How to Trust Goodness in Doubt

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What keeps you from allowing the good in?

I paused and searched the ceiling for an answer.

Because I’m afraid it will run out. Like air from a balloon. I’m not sure if there is enough to last.

I’m not proud, but I’m realizing this is my honest response. Apparently in the deepest parts, I doubt God’s goodness will prevail or endure. So I protect myself from experiencing joy or celebration to its’ fullest, wondering when it will be taken, or rushed to the hospital to later die, or walk away, or be met with silence.

I’m afraid to thoroughly enjoy goodness and I’m embarrassed to even write that.

My doubt is keeping me at lukewarm level- a middle space of control, where I can protect myself from trusting joy, the positive side of the feeling spectrum.

And it’s weird because I love celebrating. But when I evaluate further, I notice I channel celebration toward others’ joy or success or news because it’s over there. Not here.
Because here feels scary.

I’ve had a fafillion folks ask, are you celebrating that your book is coming out? And outwardly I smile a yes. I am so proud of myself for writing the heartbeat of Choosing REAL, of experiencing how God is real in the tiny details of today, but I also feel numb. There’s a protective layer wrapped tight like a cocoon, restricting too much excitement, shielding permission to simmer in the goodness of seeing a calling come to fruition.

And I’m getting curious and asking myself why and I think I’m finding some answers.

But first- do you relate? Do you fear fully letting yourself celebrate the goodness in your own life for doubt that the bottom will fall out, or something will go awry. Is it easier to protect yourself from being truly happy knowing life will disappoint and feelings will dissolve?

I’m heaping grace on myself, on all of us who find ourselves in this space, because I don’t think we want to be here. I think we want to freakin’ dance. To live from a genuine overflowing joy and goodness in Jesus and all that but sometimes the reality is, it’s scary. It’s scary to risk feeling happy when we’ve know pain because there’s a secret trap door that knows we may have to go down there again. And sometimes it’s easier to go down there or stay at ground level than to come up for air.

Air though. It breathes light and freedom and fullness. Air offers goodness to be experienced.

I’m asking God’s Spirit about this predicament. About how to trust that the air, His goodness, will last.

As a 4 on the Enneagram – a fan of longings and ideals, one who’s brokenness focuses on thoughts like, “When I…” or “When _________ happens” – I must believe goodness is faith’s constant invitation for experiencing joy. I admit, trusting goodness doesn’t come naturally. But man, do I want it to.

This morning I found His black and white invitation in John 17:20.

“Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God isn’t something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (emphasis mine)

Well boom. “The kingdom of God is in your midst.”

And where the kingdom of God is, goodness must surround.

Is it possible He really wants to give goodness in a world where loss and bankruptcy and depression and detours easily fog hope for a glass half-full perspective?

I’m going to believe yes. And even as I write, my heart hammers ‘cuz goodness seems just as vulnerable as experiencing pain.

Goodness, I believe, must be the grace side of faith.

In a world of pain and disappointment and ‘great things happen to other people,’ comes the truth shining like neon lights: His goodness is in.your.midst. His goodness is in.our.midst.

In the midst of right now IS goodness. And choosing to trust this goodness, even with honest doubts, is where I’m focusing.

Where is goodness in your midst? How can you live thankfully when doubts threaten your air?

This goodness is not an accident. It’s a God gift. Let’s claim it. Hold tight to it. Experience life from a higher vantage point. Let’s start by trusting joy is “in your midst.”

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