June 24, 2015

The Danger of Doubt and How It Robs Us...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

This week, y'all!

For. Real.

The contrast has been startling and for a moment or two (or 10,000), I was left dizzy and spinning.

Let's just be real here.

This past week, I have felt both extremes of just how blessed I am and also of the depravity reality of this world. 

Last Thursday, I stayed mostly unplugged and offline, other than to joyfully respond to birthday wishes or to annoyingly post snapshots of my celebrating.

On Friday, I logged on and took all of 20 seconds to regret all of those happy clappy Instagrams because - gah - How can I celebrate in the midst of violence and tragedy and Charleston?

I admit, my first thoughts were sadly about me... about how my posts and updates may have been perceived... about how they may have come across as clueless, or worse, uncaring... how they may have hurt.

But those who know me know my heart so I quickly silenced those lies. However the stark contrast still took my breath away and left me feeling a bit sucker punched.

As in, "How dare you!"

I have found that this is most often the language the enemy uses with me. It backfired this time because it shook me awake once again. This is not about me. (Obviously!)
But then, it is. Isn't that the whole thing? It is...  it is about all of us.

My heart breaks for Charleston, for our country, for this divide and hatred and our (my) own ignorance.

Honestly, until recently, I didn't really know that racism was still a thing. I mean sure, in pockets and areas. Every once in a while a random event would cause ugliness to surface close to home. But I had no clue to what was so glaringly obvious to so many others.

For that, I am sorry. 

And I am awake now.

I don't want to write about racism.  Not because I don't think it's a problem or because I think it's too 'hot button' or whatever, but because there are so many others who are so much better informed, equipped, educated... who are already saying it!  People I love and respect like Deidra Riggs, Alia Joy, Colleen Mitchell, Lisha Epperson, Preston Yancey, and more.

But I also think that I'm not sure WHAT to say or to do to bridge the gap and help heal the hurt, but I want to say and do something! I am pretty sure that I am not alone here, so for those of us in this boat - we must speak up. Just say something. 

Say, "I see you."
Say, "I stand with you."
Say, "I'm here."

Can we be bold and just start from here? 
Say, "I don't understand, but I want to." 
Ask, "What can I do? How can I help?"

Our nervous silence does no good. 

I read THIS , and it helped. These are doable steps --starts, really - and we have to start somewhere if we want to see and be the Change that is so desperately needed!

But the reason I sat down to write today is not specifically about racism or Charleston or #GoingThere, but more about the danger of doubt and how it robs us.  I had this thought and I need to get it out and think it through and I seem to do my best processing when I pour out here in this space with you. (Thanks for that!)

At my summer Bible study yesterday, we started off with five minutes of silence as is our usual practice now.  Normally, the silence comes quick and my focus is Him and I enter right in. But yesterday, well, as I said, this last week has been hard.


One of my girlie's lost a good friend... 22, in a car accident. He was 22. I didn't know him but from what I've heard, he was a gift to this world and everyone in it. Twenty-two, with an unplanned future weighing down and life was taken... robbed.

Friends and family are battling - just - life, man! Sickness and pain... from the uncomfortable and annoying to the real life-threatening kind. 

Suffering is all around us.

It was near impossible to reign in my thoughts. I found myself giving way and making room for questions that can not demand an answer and Worry and Fear crept in.

Here's the thing about those guys... when you open the door to Worry, Fear is never far behind. But much like 'faith, hope, and love' - Worry and Fear travel in three's and Doubt is quiet, but he is always with them.

I felt Worry. 
I recognized Fear.
But Doubt is sneaky. You may not know he is there until your thoughts and questions begin to sound a bit too desperate and accusatory.

As soon as I heard Doubt in my prayers, I cried out for help. Doubt is dangerous because he steals our hope!  

Those guys are powerful and familiar and they know all my triggers.

If you give in to all three at once, --well, you get dizzy and lost.

Suddenly, I heard the Lord whisper, 
I am always your True North.

This was all in just five minutes of quiet.
(Well, you know, 'quiet'!)

It reminded me of when God invited me to go somewhere loud and listen for silence.  I'd been thinking of the challenge for a couple of weeks, but who wants to give up a cozy quiet spot on a secluded patio for a crowded room full of distractions? Still... I couldn't shake it and He seemed to be saying that Peace is a weapon and we must learn to hold on to it - even in noisy places!

So I went to Starbucks, and sat outside with what seemed like the rest of my town. I slowed my breathing and set my timer. I forced my focus to stay on Him. When the five minutes were up, I grabbed my pen and wrote this:
"In the midst of the noise...
all the chatter, business talk,
the Internet lingo, and Google Analytics,
the laughter and loud introductions,
I close my eyes and listen...
beyond the sound,
into the silence.
 For it's always there, waiting to be noticed.
A breeze softly blows and I realize that
as much as I have not liked the wind,
in this land-locked desert
the wind is the visible way
that You catch my attention
and remind me that
You are here!
Like a road map, "You are Here!"
     ...and it helps me find my way!"

