Getting Beyond the Shadow of Doubt

When I was a kid I thought I was invincible. In my mind, there was literally nothing I could not do. I climbed trees, played with caterpillars and caught fireflies in jars. I explored my expansive yard and imagined myself as my idol–Wonder Woman! My childhood was not drama free, but my imagination was like a protective cloud into which I would ascend up and away from the mundanities of daily life.

Then I became a teenager and the bubble burst. I was introduced to mean girls and bullies that my imagination could not wish away. Middle school was a war zone and my side was losing!

High school wasn’t much better. By graduation I emerged bruised, but hopeful. The future seemed more promising than the past. However, I underestimated the extent of my psychological injuries. Suddenly faced with the weight of my choices I was overwhelmed by the reality that my future was up to me! While I knew what I loved–books and writing–my former confidence had long since left me. What if I chose wrong? What made me think I could make a living as a writer–“a writer?” Someone scoffed. “You can’t make a living doing that!”


Unlike the little girl who was undaunted by trees and laughed at the tickle of caterpillar legs, my teenage self was immobilized by fear. Doubt crawled out from under my bed and hovered over my dreams.

“You can’t” became my blanket, covering me when I wasn’t cold.

“You can’t” drove me to a different destination, a detour I never intended.

“You can’t” shouted at me from the stands and stopped me in my tracks.

“You can’t” has held me captive. When will I be free?

When I recognize the signs of succumbing:

  • listening to people who don’t have my best interest at heart
  • believing people who don’t know what God has planned
  • wavering in uncertainty rather than trusting in what I can’t see

If I’m ever to move past this point where I always stall, I must reach back and grab hands with the little girl who didn’t know fear. I must re-capture the imaginative mind that dreamed of possibilities, rather than allowing my thoughts to drift towards all the improbabilities.   If I could only reach out and boldly grasp what God is holding out to me! Overcoming the shadow of doubt may be the hardest hurdle, but it is not impossible.  

Do you believe it? Come with me.  Let’s reach for it and keep reaching!

Cover photo courtesy of

In memoriam

The house is quiet. Everyone is sleeping, but my mind is not at rest.

It has been a week of losses, mine and others. Yet, the losses force me to reflect on life. We celebrated life this week. It’s a cycle–some die as others are born, but the new ones never replace the old. There is always a hole–a gaping wound–that, even when healed, leaves a dull ache.

Maybe we took our loved one for granted, overlooked the integral part she played in our lives, or assumed he would beat this as he had all the other times. Maybe we took for granted that there would be a next time.

Now it’s over and all we have are memories: countless encounters, frequent interactions and a significant presence, now significantly absent.

And we can’t stop the tears.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, but how was it supposed to be? The end was inevitable, yet we’re surprised we’re here…at the end.