a wave of doubt

1.31.2012 |

summer is approaching (well, here in mississippi it feels like summer) and it makes me long for long beach walks, star gazing on the pier, the lulling drone of the crashing waves, and hours of shells searching.

have you ever taken a trip to the ocean?

i have.

have you ever mustered enough courage to swim past the buoys? have you ever aimlessly drifted in the vastness to a point where you are absolutely uncomfortable, to where the nervousness and fear invade every pore? you start questioning how long it will take you to get back to shore and what would happen to you if a shark wanted you for lunch.  your mind plays devilish little tricks on you. you begin to wonder if are you even an efficient swimmer because what if you start to drown? if you are like me, panic ensues at this point of realization, this point of doubting and fear.

maybe you don't have the nerve to swim where you can't touch or see the sandy bottom, but maybe you have stayed in the shallow water looking for shells.  have you even tried to ride a wave in on your stomach? have you ever looked for sea shells while submerging your head under the salty water? have you ever gotten water in your eyes? your nose? your throat? maybe you were searching for shells or trying to be the next great body-wave rider (whatever your enjoyment at the beach) but maybe you lost your balance and accidentally threw yourself off the harmonic motions of the ocean's waves.  if you have ever done such as that, then you know what comes next.  as soon as the wave breaks, you are violently hurled into a hard sandy bottom at a very high speed.  you become disorientated and up is down.  it takes several minutes for you to stop coughing and for your eyes to cease watering. chances are you skinned your hands and your knees a little and there is a pound of wet sand in your britches, but really, when it comes down to it, that physical pain and discomfort pales in comparison to the humiliation that came with tossing uncontrollably in nature's wrath.

has this ever happened to you?

it has happened to me, yes.

in fact, it has happened more than once.  you think i would have learned to stand my ground, keep my distance, don't repeat last time.

it takes a lot of time to learn certain life lessons, some quicker than others.  we can learn the same life lesson at different points in our lives due to situations that present themselves or the mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual state into which we are presently morphed.

today as i was reading through some of my favorite passages in the bible, i came across a verse in james that stuck out.

james 1:6-8

now that you have recalled your acquaintance with the forces and fears of the ocean, think about this verse again.

picture i took in point reyes, california
i have doubted friends and i have doubted myself; i have doubted teachers and i have doubted my family.  i have doubted my whole life really without understanding the implication of my actions.

most importantly, i think it is time i have admitted that i have doubt God.

ultimately, this shows God that i am not trusting Him fully to lead my life (as if i some how could formulate a better plan for my life, as if i think i will be God's first mess up in all history...i laugh at my foolishness now). i put my trust in my self, why? simple. i try to be self-sufficient and all-knowing.  it's only human, right?  however, i find my self so tired and so depressed time and time again after parades of doubt reign in my life.  i'm a failure, absolute failure when i try to do things on my own.  this isn't just with God's will for my life, it's with nearly every thing in my life. me, i have to do it, i have to pride myself on doing "it" right no matter how long it takes me.

well, i can't speak for you, but i know that this is where i am weak.  when i ask God for guidance and help, i ask without expecting.

"God, yeah, i really am not understanding this. help me this, help me that. God, thank you for this and that, but now can you please guide me here or there and then help me with that?"
so maybe that is a rough and minute version of my prayer, but it is a skeleton. it is the structure. it is ever so empty. i don't want it to be empty. i need to expect that He is going to pour out all his help on top of me. i should expect that God is going to do something if i ask with a genuine and eager heart.  i should expect God to come to my rescue.  i should pray expectantly, but i don't; thus, doubt nestles through my cracked foundation and lays it's eggs.

doubt's eggs hatch and multiple exponentially.

eventually, doubt causes me to question everything around me and eventually causes me to question myself in a negative way (i'm not condoning the questioning that strengthens who you are at the core).  as James says in his verses, a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea.  and through your experience of the ocean, waves can be unpredictable, shifting, suppressing, nauseating, and cause terrific damages.

