What About Doubt?
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We hear the whispers in our souls. What if what we've been told all our life, and perhaps have believed and preached, is not true? What if? The words haunt us. This past week, we posed this question on our social media pages: What was one of the first things you doubted on your evolving faith journey? Answers came pouring in. Perhaps the people who spoke for God were just trying to manipulate me to follow their own agenda. (Michelle) Biblical inerrancy. (Billy) (Rachel) Predestination. (Jenny) Hell. (Jayne) (Kara) (Stephanie) (Jenn)
That my body is bad. (Julia) Male headship. (Kim Cowling) That an all-powerful God would allowing suffering. (Karen) (mixfit_pix) Spanking (Stacy). The rapture. (Kristin) Original sin. (Christy) (Leighann) That gay people go to hell just because they're gay. (Julie) (fullmoonenby) The prosperity gospel. (iwasateenagefundamentalist) Perhaps you see your own "first doubt" among these answers or perhaps something else sent you down the "slippery slope" of unpacking and questioning your faith.
Often, when we first hear the whispers of doubt, we tend to quash them, avoid them and quiet them any which way we can.
This makes so much sense. They threaten to disrupt our families, our faith communities and even our very own soul. And when we look around, it feels like everyone else is down-right certain and passionate about the beliefs and we are left to wonder what is wrong with us and doubt is our enemy and must be eliminated. But if we peel back the layers and make ourselves vulnerable and bring our doubts into the open, we come to find that we are not alone. That doubt is absolutely normal.
That experiencing doubt does not mean there is anything wrong with us. In fact, there's probably something right. That doubt is a necessary part of faith and not the opposite of it. That it's actually our friend. That our faith communities and families need to be a place where doubt is welcome with open arms and celebrated as the good gift that it is. Doubt can destroy and disconnect us if we keep it hidden in shame, but it can also be what allows our humanity to flourish and our souls to BE more true. And BEING true is what we're after, right? --Esther Joy Goetz-- P.S. What role has doubt played in your evolving faith journey?
This Week on the Podcast: Kat Wordsworth, author, mom of two, avid swimmer, and experienced doubter, is our guest this week. Although she is constantly living with doubt and unpacking both the harm and the healing it has brought to her life, she is taking slow steps on her own path of faith.
Our conversation with Kat, one of most gentle souls we've had the privilege of interviewing, was raw, vulnerable and not wrapped up in a nice neat bow. Her openness about her own continuing and difficult, yet sacred journey with doubt will help you to feel seen, heard, and confident as you navigate your own and especially as you help your own children with theirs. We work through important topics like how God responds to our doubts and how can we treat ourselves when we are confused and feel very alone. We also get a sneak peek into her new book, Let's Talk About Doubt, and when you are finished listening, you will want to add it to that tall pile of books on your nightstand, the ones that are a must-read! You can find Kat Wordsworth at the following:
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Doubt is normal, but not normalized. It is common, but not often communal. This tension led Kat Wordsworth to experience acute shame when she was overwhelmed with doubt while working for a church.
Let's Talk About Doubt is her story.
Brutally honest but ultimately hopeful, it recounts her changing relationship with doubt - from ignoring it, to confronting it with the hope of eliminating it, before finally accepting it as part of her faith.
It also takes a look at the attitude towards doubt in Christian culture and considers ways that doubt could become a less feared and more visible conversation. Offering comfort and solace to those who experience doubt, and insight to those who haven’t, it is essential reading for all.
Can't wait until Tuesday and need just a little snippet from our podcast episode. Here's something to whet your appetite and hold you over until then!!
One last thing. We want to remind you that we are so glad you are here. We wouldn't be the same without you. You will always find GRACE for where you've been and who you are now, and SPACE for who you are becoming and will be.
Carry on, our new-found friends. Welcome to the twisty-windy, full -of-adventure faith path that's laid out before us all. Love,
Lizz & Esther P.S. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER HERE!