I drove below the speed limit that night four years ago, mainly because tears blurred my vision, plus I had a lot to say to God before I arrived home in 20 minutes.
It didn't seem fair that God was nudging me--more like shoving, actually--toward this crazy writing for publication thing. I had dropped out of high school in my senior year because I was on my own and had to earn a living. Though I had earned my G.E.D., it felt paltry when everyone at the writers conference I just left held degrees in journalism, literature, English.
While I felt strongly that God wanted me to begin writing and submitting articles to magazine publishers, I felt ill equipped for the task. Tears flowed as God and I hashed it out in the car that night. "How can you expect me to do what they can do, Lord? I don't have their education. It just isn't fair!"
I struggled with doubt because in the natural, I simply didn't have the qualifications those other writers possessed. The degree holders were smart, polished, accomplished. They knew what they were doing. I didn't.
Doubt besieged my mind, and I fell asleep wondering how on earth I could write and get published without the credentials a college education provided.
That night, I dreamt I was running next to an enormous chariot of fire that descended next to me. The heat from the chariot radiated out and energized me, supernaturally enabling me to run with amazing strength. My body felt light and tingled with energy and joy. I ran and ran for miles (and laughed!) and realized that this must have been how Elijah felt when he ran before Ahab's chariot (see 1 Kings 18:46).
When I awoke, I realized that although what God was calling me to do felt distinctly impossible, with His strength, I could accomplish it easily--and with great joy. I simply needed to remain close to the Lord--my source of strength.
This did not mean I didn't have to do my part. I made the commitment to study the craft, join a critique group, attend conferences, and strive toward improvement.
Unfortunately, doubt has continued to make encore appearances, uninvited. It's an ongoing tug-of-war as I struggle to displace doubt and believe God. But I've come to understand, believe, and declare to the Lord "You can do all things, and no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted." (Job 42:2)
I don't know if you play tug-of-war with doubt, but I do know that all of us could use a friend who gets in the dirt with us, grabs hold of the rope and says "We're gonna win this thing!". I'm currently reading Renee Swope's book, A Confident Heart, and trust me, she is the friend you want in your corner when you're battling doubt. Her book is helping me continue to change my thinking and believe God's word like never before.
I'm giving away two signed copies of A Confident Heart! To enter my give-away please leave a comment telling me where doubt hits you hardest. I'll pray for you this week and you'll have the opportunity to win a book that will strengthen your confidence in the Lord. After reading this book, I believe that you will run with fire!