Author’s Note: This is the third and final part in a series on my personal struggle with doubt and faith in God. If you would like to read the previous posts in this series so that you get the whole story of the long journey that I went on and that God brought me out of, you can do so here and here. Please feel free to comment or send me an email with any questions you have regarding these posts! At the end of this post I have included a list of resources that were helpful to me during my struggle and might benefit you.
Last time I shared how I wrestled with God over some serious doubts during a very difficult time in my life. I had been feeling like I needed a grand testimony to truly prove to myself and to others that God did make a difference. After a long stubborn struggle with God, I finally realized that the faith inside of me was the best proof I had that God was real and made a difference! My life was a living testimony of the work of Christ. All I needed to do was to continue stepping out and walking in that faith.
This sounds easy enough, until of course, it gets put to the test.
So fast forward about five years.
I’m 21 years old and sitting in a hospital bed.
A lady comes in and announces to me that my newborn son, just delivered by emergency c-section, has to be transferred to a nearby Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He was born with a rare condition that is threatening his life and must receive immediate care.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way! I kept thinking over and over. I just want to be with my baby and for him to be ok! God please don’t let me lose him!
He was whisked away and the only glimpse I saw of him was through a glass box that was wheeled by. The reality that my son could die or at best survive with a severe disability sat in my gut like a heavy rock. This was a level of horror I never could have imagined. I had never felt so helpless. So out of control.
And once again, the faith that I thought was now so strong, was being tested – only now in a level it had never experienced before.
After spending a week undergoing intensive care, I am thrilled to say that not only did my son survive, but he is a thriving little baby about to reach his first birthday and has tested negative for any signs of brain damage.
A real, life miracle.
But life, sadly, doesn’t always work out that way. And miracles don’t happen for everyone. At least not in the same way.
So that’s why this situation was hands down the hardest thing I’ve had to go through thus far. Because every moment of that week was breathed in faith.
Faith that God could save my precious child, and that He would if it was part of His plan.
Faith that if my baby ended up disabled that He would provide my husband and me the strength to get through.
Faith that if he did end up dying, the life he lived, though short, served a purpose, a purpose that I could still rejoice in, though filled with grief.
And when I brought him home for the first time, and the reality that we had experienced a miracle sunk in, I still needed faith.
Faith to accept that God chose us to go through that trial and that didn’t make Him evil.
Faith to accept that God chose us to come out of that trial, unlike so many other people in similar situations, and that didn’t make Him unfair to me or anyone else!
For we can never know the hows or whys of God’s perfect plan. We can never know ultimately why He allows some things to happen to some people and others He doesn’t allow. All we can do is have faith that what His Word says about Him being GOOD and SOVEREIGN and JUST and WISE is true.
Because we know that His Word is true.
And that is all we need to know.
I learned that week that a testimony of faith is not just something that happens once and you live off of that story the rest of your life. True testimonies of faith are continuing stories. I had no idea the plan that God had in store for me when my son was brought into this world. I was stretched, tested and transformed in ways I couldn’t even imagine.
But I saw God, that week in the hospital, more clearly then I’d ever seen Him in my life.
So here’s the thing, God may, and most likely has many more chapters for me in my continuing story. Some of which, may be a million times worse than what I’ve been through so far.
I don’t know what my future holds! All I know is that is that He has been so faithful to give me the strength to get through everything I’ve gone through so far, and He will continue to be faithful with whatever is to come.
And if by going through something terrible I get to see His beauty and miracle working power again like I did in the hospital, than it would be worth it.
So if you, like I did, find yourself in a season of searching, where your faith is being challenged and you are unsure of everything, know that God can handle your doubts. Jennie Allen tells a story in her book, Anything, of a friend of hers who was going through a period of doubt. Her response to her questioning is what I think we all need to hear.
“She felt guilty for questioning; she honestly did not even know how to question. Life’s realities were causing her to wonder why she’d ever believed in the first place, if her faith had ever been truly hers, or if she just believed because that was all she’d ever known. As we talked, I felt the Lord leading me to encourage her down this road.
“Laura, God can handle your questions, but don’t drag this out. Go there and then decide if he is real or not.”
She cried, fearing what her family would think, fearing what life would feel like if she did not believe in the God everybody she lived feared. But it was as if God was giving this good little girl permission to wrestle with him. The God of the universe was lovingly saying, “It’s okay.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means encouraging you to start questioning or doubting God. So please don’t do that! I’m also not advocating testing Him to see if He shows up. God’s Word specifically says,
“Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Matthew 4:7 NIV
So it is important that we approach Him with our questions with humility and a willingness to listen to what He has to say and accept with faith what He decides not to reveal.
If you are already struggling with doubt or some other trial, know that God is using this season in your life to reveal Himself to you in BIG WAYS. Remember: Faith must be tested and refined in order to be proven real. Go to that place of wrestling with Him, but do not linger there. Face your fears and admit them to God. He is big enough for them! By wrestling those questions with Him, just like how Jacob wrestled with God, you are opening the door for Him to show you just how He really is the answer to all your questioning.
I promise that if you let Him, He will use whatever you are going through to transform you, and just like how Jacob received a new name and became Israel, you too will come out of your trial transformed into a creature bearing His image.
Because when you have seen the face of God, and you have experienced the reality of His promises, you are never the same.
At my high school graduation I sang this song as a remembrance of the journey that Christ had taken me on and I knew would continue to take me on throughout my life. It’s pretty much the theme song to my life now. It’s all about surrender and how He always comes through. I pray it blesses you as it does for me every time I listen to it!
Here is a list of resources that really helped me get through my period of doubting and might encourage you as well! These products contain affiliate links so if you buy them through these links I will receive a little commission that helps to support this site.
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist – Norman L. Geisler, Frank Turek
The Cast for Christ – Lee Strobel
More than a Carpenter – Josh D. McDowell, Sean McDowell
Battling Unbelief – John Piper
It’s Not Fair! – Wayne A. Mack
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