Dealing with Doubt
This past week was one that threw me for a loop.
There wasn’t one major thing that hit. It was a series of small things that kept hitting me.
Saturday was the final straw. I was on a training run. While running, I mentally processed the week, released some stress, and was feeling strong and confident about my upcoming race. It was like saying goodbye to a stressful week and turning the last page of that chapter.
And then, at the 11th mile (of 12), my left toe got hooked on a crack in the concrete and I fell ... hard.
It happened on a busy street, in front of a bunch of people in their cars. I was embarrassed and shocked and my adrenaline kicked in. I got up and ran the last mile before I fully surveyed the damage.
My left knee is swollen and scraped up. And road rash covers the back of my right leg and right shoulder. I slid pretty far once I hit the ground. Fortunately, I was wearing a water vest that protected my back!
I started questioning everything.
The last time I was close to a half marathon, I was hit by a car while jogging through a crosswalk. And now, three weeks out from my next race…I’ve had a bad fall.
Is God trying to tell me something?!
Should I quit running, even though I love it?
Or... is He telling me to toughen up and keep going?
When discouragement comes, it can make us doubt everything. We just want to escape the uncomfortable and move into something that will make us happy. But getting curious about the doubt can help us know what to do next. To get curious, we need to stop and consider what's going on. This involves pausing before making the next move.
Pausing can be hard.
Yet pausing is sometimes exactly what we need so we can get into the right mental and emotional space to make the next move.
In the pause, we don't simply do nothing. We can actually do something really important. We can turn our heart toward God and listen for His direction. Only when we’re in that place of resting and receiving can we truly discern His voice and understand the why and the what to do next.
Here are some of the questions I’ve been wrestling with as I look to Him:
1. Did God place a passion, and an ability, for this inside of me?
2. Is this a challenge or setback that people normally face in this type of situation or is it so out of the ordinary that it could be God trying to get my attention?
3. Has God placed something else in my life that should take the place of this activity for a season?
4. Does this activity lead me closer to the heart of God or pull me away?
5. If I imagine myself letting this activity go, would I feel sadness…or relief?
6. If I imagine myself continuing in this activity, would I feel sadness…or relief?
7. What impact is this activity having on my walk with God?
8. What impact is this activity having on my family?
9. What impact is this activity having on my faith?
10. Do I do this activity for myself? For God? For both of us?
11. Have I asked God to grow something in me recently (like patience or forgiveness) and is this His way of answering that prayer?
If you’re wrestling with the next best step, I encourage you to take a few minutes and ask yourself these questions. I pray they bring you clarity and help you get closer to the best next step for your life.
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To Your True Health,