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Doubts and Mother Theresa

I'll lett you in on a huge non-secret; I doubt. I doubt whether God loves me. I doubt whether I can do anything good for our world. I doubt if my one voice can make a difference. I doubt whether I can trust God to care for me. I even doubt whether I'll ever feel better, or whether it's worth trying to do so. It's very easy to become overwhelmed by doubts. And when I do, I also wonder if I'm a complete fraud. I doubt whether I should even be a social worker, whether I can even partner with someone to aleviate their pain and suffering, or help advocate for them to get what they need.

Sure, I think I have the skills, and think God will get me through, but I admit that I doubt a lot. And, when I doubt, I feel like I am the worst so-called Christian out there. I feel like I shouldn't doubt. This is an old struggle which I never quite overcome. My journey.. my story... my narrative... No matter how you say it, the narrative or journey has a recurring theme of struggle and doubt. And the doubt can be so dark I fear to share it with others.

Eventually, I find some way to aleviate the doubt. I pray, I ask for help or I journal. But I always wonder if I can really do anything with so much doubt. So it was with some interest that I read this post on BlogHer about
Mother Theresa's letters
which showed that she doubts too.

It seems to me that she's the person people point to when they wantt you to feel guilty. They talk about how "Saintly" she was. The speak of her goodness and her hope.

What I'm reading here is that we've painted a very different picture of her than what she was like in real life. Yes, she was good, and she served, but she had her doubts. For once, can we as a society accept that doubting does not mean we're wrong?

I think this simply means that faith and hope are much more complex. Faith and hope can have their doubts and dark spots. And if we accept that, our lives are still hard, but we can then begin to be free from guilt in that regard.

What strikes me is that Mother Theresa was willing to write down her doubts and fears. I've not read the book, so can't really analyze what's written there. And I'm not reading the media about it because I know it will make me angry. She has been so celebritized, and her wishes were not followed. And on some level, it speaks to her wisdom in asking that her writings be destroyed. I'm not so sure that she was ashamed of her doubts as much as that she new that people would use them in harmful ways.

But anyway, back to what I wanted to say originally: I'm encouraged to know that a woman who helped so many people, and did it with love had her doubts too. Maybe that means I can help people too, doubts, fears, inadequacies and all.


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Aug. 31st, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
That is incredibly profound! And I'm glad you posted this as a public post. Do you mind if I link to it?
Aug. 31st, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
Re: Wow!
I definitely don't mind if you link to it. I'm glad you found it meaningful, and that you think it's linkworthy!
Aug. 31st, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Making a difference
You are not alone in the doubting-yourself game. I doubt myself often.

When you talk about making a difference, I want to let you know that maintaining this blog (your blog) has made a difference. For it has educated me as to how to make resources more accessible, and how to be more "accessible" (as a person) to other people, too. Recently, I was given the opportunity to be on a project committee at a large hospital (read my blog entries) and one of the things I made sure that the committee was aware of and wouldn't forget was how to make forms and other resources accessible to people with disabilities that can't understand printed material.

And I have often found the most understanding people, when I ask for some sort of accommodation for my disability, are involved in social work. They make sure that "making accommodations" is no big deal, which is a nice feeling to experience.

Courageous Heart
Sep. 1st, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
I think everyone has questions, doubts...or they're brain dead. :)

Jan from http://thepoodleanddogblog.typepad.com/
Oct. 11th, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
Hello from a brother in the lord
Hey, I just read your post on doubt. I just want you to know that I'm going through a similar situation.. About ten years ago, God began a work on my eyes -- healing them that is. It was quite the experience. One of the things I've learned, though, is that faith is a choice. It doesn't matter how I feel, I still choose to trust God When I go through those times of doubt, I pray a prayer like this, "God, I know your word says... (put whatever you are trusting him for) and even though I don't feel like I'm trusting you, I still choose to trust you anyway." The word of God is so powerful that your emotions and feelings have to line up with it. In conclusion, faith is a choice no matter what circumstances tell you. That's why we're crazy enough to be Christians, ya' know. (smiles) Sorry there's no sinsable formatting in this thing. Hope that helped a little.

Tim Kilgore

P.s. I just found out I could have put paragraphs in properly. Funny that.
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