My friend posted this quote to my wall on facebook this week:

“Take your disbelief and toss it out the window. You don’t need it.” – Kay Foley

Oh how that stuck with me and resonated throughout the week. There is something about defining moments in life that just make my doubt-y senses tingle uncontrollably. The idea that I could just toss them out the window was liberating.

I can look back throughout my life and see example after example of when I let doubt cloud what I knew in my heart. Doubt does that, it takes what we know to be true and starts twisting it so that we begin to question. It tears us down and whispers – you may be wrong…

Greg and I were married within 11 weeks of meeting. Now, some may say that is too fast, and by some I would mean all. Even Greg and I can acknowledge now that it was entirely insane. In retrospect, of course, we know we were actually crazy like a fox, but at the time – it just felt kind of crazy like crazy.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend anyone get married that quickly, even though I wouldn’t change one bit of our history. It’s just fraught with peril but there are some advantages as well. The first year of our marriage was when we worked through what most work through in their first year of dating – because we were married we couldn’t let the little things drive us apart.

When you are dating you can let your doubt end a relationship. When you are married you have to take that doubt and throw it out the window. You don’t need it. It took me a while to realize that. I was on hyper alert that first year, taking the smallest thing and turning it into some huge thing. I was so worried we actually were crazy, that I spent a lot of time building up defenses and protecting my turf.

Finally – after what I’m sure felt like an eternity to Greg, I figured out that I could trust him. I could just toss those doubts out the window because the only problems we had were those doubts. If we would just learn to trust one another then we would be ok. In fact, we would be pretty darn incredible.

My relationship with God was a lot like that, too. I rushed into it too quickly – I was only seven after all. Then as I grew older, I worried I couldn’t trust him so I looked to poke holes in the relationship whenever I could. I doubted – a lot. I actually armed myself with doubt. Built a nice big wall of doubt around my heart and pouted that no one came in.

As you know if you have read this blog from the start – I can still wrestle with doubt when it comes to my faith, but it lessens, each day, it lessens.

I mentioned reading “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, last week. I am now reading her first book, “I thought it was just me (but it isn’t).” She is a researcher on shame – a subject I find fascinating. The more I read the more I think I don’t actually suffer from doubt, I suffer from shame. The fear of being perceived as naive, or stupid. I’ve spent my life trying really hard to look like I have it all together. I’ve always been told I was smart and that is an important part of my identity. I respect smart people and I want to be thought of as intelligent. The fact that a large part of the scientific community thinks religion is for fools – well, that pokes me right where I’m most tender.

I may be the only nut who would be thrilled to find out she suffers from shame – but as an alternative to doubt, I love it. Shame can be overcome – especially once you label it and acknowledge its presence. As a matter of fact, just acknowledging it, diminishes its power.

So I can just throw my doubt out the window – it was mislabeled and untrue. I have no need of it.

As for any feelings of shame that creep up – I can deal with those. There are many incredibly intelligent people who share my faith. I am not ashamed to believe in a powerful Creator. I am not ashamed to believe in God. My life cries out that it is true. The Spirit within me sings out that He is real.

I think I just threw shame out the window, too.

(I highly recommend all of Brene’s writing and Ted talks – she is a game changer)

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