For a long time, I didn’t feel like I could talk about my doubts. I’d seen what happened when people questioned. My friends expressed their doubts and people told them the “right” answer so that they didn’t need doubt anymore.
It seemed like the goal when someone was unsure of their beliefs was to convince them of the answer so they didn’t doubt any longer. This didn’t help with the doubt. The doubt was still there. It’s tucked away under the surface. I was fearful of anyone finding out I was questioning God.
I became hesitant to say anything that had the possibility to be slightly controversial. I thought people might say, “You don’t really believe THAT do you?” Or they would go into some long winded apologetic explaining why and how I was wrong.
So for a long time, I said what I knew people wanted me to say. I knew all the “right answers” or at least what people told me was right. I thought I needed to have these right answers and be certain of my beliefs. I thought Jesus was looking for people who had all the answers and then He would be happy.
Many of the things I used to think were true I’m not so sure about anymore. I’m becoming content with uncertainty. I’m learning the only thing I’m certain of is my uncertainty. Instead of figuring out an answer to my doubts I’m allowing them to sit next to me.
Eight years ago I thought I had everything figured out. I thought I knew all the answers. After all, I had just graduated high school. My job was to inform/tell/make people believe the truth that I already knew. Then college happened.
I’m certain about wayyyy less now. Life seems to be about figuring things out along the way. It’s not about being completely certain. It’s being content with uncertainty. In the midst of my uncertainty, I find Jesus sitting patiently beside me.
Today I’m not afraid to express my doubts. I don’t have everything figured out. I don’t need all the answers. Christianity isn’t about having a monopoly on the truth. What I’m learning is Jesus is with me just as much in the midst of my uncertainty as when I think I’m certain about what I believe.
I now have people in my life who I can go to and talk about my new ideas and doubts. Someone who hears all my crazy thoughts and ideas is my wife, Caitlin.
As both, my wife and I are in the kitchen making dinner together we’re talking about our day with each other. It’s in the middle of the “about-my-day conversation” that I’m reminded of something I’ve been thinking about. Caitlin never judges me, says I’m dumb or even tells me how wrong I am because the answer is obviously this or that. She asks more questions. She seeks to understand my perspective and she cares about what I think.
This allows me the freedom to process what I believe. Caitlin and I have had these type of conversations in our kitchen or in the living room more times than I can count. These conversations have helped me move closer to God. Caitlin has helped me see what Jesus is like because like Caitlin Jesus listens. He cares about my doubts. Jesus isn’t scared of my questions, He welcomes them.
Caitlin has allowed a space for me to say what I think. She welcomes my doubts. Sometimes I say things that I don’t even believe. I’ve learned that vocalizing what I don’t believe helps me to understand what I do believe. Nothing is off limits.
This doesn’t mean I have the right answers. I’ve thought through why I don’t believe certain things which has helped me wrestle through what I believe about God. These kitchen room moments have been instrumental in my relationship with God.
Find people who will listen to your craziest thoughts, not judge you, who will listen and stand (or sit) with you as you’re wrestling with God. True friends are the ones who will walk with you through the most difficult doubts and not leave you by the side of the road.
These are the ones, I believe, who most embody Jesus. People who don’t run when you ask hard questions but instead they lean in and ask, “Can you tell me more about that?” They walk with you and they love you and your doubts. They don’t try to change you into what they think you should become. They know your doubts are a part of who you are and they love every part of you including your doubts.
If you’ve had some great kitchen conversations I would love to hear about it. Feel free to comment below or email me. Thanks!