I’m cringing as I type, because on so many levels I feel like a fool. A stubborn fool… or a mule.
Because the truth has been in front of me all the time. I knew it. I even advised others to make behavioral and mental changes accordingly but… I never applied said truth to my own life.
And it’s been making me miserable for years and years.
Read the previous post if you need some context.
On Friday mornings, I make a conference call with my author buddies Kim and Becca. Usually we shred each other’s prose and help each other work toward mastery of our craft. This time, we talked about life and ended up challenging each other to become better people.
My friend Kim shared a passage from James. Verses 2-8, to be exact. She shared how it convicted her and how she planned on applying it to her life. Then she challenged me. To memorize it with her.
The part that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go was the part about doubt. When we pray, we are to pray in faith without any doubting. James describes doubters like the foam on the sea, at the mercy of relentless waves and violent wind. Doubters are not to expect any answers and are double-minded thinkers and unstable in all their ways.
My first thought was, “I’m not a doubter, I’m merely a skeptic. A realist, if you will.”
I’d pray, then have a plan B, C, D and so on if God failed to come through. Actually, deep down, I expected Him to not come through. I have been praying for hope and expecting nothing but more suffering. In fact, I honestly did not believe God could have something good for me.
I have no idea.
But I do know this, my stinkin’ thinkin’ has kept me in a stuck, unstable place for… should I admit this?
We girls talked for a while. Encouraged one another. Prayed. Then I went to my husband and had a melt down.
I was done.
So. Done. With being in a miserable place.
I had let the circumstances rule. I let doubt consume me like a malignant rot.
As we talked, we observed how life has beat us up so hard. It was easier to be myopic and focus on the pain, the hardships. Looking beyond took too much… effort.
Under the pressure, I retraced. Withdrew. Became a severe introvert. I lived life defensively. Looking over my shoulder for the Next Bad Thing so I could see it coming and prepare.
Does that look like a life of faith?
I don’t think so either.
I was the sea foam. Flung about, ragged, frothy from the violence of life. Unstable in all my ways.
John and I made a pact to change. We admitted to ourselves and God our messed up thinking. We asked for wisdom on how to squash the doubts. Stop speaking it into our lives. We decided to hold each other accountable for our speech and actions. We will be positive. We will refrain from the complain.
It’s not easy. Circumstances have not changed.
And boy, do I feel a whole lot better.