you have witnessed the damage from a hurricane.
you have seen the destruction of a tsunami.
you know the dangers of shore breaks.
you have experienced the force of a rolling wave.

why do we continuously doubt if we KNOW that a doubtful mind is just as destructive? just as wavering? just as unsettled? just as painful?

i don't know the answer to the question in the truest sense, but my challenge to myself and to you (if you fall into the boat that i sit in) is to stop doubting, stop drowning in the waters of doubt.  we need to trust FULLY IN God and rely FULLY ON God.

this will be a lot harder said than acted out, i realize this, but we have to make it a priority.  when we doubt we aren't JUST doubting, we are telling God that He has no idea what He is doing with the life He created, we are telling God that we don't have a need for him, that we are throwing in the rag on God's plan for our lives, we are breaking God's heart. God WANTS to give us what we need and what we want if it aligns with His plans.  He doesn't want to restrain giving, but He isn't just going to give us things when we don't REALLY TRULY FULLY COMPLETELY BELIEVE we are going to get it.

i don't want to be Doubting Renee, any longer. i want to enjoy the sunshine that the Lord has to offer and stop being abused by my waves.

i would love feedback of any kind. what are your thoughts on doubt? what have you experienced from doubting? 
click below and leave a comment


  1. My response…
    God created you?
    God made you in His own image?
    God made you for a relationship with Him, for Him, to give HIM praise and Glory?
    God created Adam?
    God created Eve to be companion, helpmate, someone who -Proverbs 31:11 The heart of her husband has confidence in her, and he has no lack of gain. 12 She brings him good and not evil all the days of her life.”?
    God gave mankind the ability to interact in this relationship with Him freely?
    Man failed miserably, according to His plan to show His love towards them and to show how much we need him?
    God gives you struggles, Men pain to labor over the Earth and women the pain of labor?
    These struggles are Biblical and exist to make you grow in your walk with Him?
    With these struggles and your imperfections you were created to become a block to yourself?
    Yes. (I do constantly)
    These blocks are doubt.
    Grow with God during these struggles and doubts. He’s all you have. Put faith and bank on His greatness. You’ll never go wrong. =)
    Peace & Agape =)

    PS...these thoughts of yours are Godly. Keep your head up & eyes on Him.

  2. So hey :)
    Interesting thoughts you have here! I went through a phase in my life about 2 years ago when I was doubting so many things concerning God. Not really His existence as such, but rather that He really looked after me and was concerned for me.

    He took me through a bit of testing in Faith, it was really awesome. My faith was re-defined and one of the things I realized is that faith can be seen as this: We have absolutely no control over the next moment of our lives, never mind anything of the future... Sure people will say we can plan, but ultimately in reality the next moment of our lives actually lies in God's hands. I realised that the more I grasp the fact the every forthcoming moment in my life is possible only by God I actually realise that I am kinda hopeless without the faith I have in Him to give me that next moment of my life. It's actually an amazing place to be in, because stress basically goes out the window to a point :P haha...

    Ok, so as promised.
    The bubbles story, here it goes:

    So there was a day, I was chatting to a friend of mine. She was going through a tough time and I really didnt know what to say to her, I was walking through my kitchen and tidying a few things up and I picked up the bottle of dish washing detergent, but the coolest thing happened when I picked it up. As I gently squeezed, this flurry of bubbles shot out the top of the nozzle and the floated in the air for a while and then popped after a few seconds.
    At that moment I felt God say to me, "Don't forget the bubbles..."
    I realised at that moment that God was reminding me that the 'bubbles' in our lives are those moments, the "silly," abstract, sometimes instant moments in our lives that just make us smile. Those finer moments in life that are often forgotten because of the hustle and the bustle of reality.
    The moments that actually can sometimes define us.

    :) SO, don't forget the bubbles ;) especially in the times when you are feeling down. Because those bubbles are the smiles that can sometimes turn your lows into highs

  3. I too struggle with doubts sometime. Heard this song tonight on the ride home and thought about your post. It's called Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns. Give it a listen and I hope you like it.


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