The Doubt Monster

Everywhere I turn, it seems to be the topic of the day. Doubt. I was drowning in the “I don’t have what it takes…” Bloggers like Chatty Kelly and Jody Hedlund are addressing it today. Renee Swope’s new book “A Confident Heart” released this week. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s high on my list.

Doubt is the enemy's tool. It affects everyone. And it can affect any area of our lives. Are we a good enough mom, wife, friend, writer, speaker, worker, fill in the blank. It has us focus on whatever will take our eyes off God - our weaknesses, other's strengths.

After Adam and Eve sinned and hid in fear, God’s first question to them was “Who told you….?” He hadn’t told them to be fearful, ashamed. They were listening to the voice of their enemy.

All that God asks of us is to be obedient. To seek, to love, to serve Him and His people. When our eyes are squarely on Him, our doubts fade in His light.

Years ago, I had a strange experience. I was to speak before a crowd of fellow employees at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Every cell in my body trembled in fear. I had asked for prayer from trusted friends, telling them my session would begin Wednesday at 8:00 am. It was Wednesday at 7:55, and as I drifted to the podium, I wondered how I’d be able to utter a single word, so filled with fear and doubt was I.

Then something weird occurred. Really weird. It all happened in a nanosecond. I felt a tingling on the top of my head, like when someone pretends to crack an egg on your head. The tingle moved down from my head past my shoulders, past my arms and torso, down my legs, and out my feet. Picture a thermometer with a pinhole in the bulb and the red liquid leaking out the bottom. The tingle was fear, and so tangible was this feeling that as it left my body, I looked down because I thought I’d see a puddle of fear on the floor. All I saw were black and white tiles. As my eyes swept back up, they glimpsed the wall clock – which read exactly 8:00 sharp. In that instant, I simultaneously remembered 3 things - my praying friends, my mentioning 8:00 am, and the Scripture verse that says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” God is perfect love, and He supernaturally removed my fear.

I’d like to say that ever since that time, I have never experienced fear. But that would be a lie. What I do know is this – He CAN supernaturally remove my fear – if He wants to. So if He doesn’t, it means that the fear is there for a reason - most likely, so that I keep tethered to Him, focused on Him, in communion with Him, dependent upon Him rather than myself.

All the self-doubt that’s so prevalent and so destructive is just a tool in Satan’s arsenal, seeking to hinder the work of God. If only we can just remember that yeah we do have weaknesses, but it’s in our weakness that He is strong. He gets all the glory when imperfect people do amazing things. When we think we have it all together, we are at our weakest point.

Of course, that's my sermon for today. Tomorrow I may just be a pile of doubts again. ;)

Prayer request:
Thank you in advance. I’m so grateful for this community of prayer warriors.
Please keep my family in prayer – so much going on:
My dad is in ICU. He had emergency surgery last night to repair a ruptured fistula in his arm – the arm used for dialysis. This is one of many serious issues he’s facing, including cancer. In addition to his physical issues, please pray he'll know God's presence and peace. 
My son has been running a fever for the past 3 days, a week after his return from Uganda. I don’t even want to think of the possibilities.
I’m supposed to attend a 4 day writers’ conference starting Wednesday followed by a family vacation. A lot to prepare for both, assuming I can even do either one now.
And I will be sharing this Sunday’s message in church since my son is unable to do so. He was to share a message from his mission trip. So I’m preparing for that now. I’ll share from a chapter in my WIP book.
Can I just say “Oy vey!” 


Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, Susan, now I know why the Lord directed me here--so I could pray for you! Would you believe our family has been attacked lately, too? Something special about this confernce coming up, that the enemy is trying to prevent...

Plus, you need your vacation with your family.

I will ask the same God who took the fear away to take the fever away from your son, and the sickness from your dad. He is faithful, and He will do this for you, dear one.

With much love,

Kelly Combs said...

Doubt - oh yes, I'm fighting it regularly! I love your verses and I believe God can inspire. Thank you for thinking of me and sharing these words.

Enjoy our conference! (Write His Answer?) And God bless your family, during the struggles you are facing.

Jan Cline said...

Wow, it's a good think you know God is on the throne through all circumstances or you really would be fearful right now! It's a tough time for you right now, but it's comforting to know that God is not up there ringing His hands, wondering how to fix all this. I'll be praying for healing, traveling mercies and joy for the conference! Blessings my friend.

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Jeanette - Thank you for your prayers. They mean the world to me. We really need that upholding of the saints. Can't wait to meet you in person!

Kelly - Always thinking of you ;D
And yes - it's Write His Answer. Fond memories of when we last met.

Jan - You're so right. If I didn't trust in His truth that says He has a plan, it'd be misery. But He Himself is my peace. PTL!

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

Good grief! You do have a lot going on. Thankfully, God's got your back. Praying for your family and you as you prepare for tomorrow and your conference on Wed.

Linda said...

PRAYING! You can do all things through Christ. You know that. I know you know that. Sometimes we just need confirmation, so there you have it. Hope your son feels better real soon.

Ann C said...

I just want you to know I got so much encouragement from your current blog on doubt.

I got up my courage and sent the query letter to IKEA today,

Thanks, Susan,

Ann C

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Sonya and Linda,
Thanks so much for your prayers. They mean so much. We're playing that waiting game for a proper diagnosis for my son.

So glad that you are overcoming doubt and taking action! What a testimony! Hopefully the first of many. I will keep your pursuit of publication in prayer.


Mary Nelson said...

WOW, Susan all I can say is you are a PROVERBS 31 Woman and more, you are an awesome lady, any time I have doubt or start stressing about issues or anything, my little grandson who is 4 always comes to me with "what about that mustard seed in the bible" I know that God uses him to remind me, that we got to have Faith that God will take care of our families, stresses, fears. I will be praying for your family and you. And I will be praying and asking God to heal your father and son. love your friend.

mary nelson

Susan Panzica - EternityCafe said...

Thanks Mary for that powerful reminder of the mustard seed. And thank you for your prayers for my family.
Blessings to you,

Rhonda Schrock said...

Wonderful reminder, Susan! I've been thinking of all of you going to Philly and talking to God about that. I think the attacks must mean very good things are in store for you!

Can't wait to hear how it went when you all get back.

Cheri Bunch said...

I am praying for you and yours, Susan! Doubt has been a constant foe recently! Thank you for your post! Also, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a very sweet comment! You are special! Blessings for all things on your list and more!

quietspirit said...

I'm getting here late. Read your last posting first. Our church family has taken some blows from the adversary in the past few weeks. But we know The One who can resolve the problems.

Zanina Jacinto said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you for your message. I needed to read it. God has blessed me with a new position teaching a graduate policy class at Stony Brook University and I've been battling doubt, fear, anxiety... I'm also working on my dissertation research to help students with disabilities in public schools. It feels so overwhelming. But I know that He has opened these doors and equipped me to serve Him. And yet, the doubt and fear persist, which makes me angry at myself. Thank you for being a vessel of His truth and peace.

God bless you,