“Mommy, what if God is not real?”
To date, this is the hardest question I have been asked.
These words hurt. I felt a weight hit the pit of my stomach.It felt personal.
If MY children doubt God, then I must be doing something wrong.
Have I not shown them enough about Him?
I began to panic as if her moment of doubt was an indicator of my parental failure and a foreshadowing of her spiritual future.
I needed a response because I needed to feel better. I needed her to believe because well, I hate to say it… but I needed her to believe because I told her so.
But I knew that this wasn’t enough. This was much bigger than my need for assurance or approval of my leadership.
She needed this journey to be her own.
She’s 11. She needs to believe that God is real because she has personally experienced His existence. Not because I told her so.
Some things are out of my control.
Lord. Help. Me.
Thankfully, I was reminded that nestled in this moment of doubt rests an invitation.. for her from her Creator.
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
God’s not afraid of our doubt. He is real and at any moment He’s ready for personal encounters.
Aren’t you grateful for a God that meets us where we are and uses our moments of weakness to draw us into His Love?
Now if I know anything about 11 year old girls, I know they like to handle things themselves! So that’s exactly what I challenged her to do. Seek Him. I told her what I know to be true and that is, “doubt can’t live where truth resides.” So, after assuring her that she was not alone, I challenged her to seek truth.
Realizing that this is her journey and not my personal evaluation, I am trusting that if she seeks The Lord, He will prove Himself to us both.
Below is a Devotional on “Doubt,” taken from For Girls Like You Devotional for Tweens. Share this with your daughter and encourage her to find out how real God is for herself.
Doubt is the feeling you have when you are unsure about something or when you do not trust that something is true. There are many different reasons why you have doubts. For example, you may doubt that you will pass a test because you know that you did not study hard. Well, if you didn’t study, then you probably should have a bit of concern! But maybe you doubt you will pass because you just think it’s too hard for you to learn. You and I both know that if you study and do your homework, then passing should not even be a question. In this case, your doubt is untrue and makes no sense at all!
There will be times when you doubt and do not believe a teacher, a friend, or even God, and you may be really confused with what to do about it. Understanding your feelings of doubt can be tricky, and the key to getting rid of doubt is learning the truth.
There are several stories of people who experienced doubt in the Bible, and God always points them to the truth. One example is John the Baptist. In the book of Matthew, God sent John the Baptist to help prepare the hearts of people Jesus would talk to. John the Baptist ended up in jail for talking about Jesus. While he was there he really began to doubt that Jesus was the actual Son of God. He asked Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3).
When Jesus heard this, He got John the Baptist to stop doubting by reminding him of things he already knew to be true. Jesus had healed people and performed a lot of miracles that no one else could do. Once John the Baptist remembered these things, all of his doubt had to leave! He knew what was true.
When you experience doubt, be like John the Baptist and use it as a chance to search for and remember the truth! Do not just accept that what you feel is true. Instead pray that God helps you to find the real answer. Doubting is not good for you and it is not what God wants for you. He wants you to “[walk] in the truth” (3 John 4).
I’m so glad Your Word is true. Thank You that I can trade my doubt for what You have to say about everything and anything. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Journeying With You,
Wynter, For Girls Like You