Beginning to Doubt

I’m a doubting Thomas,
I’ll take your promise,
Though I know nothing’s safe.
Oh me of little faith.
–Nickle Creek

Sometimes, it is not easy to live a life of uncertainty, a life of faith.

A few days ago, I got another rejection from a magazine that I had hoped would publish a piece of fiction I wrote, a piece I really believed in, a piece I really thought was good. But now I am beginning to doubt. I am beginning to doubt myself, my calling, my talent and even my faith.

I feel most in-tuned with God when I am writing creatively.  Most of my work as a Christian is tied to my work writing and editing for this very site. So when I start to doubt my writing, I begin to doubt everything.

Faith, like creativity, cannot be proven. I may never know if the God I believe in is real, just as I may never be able to empirically evaluate my talent as a writer or editor.  And just like faith, it doesn’t matter how many times someone else tells me that I am good, or that God exists, if I can’t believe it for myself.

So, one big rejection and I am beginning to doubt it all. Yet, I know as both a writer and a Christian, doubt is as essential as faith. I might even go so far as to say doubt is essential to faith. There are no sweeping comebacks if we don’t fall down.

I think to make sure I am sane, I have to doubt. If I am to continually believe in things that cannot be proven, I think a bit of doubt and perspective might help me decide what I want to believe in, and what might just be too far-fetched.

But the most important thing about my doubt is that I don’t leave it there. I work through the doubt, in my faith, in my writing. Will Donnelly recently asked “What if we were to see it [doubt] as the fire-starter it is?” Indeed, I know that doubt can move me to better places as well as bitter ones.

My goal has never been to have unwavering faith, or constant inspiration. I want my doubt to move me. I want to work through my doubt to something greater. I want to have enough faith in my path, in my God, in myself to keep going with my doubts until the universe stops sending me rejections and rings with a resounding yes.

I often wonder what kind of example of faith I can be, when I question so much. Yet, I know that this is the only way to be an example of what I believe–to be myself, and live my life as I feel called, no matter how ridiculous I look or feel. I must share my doubts, when I have them, and my strength when it finds me.

But for now, it’s just me, here with my doubts and my determination. Just a doubting Thomas, with just a little faith–but that’s just enough to get me to somewhere good.

 

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About Autumn Elizabeth

Autumn Elizabeth is a writer, scholar, and outlaw. She is the author of My Life as Herbst and the Editor In Chief at Searching Sophia's Pockets.

5 thoughts on “Beginning to Doubt

  1. Allow me to say that this case of doubting your ability to do the thing you can do best can happen to every ”artist” or ”creative” person when they are told ”you are not good enough”. And it doesn’t mean necessarily mean that it is real. Because people have gotten different ways of beholding beauty and appreciating art. For example, drawing is my favourite hobby. And it happened before that I’ve been told your piece of drawing or painting doesn’t fit here… I started to doubt my abilities, because I thought to myself if the thing I can do well and I am passionately fond of was not that fine, what else I am good at? But, we learn from our mistakes and failures not from our success.

    In the end, it will all be for the best. It will push you to reconsider the job you’ve done and even your way of thinking, to work more, and improve. Doubt, to my thinking, is the door to new horizons because it makes you ask questions and look for the answers, and eventually you will find your own truth, your own light. Not only in creativity, but also in your faith in God. Doubt is an essential element of faith. Even Christ had these thoughts of doubting and reconsidering his message when he spent the night, on which he knew he will be taken to death, praying. And as Gibran said:

    “Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.”
    ― Kahlil Gibran

  2. Doubt as a fire starter, that is a beautiful thought. Thank you for being my partner in crime on this project, and know that you inspire me with your beautiful words, your passion, and your steadfastness even in the face of doubt. You may be doubting, but I don’t doubt you 🙂

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