me to fill in a gap that needed to be filled.
Self-doubt can either riddle us, consuming our thoughts, or it can be an avenue to honestly assess why it's there, and what we can do about it—with God's help.
Dear Lord, help me to look at the doubt I carry and then move forward. Let me leave this useless emotion behind and replace it with action, with knowledge, and most importantly with You. You know me. You know what I need, and You so graciously give it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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The Woman I Am Becoming by T. Suzanne Eller
The Mom I want to be: Rising above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future by T. Suzanne Eller
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Unpack your most pressing doubt and ask the three questions in today's devotion.
After unpacking, what is the real issue?
What is one action step you can take today?
"What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful."-- Mother Theresa.
Luke 24:38, "And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?" (ESV)
© 2011 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 27 January 2011.