It is already that time of the year. You do know what I mean? It’s tax time. I sat down to calculate some income numbers for hubby. He starts working on taxes as soon as the new software is available. This provided an opportunity to review the past year from a lens I haven’t used before, a financial lens. How many books sold suddenly became my measure of success for the past year. Seeds of doubt started to take root. Questions of “why” started to loom.
When I gave the number to my husband, his eyes said it all. They were filled with disappointment. He was doubting my goals as much as I was. The seeds were starting to sprout. I started to ponder questions. Was I “really” leaning into God’s purpose and plan for me? Did I screw up somehow? Did I miss an opportunity? Why didn’t things go as planned? Why do things seem to be stalled? Should I discontinue? Is there really supposed to be a book two?
See how quickly the questions and doubts can spin out of control? This wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time I have struggled with doubt. It happens to all of us from time to time. It is easy to get stuck and not know how to weed out the doubt..
It was about this time that my YouVersion Bible app invited me to participate in a reading plan. One of the plans is for breakthrough. This was not a coincidence. I decided this time was going to be different. I wasn’t going to let myself spin, question, and allow the enemy to distract me. I started praying and reading. I had already been talking to God about my doubt. Okay, so it was more like whining. He knew where my heart was at. These prayers were decidedly different. I started to pray for breakthrough in God’s plan for my life, the blog, book and speaking. One of the first scriptures in the reading plan was the prayer of Jabez. Maybe you remember it. There was a book written about it years ago. The entire book was based on this verse. I started praying it.
10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (1 Chronicles 4:10 NIV).
It’s not about being selfish. It’s about saying to God, “I will do what you set before me with Your guidance and protection.” A few days later I read these scriptures:
5-6 Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote,
God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me? (Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG).
16 This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. (Romans 4:16 MSG).
There is so much encouragement in Scripture. Praying with a focus on God’s hope and promises has lifted my spirit and allowed me to focus on what is next. Focusing on what is ahead rather than what could or should have been has been a valuable mind shift. I’m excited to see what God has in store for me this year.
What are your doubts. Where do you get stuck? How do you work through your doubt? Share your struggles and what you have learned. It’s great to learn together.