This morning I woke up to a brand new batch of snow covering the mountains just outside my window. As I lay in my bed that few extra minutes and looked at that heavy blanket of white, I listened to our heater kick on and pulled the covers up closer to my neck. The fourfold layer of blankets weighed heavy on me, but it felt good.
But as I lay there contemplating the week ahead, another heavy blanket descended upon me. Not a blanket of warmth or softness, but the suffocating blanket of doubt. I had things to do this week, things I had felt strongly about and called to do. But suddenly, just at the starting line of my journey, I doubted.
I doubted the calling. I doubted the significance of the task. I doubted if I had heard God correctly on this one. I doubted my ability. Then it got worse. I doubted my intelligence, my sanity, my gifts.
Knowing that if I lay in that bed and snuggled too long in that blanket of doubt it would soon weigh so heavily upon me that I wouldn’t be able to climb out from under it, I got up.
I struggle with doubt a lot lately. Why? Because I’m in one of those times when I feel very strongly that God has called me to a very specific thing that requires a lot of “one step in front of another” type activity. It’s one of those things that’s not just a walk in the park; it’s an uphill hike all the way. Sure, it brings me joy, it’s fulfilling and I know (or I’m pretty sure?) that it’s a journey I’m supposed to be taking. But, as Miley Cyrus (or is it Hannah Montana?) has been crooning these days, “It’s a climb!”
Second-guessing, fear, shakiness, despondence, a spirit of fainting – call it what you will, doubt is no friend on the trail. It doesn’t move you forward, but leaves you standing still in your tracks. Regret, the other side of the same worthless coin, may actually cause you to move backwards. But doubt just leaves you shaking in your boots, planted in the middle of the path.
And the thing about doubt is that, like that heavy blanket that threatened to keep me in my bed this morning, the longer it lingers, the longer you linger. It gets harder and harder to move on when you entertain doubt.
I knew that if I wrapped myself in my doubts this morning I ‘d wear them all day long like a Snuggly. I’ve done that before, haven’t you? Taken that blanket of doubt and cut sleeves into it so you could wear it like a piece of clothing? I’m sorry, but there’s just something not right about a blanket with sleeves in it to me and there’s definitely something not right about choosing a shade of doubt to fit your home decor and getting comfortable in it.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s not enough to just throw my doubts to the wind. They’re likely to just whip around and hit me in the backside if I do that! I need to replace them with something lightweight, appropriate for a journey, sturdy, and beautiful. I thought maybe this would do the trick: