What To Do When Doubt Hits

{image: 123RF Stock Photo / Vasily Pindyurin}

{image: 123RF Stock Photo / Vasily Pindyurin}

Ever notice doubt gets extra loud and compelling when you’re taking a risk your heart knows you need—a risk you know somewhere deep down you were born to take?

Those moments can feel so disorienting.

Doubt-filled moments can tire us out, distract us, and make us feel small and lost when really, we know where God’s leading. We’ve known for a while.

These kinds of moments remind me of times I visit a mall or zoo and, when I look at the directory, the “You Are Here” sticker’s been scratched off so I can’t figure out which way will get me to a favorite shoe store or to see the gorillas.

Here’s the thing about the confusing moments when we feel small: they aren’t truth. Those images come from someone else. It might sound like the voice of an unsupportive friend, coworker or family member. It may feel like the wounds of our past. But really it’s the one whose job it is to prowl through the vast potential of our lives and mix up our thoughts so much we can’t find the You Are Here sticker.

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. [Jesus’] purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” — John 10:10 NLT

This thief shows us pictures to scare us. Ones like this, taken on one of my recent runs.

enemy perspective keep outWhen we see his sad pictures, we can get bogged down thinking

  • Look how intimidating that dream is!
  • I could never get past that barbed wire—it’s too strong, too dangerous.
  • That hoped-for, prayed-for, prepared-for landscape is impossible to reach.
  • Why should I even try?

Don’t fall for it, friend.

The enemy of our souls and dreams isn’t showing us what’s true, he’s showing us what is true for him. Because his days are numbered and this is the best view he will ever have of goodness and life.

You and me, on the other hand?

We’re really here.

true position in Christ

Or here.

lake view position in Christ

Or in one of a thousand other places in the wide-open air of freedom in Christ. Because no matter what the view seems to be in our moments of doubt, it’s God’s view that we can trust.

This weekend I’m doing something I’ve wanted to do for years: lead a group of women through an entire weekend, helping them see they’re not stuck behind a barbed wire fence with their gifts, quirks or relationships as mothers and daughters.

Everything in me soars with joy at the thought of their faces, their stories.

The enemy would be ever so happy to wedge barbed-wire images into my mind instead. And he’s going to fail. Because God who calls is faithful to complete this calling in me—in the women who are attending this weekend (see Philippians 1:6). I choose to look through the fence of the liar’s image and to, in faith, be vulnerable and take the risk to walk beyond it to the land of this long-time dream. Would you please pray for me as I do?

Where in your life is the enemy showing you scary pictures of your soul’s reality or desires? How can I partner with you in prayer as you choose the true picture—freedom—instead?

Hugs and shared trust in the truth,


Joining my friend Suzie Eller and others who choose healing change—beginning right where they are—at #livefreeThursday

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  1. Jane Franks says

    Laurie: This is incredibly timely! I will certainly pray for you!!

    I am in the middle of a HUGE negotiation on a business project in which God has miraculously opened several doors that have given me access where I needed to have it in a way that was incredibly “easy” and could not have happened without Him! The outcome of this business project has HUGE ramifications for us both ministry wise and financially! That’s the good news!

    But. . . I have suddenly run into a “fence”! We have some negotiation to do to get to the other side of the fence, and I have been tempted to think EXACTLY what you have written. I feel like you have been reading my mind!! YET, at the same time, I’ve been reading John Lennox’ new book, Against the Flow, on Daniel, and have been so encouraged to again be reminded that “there is a God in Heaven who reveals his mysteries to those who trust Him”. . .and I have been reminding myself that that SAME God who gave Daniel the wisdom to know and interpret Nebucadnezzar’s dream, changing the course of his life, and history!. . .and later delivered him from lions. . .is with me, too, and can certainly tear down this fence!

    Thank you for the reminder of who it is that sends us these negative messages and sometimes from the mouth of a friend! That happened to me yesterday!!! I needed to read this! Bless you!! And I look forward to hearing how God blessed your weekend!

    • says

      Jane, Thank you so much for your prayers. God poured out such beauty over the weekend. It was cold—even snowed just up the road from where the conference was!—but that added a fun element as women bundled up in rooms and played board games and ministered to one another. It was my first time leading a whole weekend, and girl? It was so much fun! God helped me key into when I needed to retreat myself to the quiet room for recharging, and that helped me stay present and love the women who attended with all my heart and energy when we were together. Such a gift—the whole thing.

      And you, I’m wondering how your situation is resolving. Were you able to get through that negotiation? I love that you’re choosing to trust the God truth, not the enemy’s cruddy version (even if it does sometimes sneak out through friends’ mouths! Hard, that.) Press on, friend. So good to “hear” your voice here.

      • Jane Franks says

        We have had some good things happen since I wrote last, but the “fence” I mentioned has not yet come down! I am still aware that the negative messages that want to bomb my mind do not come from the Lord; the shield of faith is still defending me against them. I will be working on a document today, that will be a piece of the negotiation that needs to take place. Please pray with me that God will give us the the right words to use, and the courage to WAIT for His answer. Also, that I can switch gears and work on other projects that must be done for our business, too. God has promised NEVER to desert us, and I’ve seen Him prove that true many times over. Thank you for your prayers! Bless you as you work through your own “fences”, too!

  2. says

    I’ve been praying since you told me about this. So excited about what God is going to do and how He’ll use you!

    I know you have been praying for me already. Thank you.

    Love you so much, Laurie!

  3. Jennifer Hallmark says

    You’ll do great. I’m trying to finish revising a novel to pitch in August at a conference…go away, doubt!

  4. says

    Praying for you, friend! What an exciting, God-honoring, soul-encouraging weekend lies ahead! (The Enemy’s lies got nothing on God’s good and glorious plans!!) Walk in His blessings. xoxo