Can Doubt & Wonder Co-Exist?
If you would have asked me this a year ago I would have said no, but so much can happen in a year, right? So much of what I was sure of came into question over the last 365 days, and if I’m being honest—it still is. My posture of certainty began to erode, is eroding, and will most likely continue to erode. In the best ways of course… but dig in with me today.
I was planted, like roots down deep, and then secured in with concrete. I was planted on more than a few things in my life. One of those things being that "infertility was just my lot in life” and you couldn’t tell me otherwise. Doggonit, I was going to make that lot the prettiest and most well-tended rock covered lot out there. Most times I would move a stone over to pluck the weeds of pain, disappointment, doubt, and judgement when they would peek through. Sometimes I would just set the boulder on top of it, in hopes that it would stop that pesky weed from growth (because we all know that covering it up will keep it from growing). Nonetheless, this lot would be well cared for. Or so I thought…
But much to my chagrin the weeds always returned, and returned more stubborn than the former. Come to find out, the weeds that were once plucked up were only removed from the stem up. That ratchet root had stayed put. My previous toiling was well, just toiling. I know this now because I have learned that the firmer the posture on a matter the more unmovable the heart.
Now, how does doubt and wonder fall into this?
In my tending of this barrenness lot—filled with gravel, weeds, and the likes thereof—my posture was doubt-masked with the “I can do this, I can take it” smile.
Picture this: Doubt and Wonder are each a free standing wall. Then there’s life. The foundational base between them. Everyday, with every situation, you get to choose which wall you will scale.
The Wonder wall seems to be covered in some sort of slippery coating that makes it crazy hard to scale. Almost like porcelain when it’s wet. But the other thing about the Wonder wall is that it’s beautiful. It is bright and inviting. It draws you in, rousing you to make the climb…
The wall of Doubt, on the other hand, is equal in height, length, and width—but it’s made of stone. It’s porous and there’s perfectly-carved spaces for you to secure your footing as you climb. These spaces have been dug out over time, from previous climbs. Wear and tear that have come from familiarity and deceptive comfort. The wall of doubt is not particularly alluring and it is known to most of us. If we were all to examine our shoes there would be a remnant of rock and dust left from the last time we climbed it…
Wonder - effective or efficient far beyond anything previously known or anticipated.
Doubt - fear; suspect; to call into question the truth of; to lack confidence in.
The truth is, each time I have climbed that wall of doubt, I have left a part of my joy there. Where there’s doubt, there is mistrust—be it in self, in others, or in God. So the point is this: if you find yourself scaling the wall of Doubt—STOP, BREATHE, and IDENTIFY where the mistrust is.
On the other side—where there is wonder—there is an openness, a sort of willingness to explore and hope for the best. So if you find yourself scaling the Wonder wall, stay scaling. It will be easy to slide off of it and you will have to work hard at keeping your footing. But it will be worth it.
365 days later, I am telling you—it's worth it. Here’s how I know: I still look at my nieces through the eyes of wonder, even when I have been ravaged with the disappointment of barrenness.
So, to answer my question, can doubt and wonder co-exist? You tell me.