God is Love. This I understand.
As I listened to a video posted on FB, it made me stop and think. The young man was sharing his struggle with faith. He shifted between roles, that of a fearful child, and then the Lord speaking to His beloved child. The child shares his sense of drowning in doubt. The Lord replies, “Why do you doubt Me and not your doubts?”
Why do I doubt God and not my doubts?
Again and again, my doubts have proven to be hinderances, false, useless.
Understanding dawned. I was taught to doubt, from my earliest memory. I was taught to doubt everything. I was taught to doubt my abilities. I was taught to doubt my capabilities. I was taught to doubt what I learned. I was taught to doubt my memories. I was taught to doubt every step I took. I was taught to doubt my intelligence. I was taught to doubt my worth.
Those who are abused learn to believe that the abuse is their fault. They believe they are wrong. They believe they are wicked. They believe they are evil.
The first step is teaching the prey to doubt. Once the victim is taught to doubt, they are easily manipulated.
I think back on all the times the manipulations didn’t work. It didn’t work because I didn’t doubt myself.
It is easier for me to state a wrong opinion and admit I’m wrong and change it than to sit in a pool of doubt. In doubt, I’m neither able to move forward nor step back. The quicksand of doubt holds me captive. The longer I struggle, the more trapped I become, sometimes until the decision is taken from me by the simple passage of time. I hate when a choice is removed from me simple because I failed to take even one step in a direction.
Those who encourage me to doubt myself are not friends.
My friends help me ask valid questions, questions that provide direction. It never occurred to me that questioning and doubt are not necessarily the same thing. One can question without doubt, gathering information.
Doubt is a faith-killer.
I’m able to exercise faith in the midst of fear and have done so on many occasions, the fear of warning. However, doubt smothers my faith, the fear of being wrong, the doubt in my abilities, doubting myself and God.
I used to believe there were no stupid questions. I’ve changed my mind. Abusers ask stupid questions. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?” “You believe me, don’t you?” “Why don’t you believe me?” “Haven’t I done everything I could?”
Too often in my life, I’ve been asked stupid questions. Questions that weren’t intended to enlighten or inform. Instead, they were questions meant to point out my lack. Cruel questions used to belittle. Evil questions designed to create doubt in myself.
I want to learn to doubt my doubts instead of doubting God, who has proved His steadfastness, His trustworthiness, His love, again and again.