What helps you when you have doubts about your faith?
Doubts come to everyone, they are part-and-parcel of the concept of faith, but that does not mean that we are powerless against them. What we do when we experience doubts is very important. Doubts can point us in the direction of questions that we need to ask and seek answers for, or they can show us clearly “where our treasure lies” and help us reevaluate where our heart actually is. Or perhaps our doubts simply need to be told where to go, and refused the oxygen to keep on growing.
When doubts threaten to throw us off course, listen to them and act, but don’t listen to them and despair!
Here we share what individual members of our team do, in their own words, when they meet with doubts and difficulties. Let’s continue to help support each other on the road of faith – please feel free to leave your own comment below, sharing what has worked for you!
…I tell Him how much I’m struggling, or how angry or frustrated I feel. Then I thank Him and ask Him to help me. I remember the story of Jacob wrestling, and take comfort that God let Jacob wrestle with Him all night. Sometimes I think our doubts allow us to work things through. If God waved a magic wand over the situation we might miss the gift that God gives us of working things through with Him, together, side by side. And sometimes, God can then come in at the end of the turmoil and slot it all into place.
…I force myself to go to daily Mass.
…if I find myself wondering if a particular aspect of my faith is real, I think of the reasons I previously believed in that idea. Or I look at bigger aspects of faith that I still hold fast to, which offset the doubt I’m currently experiencing, or at least keep me going till I can sort the issue out.
…prayer. Sometimes just being in the presence of God (in Adoration, for example) has helped me a lot. Contemplation, basically.
…Screenshot them or download them whenever I come across quotes from saints, popes, current Catholic figures, quotes from books etc, that reaffirm my faith. Then I save them to a folder on my phone and scroll through them every now and then. Sometimes I forget why I saved one, and it hits me all over again. Sometimes it reminds me of a time when I felt worse than I do now, and I can give thanks for God’s grace and healing in my life!
…with someone. Or being honest with God. I’ve been reflecting on this the past year or so. We try to be perfect even in front of God (who knows us completely). I’ve become more honest in my prayer and instead I say: “I’m not trusting you so much right now, or it’s hard to believe in you, but I’m still here.” You know what I mean?!
…so much. God works through other people, friends, family etc. Sometimes someone else can give you a perspective you don’t have. Or recommend a book you’d never thought of. Or give an experience they’ve lived through already. Really helps. You don’t have to be alone or feel guilty in it.
…and praying a rosary, or decade, or Hail Mary, and trusting that she understands my struggle and will not leave me stuck in it.
…are often related to when I generally feel down and doubtful about everything! I end up doubting that God is good and loves me, rather than doubting aspects of the Faith, as such. So, I agree with the above about re-connecting with God through prayer and thanksgiving, Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacraments, but I also go to the gym, get out into the countryside, socialize, spend time with my family, read good books, listen to uplifting music, cook and eat well. Basically, lifting my mind and body out of the morass is key to restoring my faith in the goodness of God. In terms of correcting any uncertainty about the tenets of Faith, then there’s nothing better than reading, reading, reading – and then discussing what you’ve read with a willing companion (perhaps over a glass or two of whisky).
…or anxiety and tell someone about it. Naming it and communicating it is something the devil doesn’t want, he wants us confused and afraid to reach out. Isolation is what is hard for me.
…I will make the time to seek someone out to talk about it. Or research the issue online. But if I just feel yuck, I will force myself to carve out a prayer time and take it to the Lord and just lay it before Him. And praying “Jesus, I trust in You” even when I don’t really feel it, helps so much. I know this has been said by saints, but we pay God a great compliment when we place all our trust in Him even when we don’t feel it.
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