There’s a guy in Asheville who turned my whole weekend around on Saturday, and he doesn’t even know it.
I have no clue who he is, although we chatted in such a way that my sister thought we did know each other. All I know about him is that he works at Farm Burger, he ran the cash register on Saturday, he is a redhead, he has a mustache that was actually kind of nice and wasn’t creepy, and he was kind. And he was a really big blessing to me.
I started out happy and excited on Saturday, but it changed. At every turn, I was being ignored or forgotten about, and I know that sounds exaggerated, but I promise it’s not. No one listened when I talked, and I had to repeat myself a lot because no one cared to listen the first time. So we were at the Asheville Comic Expo, which was very busy and filled with people, and I felt like a ghost that was trying to tag along.
Now, I’m a big girl with bright red hair. I look very different, and I take up a lot of space. I’m also very loud and opinionated, qualities that individual people and society as a whole tend to critique me on. So you can understand why I think it’s hard to flat-out ignore me without trying to on some level.
It wasn’t until someone actually looked at me and saw that I was just about ready to cry very publically, despite the fact that I hate crying in front of people, that anyone even realized something was wrong, let alone bothering me.
I know this probably sounds like a little kid whining that no one’s paying attention to him or her, but it was more than that. I felt so insignificant to everyone and everything around me; I doubted that I mattered, that my presence made any sort of difference at all.
We went to lunch at Farm Burger, which was new to me and completely crowded. I was feeling the contrast of being ignored and being big, so I felt bad about myself and bad about being in the way. I’m also a tad claustrophobic, so I started hyperventilating a little. As we moved forward in the winding line, I calmed down and started to feel a little better, like maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
When I got to the front of the line, I was prepared to just order and move on, but when I asked the cashier how he was doing, he spoke honestly about how they were busy and how he sort of wanted it to calm down a little. He sounded overwhelmed, and I could relate, so I told him about how dreadful the back of the line was compared to the front. I think it was just the case of two friendly talkers who needed someone to talk to. Although I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, I think he made me feel better because he was nice enough to act like he cared even if he didn’t, and out of everyone in that place, he vented to me. Even if I didn’t matter to anyone else, for a moment, I mattered to him because he seemed to feel better after our interaction. I know I did.
Doubt is one of the worst monsters because at some point, it comes after us all, and it comes with different faces to attack us. It’s a shapeshifter.
We doubt if we matter. We doubt our choices. We doubt ourselves. We doubt if God’s listening to us. We doubt if God loves us. We doubt God and His promises.
Faith is the opposite of doubt. Where doubt cripples us, faith heals us. Doubt harms and faith helps.
In our spiritual lives, we’re constantly practicing one or the other. Either we’re believing in God for something or we’re telling Him we don’t quite think He’s up to the task.
When Jesus invited Peter for a little stroll on the waves in Matthew 14:22-33, Peter stepped out in faith. When he got out of the boat, his mind, his eyes, and his heart were all set on Jesus. He’d seen Jesus do so many wild and weird things that, for a moment, walking on water seemed as normal as walking down the street.
Then the wind caught Peter’s attention. He began paying attention to the storm around him instead of his God in front of him. Doubt poured on deck, and our pal Pete began to sink.
Peter’s walk on the water and our walks with God were/are totally dependent on whether we have faith in God or whether we doubt Him.
If we believe in God, we need to act like it. We need to pray about things and speak encouragingly when we talk about them. Our mindset needs to be positive, and if any doubt tries to seep in, we need to pray that God would remove it.
Praying does no good if we don’t have faith.
I know a girl whose parents got divorced, and a few years later, she told me, “I pray they’ll get back together, but I know it’s not going to happen.”
I actually chuckled (rude, I know) and replied, “Then what’s the point of praying?”
If we have enough faith to believe that God loves and listens to us, if we have enough faith to pray, why not have faith that God will answer our prayers? Why not have faith that He’ll give us our hearts’ desires?
Doubt is a huge monster, and it pursues us all. It’s hard to beat regardless of the form it takes, but all it takes to defeat it is prayer and faith. Yes, it’s hard to take down doubt, but when it goes down, it goes down hard.
By Carrie Prevette