It might seem an odd phrase, dabbling with doubt, but it came to me whilst driving yesterday. I had observed, through inner reflection, that I started to dabble with doubt at a young age. Doubt quickly lead to fear and anxiety. These three became habitual and all consuming.
As a parent I have observed my children dabble with doubt. However, mostly, this has taken the form of a healthy, appropriate and normal learning experience. What I try to do is teach my children healthy coping strategies. I watch them and let them dabble with doubt and fear and anxiety, but if it becomes consistent or reaches unhealthy and unhelpful levels then I try to helpfully intervene. After all, anxiety and fear, can be helpful emotions. They only become a problem if they are severe or overwhelming and start to effect everyday life. Having suffered from fear and anxiety for as long as I remember, and as part of a mix of psychological disorders, I know the importance of learning and practicing helpful and healthy coping strategies. For me that has involved learning Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT). I am now teaching some of these techniques to my children.
Alongside learning coping strategies, I have been blessed with a deepening relationship with Abba-Jesus-Spirit.
In Psalm 139, verses 11-15 say, ‘If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.’
I’m comforted to know that He knows me. He knows what I’m thinking and struggling with. The knowledge that even the darkness in my life and circumstances and mind cannot hide me from Him. His light overcomes all darkness and his light wraps around me, keeping me safe and sound.
So, on days when I’m anxious, fearful and doubting – like today – I can be sure that He is with me. I needn’t dabble with doubt – but I sometime do. Sometimes I even let it consume me. But, the closer I get to Him the easier I find it to escape the clutches of doubt and fear; or at least I’m starting to be able to.