I wrote that on Wednesday... and the winds blew.

And then Charleston... and the car wreck... and the doubt creeps in.

And then on Tuesday, God reminds me that He is here.
He is our True North.

Like a map that I can't read, I don't understand this world.

It's worn and broken, wrinkled and creased in some wrong places. But when we slow and look, we will find markers along the way pointing to Him. He is here.  He is our True North.

And somehow, this gives peace and grace
...focus and full breaths are possible once again.

And the winds blow...

Click to Tweet:

The Danger of Doubt and How It Robs Us by @KarrileeA

Peace is a weapon and we must learn to hold on to it - even in noisy places!

I am linking up with these lovely ladies this week:

Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory

Holley Gerth for #CoffeeforYourHeart


  1. Joining you from Coffee for Your Heart. Thanks for these insights and your honest, vulnerable heart.

  2. IT IS ALL ABOUT US - ALL OF US. Beautiful, heartfelt post, K. We must be that voice for the unheard. It is our call - to rise up and show up. Love you.

    1. Thanks so much Susan! I so appreciate your support and encouragement, and knowing you are standing up, rising up, showing up -right beside me!

  3. Peace. Thankful amid these turbulent times God still offers us His peace. Keep sharing your heart. It's a joy to follow you, friend, at #TellHisStory. Much love!

    1. Amen, Julie! I honestly had never thought of it as a weapon before! I mean - sure - I understand that our worship is a weapon... but so is the Peace that He gives to us!

  4. Oh, so much of what you wrote is how I have felt. Mostly I don't know how to be in this world and then I remember that this is not truly our Home. We are merely travelers here and I hope to leave good behind me -- real good, lasting good.

    When I read
    "Can we be bold and just start from here?
    Say, "I don't understand, but I want to."
    Ask, "What can I do? How can I help?"
    I almost cried.

    That applies to so very much of life. When I became a young(ish) widow, I was mostly abandoned because people didn't know how to act or what to say. Both of those things that you wrote would have made all the difference.

    You have a beautiful heart!

    1. Isn't that just the hardest - to admit that we don't understand or that we don't know something? I think our pride doesn't want us to be exposed and we so want to save face, but when we are real and acknowledge our not knowing... our not understanding - but explain how we WANT to know and understand and help and not hinder... that is such a great first step forward! Thanks so much for your support here! Sometimes these are scary posts... but it's for a greater good... the kind that we actually DO want to leave behind, as you said!

  5. Just beautiful... and thank you for the gift of sharing your thoughts with us even though it must have been hard to do so. Karrilee, soul warriors and word gifters like yourself ARE making this world a better place, ARE drawing others to His kingdom!
    Don't you ever doubt it ;)
    Much love, blessed by your words once again...

    1. You just can't know how very timely each of your lovely comments are for me... just when I need them most! Thank you!

  6. I love that the West Coast Girl used "y'all!" Bless your heart. :) I think Charleston touched a lot of people deeply, but it's easy for us to hop to the next thing. This is really a Western culture thing IMO. When you were over on my blog earlier today, I don't know if you noticed or not, but I wrote about Charleston last week. http://www.marshasmusings.com/blog/thoughts-on-charleston-pray-for-peace

    I can relate to what you're saying about the word "Doubt" popping up. It's been all over the place in my mind over the past week. I appreciate you sharing your words of encouragement.

    Have a blessed week.

    1. Marsha, first of all - I say 'y'all' all the time! I think people are disappointed when they meet me inrl and I don't have a Southern accent! ;) It's so warm and welcoming... what's not to love?

      Thanks for the link to your post on Charleston - I will go read it for sure! Thoughts and prayers continue... seeing so many walk the bridge was so powerful and full of hope!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I want to leave a really good comment that tells you exactly what I think and feel about what you've written...and I just don't have words. Only thanks. Doubt, worry and fear are all too familiar to me. I want to punch them in the face.

    1. I adore you! You punch 'em in the face and I will roundhouse kick 'em and let's just Take. Them. Down. already, ok? xoxo

  8. Love this post friend! I'm just as guilty of letting fear and doubt creep in. There is indeed so much suffering in our world. A parishioner at my last church died of a drug overdose two weeks ago. He was in treatment and was 23 years old. So sad! God is indeed our true north. Here in the prairies of ND that wind is always blowing. It will remind me of your words everytime it blows. Praying for Charleston here too!

    1. My friend, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of one of your parishoners! 23... it's always sad when I life is taken, but 23? Praying for his family and the congregation... life is hard, but always (somehow) God is good! Praying with you, and learning to love the wind!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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