Freedom to Doubt

There are some people who you don’t have to know very long to know they are something special.  They bubble over with enthusiasm for life and an authenticity that challenges and inspires.  Emily Rogers is the definition of bubbling over!  I’ve had the treat of crossing paths and working with Emily through Shattered Magazine.  She is the managing editor for this fantastic publication.  I’m honored that she would share her heart with us in today’s post, Freedom to Doubt.

To me, faith is–less like swimming serenely in a cool blue pool and more like cannon-balling into a muddy Alabama lake while the tornado sirens sound. Anyone else feel this way?

At the end of each day, I arrive at one glaring thought – this is such a complicated world.

Each morning, we are jolted into living in an environment filled with a mixture of desperate moments of tragedy and hysterical moments of joy. We enjoy and celebrate, yet, stress and mourn. We are completely manic people operating in an impossible rhythm of a complex life. We need a break. And yet, we scoff at moderation and plunge ourselves into a senseless society filled with fleeting happiness and quick fix mends.   

 I am reminded of Jesus walking on water in Matthew, chapter 14. Although this is one of the more regularly told stories of Jesus, I’ve never applied this to my life before. I’ve always just thought ‘miracles are miracles’. Ridiculous, I know. But, this story has been such a clear description of my faith lately. I have grown to appreciate and identify with Peter’s frailty.

Here’s why.

The gist of it is this…Jesus walks on water. The disciples doubt it is really Him. They challenge Jesus. Peter walks out to Jesus. Peter believes. Then, distracted by the swirling chaos around him, Peter begins to doubt again. Jesus rescues him. The storm is over. They send word to surrounding areas and begin to worship Him. Jesus heals and rescues many more.

This is my life. I seem to live in the storm – waves rolling, wind roaring, rain pounding. I am tossed and turned and overthrown every day. I have moments of clarity where I believe. Moments when I ask God, is that really You? But then, I begin to sink and doubt again. Every. Single. Time.  Jesus rescues.

My doubt does not result in failure. It results in rescue. [Tweet “My doubt does not result in failure. It results in rescue.”]

I finally believe that there is freedom in my miniscule faith. Freedom to feel doubt. Freedom to know that for ages and ages, fellow Christians have doubted and struggled to apply child-like-faith to their lives. Freedom to be so confused I just can’t function, to offer scraps of hope where I can, speak the truth to others, and simply love when nothing else makes sense.


So, this is where I rest – Faith is the belief and dependence on Christ and the frantic, drowning in the storm, calling out to Him. I know that God’s grace can fill the gap where my faith fails. It rescues me when I start to sink and supports me when I think I can swim alone. The gaping distance between my teensy-tiny faith and the will of God is filled by his eternal grace.

And that’s reason enough for me to proclaim faith. I know He will rescue.

[Tweet “God’s grace can fill the gap where my faith fails”]

Question: What about you?  Do you feel guilty when you doubt or do you feel secure knowing the arms of Jesus are there to rescue?  What images help you as you overcome doubt?

emilyEmily Rogers is the managing editor for Shattered Magazine where she writes, rambles, and pursues stories of all kinds. She and her husband reside in the Five Points community of Huntsville, AL with their two curly mutts. Emily enjoys cooking for big crowds, old houses, throwing parties, the Carolinas, and dabbling in wedding planning. Follow her for more @emilyprogers

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