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When Doubting is part of the Faith Process

March 18, 2017

How does it feel to have the news out there?

This is the main question we’re getting after sharing about our mid life awakening and here’s our real time response:

We feel scared and relieved. We feel sad and hopeful.

You see, this news of moving to Nashville wasn’t one decided overnight, but after years of inklings and listening and refusing to ignore a tug.

And then last week, Bry and I had our first what the heck are we doing? day. We looked at all the neighbor kids zipping down the street, weaving in and out and over a bike course made with orange football cones and wood ramps. We looked at our neighbors who have become like family since the summer. The ones I text, are my kids at your house? and they respond, now they’re coming over to yours. And we congregate between our homes, cups in hand, and shoot the breeze about everything and nothing.

We think of spontaneous taco dinners with my brother and sis, and how Book Club gathering is nothing short of heaven. I notice how the weather is getting warmer and I can literally smell one of my favorite smells on the planet- sea air – mixed with a hint of spring, and Bryan and I look at each other and say aloud, what are we doing? Why are we leaving this?

Doubt is a necessary part of this faith process. A must for our mid-life awakening. Because I suppose if leaving isn’t hard, then really, we don’t need faith. Maybe doubts come – not because we’re running away from a place we don’t love (trust me, we love it here) -but rather, because we’re running toward something we can’t quite put to words.

And I think some of you need to be encouraged with hope when doubts come.

Leaving is not easy. Right now we’re in packing-minimizing-have you worn this?-used this in the last year?-then into the garage sale pile it goes-mode. We’re in GO mode. Updating resumes and cover letters by the hour mode. Calling utility companies and forwarding mail and searching for TN homes mode. And then, like agreeing to pause wedding planning talk in exchange for a fun night to simply enjoy being engaged, we shut it all down and go on a family bike ride. We sit on the couch and read Frog and Toad with Ty for the millionth time, and even though a dozen things wait on the to-do list, I know this in-between spot can be beautiful if we create space to play and tell jokes around our worn patio table, belly laughing until water spurts out of our mouths.

I have to keep the emotions and blubbering tears at bay because there’s a dam that will erupt if I release it now. But just know, this in-between spot, this limbo is the hardest. It’s where doubts fly and I feel overwhelmed and scared but then I go back to the quiet, where God’s comfort wraps warm and deep, and I know without a question, that we are going where we are supposed to go. And doubts are a natural part of the grieving process. If not for doubt, faith wouldn’t be essential.

So friends, we ask for your prayers for strength as we apply for jobs, and pray for friends for our boys and for kids who our own boys will befriend, prayers as we house hunt, and pack, and gobble up intentional time with our people here, and prayers as we anticipate where we are going.

I’m amazed at how many of you have reached out with your own stirring stories. Stories to move or shift careers, stirrings to plant even deeper in your community, or risk leaving a job because the stress is deteriorating you from the inside out. I have talked, emailed, listened to your hearts and want you to know that you are so brave for asking the deep hard questions, and at the end of the day, would you rather risk listening to what’s inside or settle for status quo?

Doubt will come and with it the invitation to be human and grieve and be sad and hopeful all at the same time. Don’t let doubt undo you. Recognize it as a necessary part of the faith process. Notice doubt. Acknowledge doubt. And pay attention to the fact that maybe it’s not doubt but sadness at saying goodbye to someone or something. This is where doubt transforms into a heart prayer. So I guess in our doubts, we’re asking for prayer. And I want to ask the same of you. How friend, how can I pray for you? Right where you, just as you are?

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4 Comments

  • Reply Jessica March 18, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I adore your heart infinitely. I have so much hope and anticipation for all that will be so great and life giving for your family as you respond to this stirring and step by faith into all God has for your family. I also adore your brave loving authenticity that reaches out to us letting us know we’re not alone in what we’re walking in or when we face doubt. How God is right there with us and what it looks like to live in that tension and choose faith. You are a gem. We love and are praying for you guys. Are going to miss you having you near fiercely. And now I’m going to go cry a bucket of tears. Xo

  • Reply Ashlee March 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Girl, always speaking truth right when I need it most. I feel like every other day at this point is a “what are we DOING” day. And I’m starting to realize that this decision isn’t going to be doubt-free. I was praying for a burning bush type situation where all uncertainty would be erased… but I’m starting to realize that probably won’t happen and the tension/doubt is inevitable no matter what we decide. And faith is choosing to act even with the doubt. Thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging me along the way!

  • Reply Amy Boyd March 27, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Hi Bekah! Thanks for affirming the feelings of doubt as part of the faith process…several years ago I went through a terrible, unwanted divorce. I had lived for 16 years in another state and then felt God leading me home again. It was a doubt-filled, heart-wrenching, and hesitant time, BUT GOD was so faithful to grow me in ways I couldn’t even see at that time. Prayers for you and your family as you go through growing pains and tough transitions along your faith path.

  • Reply Hannah March 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    Aaaaaaand cue the tears. This post was perfectly timed as I sat down to catch a break after finding a giant leak in our roof during a storm, having to drive through high water to get my kids then coming home to smoke coming out from under the hood, and getting a call from the hospital with an unexpected bill from my surgery. I was smoked. I know it’s the enemy trying to discourage us because we’re selling our house to get out of debt and now I just see debt mounting. Ridiculous. I felt doubt but called it what it was – an attack. And open Feedly to blog read and found this. Geez. Thank you Lord, for your encouragement. Thank you Bekah, for sharing your life and your words and for going where you’re led. “…and at the end of the day, would you rather risk listening to what’s inside or settle for status quo?” That’s been our heart with our move…not settling for the status quo. L.O.V.E.

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