Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dealing With Doubt, Part 2

(If you missed yesterday's post you can read the first part of the story here.  Continuing the story....)

Walking to the front of the church was hard and rather scary but I knew I needed prayer and I knew I needed to reach out.  Normally I would have had my husband come along up with me, but he saw someone he recognized who he didn't realize attended our church across the sanctuary.  He wanted to go say 'hi'.  And, I figured I was capable of going up by myself.

When I reached the front a man directed me to 2 women who were part of the ministry team and would be able to pray with me.  When I tried to explain why I was there I immediately started blubbering and couldn't seem to clearly express what was going on inside me.  (I have always been terrible at expressing myself when I speak...writing is the only way for me to formulate my thoughts into some clear meaning.)

I managed to get out that I felt like I was under spiritual attack.  I explained that I was struggling hugely with depression and doubt.  I shared a little bit about how those seeds of doubt started.  I tried to put into words in a minute or two what has been plaguing me for months.  I don't feel like I did a very good job.

As both women listened I felt very self-concious.  I didn't know them.  I had broken down crying in front of them.  And, I felt like I was just babbling and not making much sense.  They both just kind of looked at me.  The younger of the two women was looking at me rather sympathetically and with concern.  But the older of the two seemed to just stare coldly at me. 

When I finished talking the older of the two spoke first.  Her voice had the same no-nonsense quality to it of a strict teacher.  "Have you been reading your Bible every day?" she asked.  Trust me.  I understand the importance of staying in the Word.  That's pretty much drilled into every good church-goer from preschool years on.  I know that's what I should be doing.  But, everything has been flat and hollow lately.  The things I know I should do, the answers I know as a Christian haven't been enough.  Lately when I'd been picking up my Bible it wasn't the comfort it usually is.

"No" I admitted.  "I haven't been".  

"Well there's a big part of your problem right there.  You need to be putting on your spiritual armor every day.  Without that you leave yourself open to attack."  

With her words I felt condemnation spread over me.  It was my fault that I was going through this.  If I were following the 'Christian formula' of daily devotions I would be able to fight off the depression and doubt.  I felt like I shouldn't even be standing in front of them wasting their time.  What I needed to do was to start reading my Bible, not coming to front of the church for prayer.  (My perception)

The younger of the women was gentler with me.  She asked me a couple questions and then started to pray for me.  Her prayer was comforting and encouraging.  Her prayer lended me strength.

When she finished praying the other woman began to pray and it went something like this..."Lord we ask that you help Karen to remember the importance of daily coming to your Word.  Lord help her to remember first thing in the morning to start her day with you and not to wait thinking she'll get to it later, because later never comes.  Lord she needs to remember that she needs your Word to guard against the enemy's attack." 

Again, a feeling of condemnation washed over me.  The younger woman jumped in with a prayer that seemed meant to smooth over the other woman's words.  She prayed against any spirits of 'religiosity' and asked for God to reveal himself in a deeper way through relationship.

I was a mess the whole time....crying and crying.  And, when they finished praying I thanked them and walked immediately to the restroom to try to wipe my flushed face.  It was flushed not just because I'd been crying but also because I was so embarrassed.  I felt truly stupid for going up front and trying to pour out my heart to people I didn't know.

When my husband asked me as I was making lunch how prayer had been I couldn't answer him.  Once again the tears came.  Once we finished lunch and had the boys down for rest time I was finally able to sit down with him and share the whole experience.  I told him how the woman made me feel.  And, my husband was upset.  He wished he had gone up with me.  And, he wished she hadn't said the things she did.

The one positive outcome was that he and I had a really good talk that afternoon.  I was finally able to share with him fully how deeply I'd been struggling.   He knew some of it, but I don't think he realized the extent.  My husband prayed with me and for the first time in a long time I didn't feel completely alone.

(More thoughts to come in the next post...Part 3)


  1. I'm so sorry!! I too have had experiences like this and they can be so damaging and discouraging. I'll be praying for you.

  2. Just want to thank you for your honesty. I can relate to so much of what you are saying.

  3. First, so thankful for your husband being a man of God.
    I believe you did the right thing by going forward and asking for prayer.
    I pray that the Lord uses the experience to help both women praying for you.
    I am sure we all have "different" opinions in our churches.
    I have had very uplifting times when going forward to ask for prayer and some questionable ones depending on who prayed for me.
    And if that didn't happen, maybe you and your husband wouldn't of had the talk that you did.
    Don't ever be embarrassed to cry- I am learning this too.
    I am a very prideful person (another thing I work on) but if I do cry, watch out- I can't stop.
    I believe so many women are going through the same thing or something like it.
    Please keep sharing.
    And we will keep praying.
    And if there is anything I can do for you- let me know.


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