Living With Doubt…and the Words I Need to Hear

I’ve struggled with doubt for as long as I can remember.

At first I struggled with doubt about my salvation/my relationship with God. I prayed over and over again to ask Jesus to come into my life, but then I questioned if I had prayed “correctly.” Ironically, after this uncertainty, I would worry that I had relied on “works” to save me instead of God (by trying to pray in a “perfect” manner). Needless to say, there were many times when these thoughts induced a frenzy of anxiety and fear – often coupled with headaches and tears.

Thankfully, I don’t struggle with this particular doubt any longer, as I have realized that God isn’t like that. He doesn’t require perfection from me. He wants me to trust Him and rely on Him.

Did that make any sense? Have you ever had thoughts similar to this? (It’s okay to think “no”) 😉

I know that a lot of it is my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The OCD is what ignites the insatiable desire to perform tasks “perfectly” and to think “correctly.” But I also know that this isn’t what is required of me. I just need a way to switch over from my OCD thoughts to healthy thoughts.

What thoughts does God want me to think on when I’m feeling doubtful and perfectionistic? What are the words that I need to hear and believe?

  1. I am loved (John 3:16).
  2. I am strong in God’s strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
  3. I am forgiven (1 John 1:9).
  4. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
  5. I am unique (Isaiah 64:8).
  6. I am skilled (1 Peter 4:10).
  7. I have the ability to accomplish everything God has called me to do. (Philippians 4:13).
  8. I am enough (1 Corinthians 3:16).

These are just a few affirmations that I want to remember when I’m struggling with doubt. And I still do struggle with it. I doubt my abilities, I doubt my worth, I doubt the quality of tasks that I complete – to name a few.

But I have to remind myself of the truth – let it wash over my mind. God is speaking the words I long to hear…I just need to listen. ❤

P.S. Thank you for reading…I know that my struggles are a little strange, but I wanted to be open and honest about them in the hopes that I can be of help to someone else.

The Fullness of His Grace

Close-up of a crepe myrtle tree in our backyard. :-)
Close-up of a crepe myrtle tree in our backyard.

Why does God bless us so richly? This was the question I was asking myself as I drove home from the supermarket a short time ago. The past few days, God has been pouring out one blessing on me after another, and I am so grateful.

Yesterday, I received a letter in the mail informing me that I had been approved for a month of temporary disability. This was a process that I had been going through and praying about for the past several months. To be truthful, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to get approved. Finances have been very tight, and I have to admit, I was doubtful that God would provide. But He did, out of the fullness of His grace.

A second blessing entailed my having a conversation with our car insurance agent, which led to a discount in our rate of about one thousand dollars for the year. I was so thankful for God’s provision!

Then today, I went to the supermarket armed with two fifteen dollar gift cards from my Mom and several coupons. I wasn’t even keeping track of how much I was spending–I just grabbed what I needed and tried to be mindful of using the store discounts and the coupons that I had acquired. When I got up to the register and checked out, my bill–for everything that I had needed–came to under thirty dollars. So I was able to use the gift cards and still have a little left over!

I know these may seem like small things, but for me, I see God’s hand in these events. So often I focus on the negative circumstances or the difficult situations that I face–but today all I could do was praise God for His goodness.

Thank You, my loving heavenly Father!!!

From the fullness of his grace

we have all received

one blessing after another.

~John 1:16 (NIV)

My Source of Hope

what-gives-me-hopeWhat gives you hope? According to Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, it is God’s grace that gives him hope. He states: “What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.”

I would have to agree. Without God’s grace, I would not have the strength to fight the mental battles of anxiety and OCD, to wrestle with doubt and discouragement, to accomplish daily tasks, to embrace change, or to face life’s difficulties head-on.

“And He [Jesus] has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB) It certainly doesn’t make sense: that when we are at our weakest, it is then that we are actually at our strongest. Not because of who we are or what we can do, but because of God’s power residing within us. Realizing that we don’t need to rely on ourselves to get through each day is certainly a great cause for hope.

Have you ever read Lamentations 3? It is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. After the author of the book (probably Jeremiah the Prophet) weeps and laments profusely regarding the condition of the people of Israel, he calls to mind a truth that gives him hope.

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’

The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Because of God’s presence and His power, we can have peace. We can have hope for the future, knowing that the Lord is in control. Our heavenly Father sees our difficulties, and promises to be with us right there in the midst of them.

What is it that gives you hope?