a visit with truth

*this is a follow-up to last week’s post, a visit with doubt. perhaps you, dear reader, understand the very-real struggle a Christian goes through with doubt. if so, please hear me when i say you are not alone. xo

one of the things i love most about Truth is that he is always, always there. even when i’m selfish and impatient, when i lash out and say things to him that i don’t really mean. when i’m petty and insecure, when i’m wrapped up in all my own problems and don’t even give him the time of day. even when Doubt comes around, Truth stands by and watches as i entertain the guest whom i can’t stand but yet can’t seem to get rid of. Truth is dependable. he is faithful. there have been so many times in which even i would have given up on myself. but still, Truth stays.

the other day, i found myself alone. not just in an empty house, but with a clear mind and steady heart, totally free. i knew Truth had to be close by–but over the years, i’ve found that sometimes he hides himself, which is okay, because he always shows up again at just the right moment.

so i was alone in the quiet, breathing it in, head bowed and eyes closed.
and then i heard him.

“do you know Me?”

Truth. i’d recognize that voice anywhere. my eyes snapped open, and i glanced around the room, hoping for a glimpse of him.

“do you know Me?” he asked again.

i was silent for a moment, trying to detect what i was hearing in his voice. it was him, i knew that much. but something was different, and i couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
“yes, i know you. i mean, i think i do. we’ve spent a lot of time together, after all. and all those conversations we’ve had over the years? yeah, i know you. …where are you, by the way?”

“if you know Me, then how could you ever doubt me?” Truth asked the question quietly, his voice low, and it was in that moment that i realized what was different. he was crying. i heard the hurt in every syllable his gentle voice spoke.

and suddenly, i was crying, too. hot tears sprang to my eyes, and i sat there, not knowing what to say. Truth had always been so good to me. it was his nature; i’d never seen him be anything but. and he was always watching out for me. he’d rescued me from some pretty tough situations, and i’d joked with him about how he was my superhero, and he smiled and said he’d be there whenever i needed him.

and now, this one who had been always good and always loyal and always loving to me, was crying, and i felt horrible. i had hurt his feelings.
“i’m sorry,” i cried out. “Truth, i am so, so sorry.” i had no idea how to answer his question. how could i doubt him? it made no sense, and i certainly had no reason to.

all of a sudden, Truth walked into the room, and i saw it all, saw everything so clearly. as i looked up at his tear-stained face, i knew my folly.
i had been hypocritical.
i had been impatient.

i had listened to Doubt’s lies.
i had been selfish.
i had acted like i didn’t even need Truth at all, like i could do it all myself.
i called him my closest friend
and yet–i didn’t fully trust him.

he sat down at the table, watching as i came to terms with how i’d been acting lately. i had no excuse, no reason i could give to make it all better. the only thing to do was to apologize and ask his forgiveness.

i opened my mouth to speak the words, when Truth reached for my hand across the table and held it firmly in his own.
suddenly, i heard a knock at the door, loud and impatient. i knew that knock, had heard it a million times before. Doubt was back.

i sat frozen in my chair, hand still holding onto Truth. i didn’t know what to do. Doubt always had a way of showing up at the worst times. he kept pounding at the door, and i knew it was only a matter of time before he turned the door handle and pushed his way in.

i stood up, and Truth rose to his feet with me. i caught his gaze, and he nodded, as if he knew exactly what i was thinking. together, we walked to door, where Doubt was still knocking, louder and more abrasive by the minute.

for a moment, i paused, my free hand hovering over the door handle. i felt Truth gently squeeze my other hand, and everything within me smiled at that moment. i took a deep breath,

and locked the door.

a visit with doubt

recently, my old friend acquaintance Doubt came to visit. he’s an unwelcome visitor, yet somehow i always find myself opening the door and inviting him inside. i think it’s because he always shows up when i’m weak. tired. when i have little strength in me to put up a fight, to say no, to slam the front door in his face.

and the worst thing about Doubt is that he’ll stick around for days. he knows i don’t want him there–but he also knows i won’t kick him out, either. so he stays. he makes it hard for me to sleep. he distracts me throughout the day. he always interrupts when i try to pray. he’s cruel, and he knows it. but he’s also smart enough to hide his ugly streak just below the surface, close enough that i know it’s there yet deep enough that i forget about it over time.

so Doubt’s been hanging around, and to be honest, i’m getting pretty sick of him. i find myself separating from him throughout the day, trying to pretend like he’s not there, and those are the moments in which i can finally breathe again. it’s like everything becomes clear, and the crushing force on my chest is lifted, and all seems right with my soul once more.

the best part about not having him around is that i’m able to hear Truth again.

see, Truth won’t compete with Doubt. Truth knows it’s with him that my heart lies–but Truth also loves me enough to let me make my mistakes and learn from them. Truth takes a backseat when Doubt comes into town. he watches from the distance as i entertain this unwelcome guest of mine, his sorrow and rejection written all over his beautiful face. i hate that i’m constantly trading him in for another. it feels fickle. and foolish. i wonder when i’ll learn.

whenever Doubt’s not there, Truth is. he watches and waits for his opportunity.
when Doubt’s gone, Truth speaks.

this morning, i don’t know where Doubt is hiding. and to be honest, i don’t even care. it feels so good to be rid of him.
this morning, i am going to spend some time with Truth.
this morning, i am going to bind my wandering heart to his

and maybe, just maybe,
i can be free.

*this is part one of a two-part series on doubt versus truth. check back next week for the second part. i’m excited about that post. Truth speaks–and everything changes. i’m looking forward to sharing with you! xo

let the shalom which comes from the Messiah be your heart’s decision-maker. 
(colossians 3:15, cjb)

a friend read this verse at devos this morning, and i’m going to be honest: it wrecked me.
not just because it’s phrased so beautifully that it makes the poet in me ache with word-envy. [even though it is. and it does.]

it wrecked me because it is Truth. and i so often live a lie. 

this little heart of mine has a huge capacity to feel things, and feel them deeply. it has weathered many a storm and is all that much stronger for it. my heart rejoices at beauty and justice, and it recognizes that each moment and every breath is a gift that has been given.

but it is also selfish. and stubborn. it blindly rushes after whatever it wants without a second thought for the carnage it will leave behind for the rest of me to clean up. and i let it. i allow it to do what it wants because…well, it’s easier that way. i feel weak, and i’m not up for a fight. go ahead, heart. have your way.

more often than i care to admit, i let myself  be my heart’s decision maker.
my wants. my needs. my desires. my plans. 

and in the rubble that remains when it all comes crashing down around me, i ignorantly wonder why i’m out of balance. why i have no peace. no shalom.

let the shalom which comes from the Messiah be your heart’s decision-maker. 
Jesus, i want your Truth, even when it wrecks me. even when it hurts. even when it means i have to hold still as you loosen the plank out of my eye. it’s the only way for me to be free.