To the Christian Woman Who Is Crippled By Self-Doubt

Lessons from the Life of Moses

Do you ever struggle with self-doubt?

Self-doubt can be crippling. Trust me. I speak from experience on this one.

I have been struggling with so much self-doubt lately.

Do you struggle with self-doubt? Do you feel that God can't really use you? Are you hesitating to step forward because you are afraid that you will fail?

I am not being the wife and mom that I desire to be, and I feel that I am failing my husband and children.

My homeschooling attempts feel completely inadequate.

Grocery shopping and meal preparations have been far from stellar lately. (Last evening after waiting 45 minutes for my rice maker to make the rice, my 8 year old son checked it and informed me that I had never pushed “start”. For Pete’s sake, how hard is it to make rice in a rice maker? I did get dinner on the table – by 7:20 p.m.)

And this blog? I want to write from my heart. I want to encourage and inspire you to keep on teaching your kids about the Bible. But, the last few days I have been so close to closing it down – because I seriously don’t have what it takes to run this blog.

Do you ever struggle with the crippling effects of self-doubt? Do you ever feel like “throwing in the towel” because you just don’t have what it takes to keep on going?

I love how God speaks to us through His Holy Word. Just as I was on the verge of giving up, I read the story of Moses.

The Story of a Major Self-Doubter

Now, Moses was a man who had some serious self-doubt issues.

If you read the story of Moses, you will notice that God’s hand was obviously on his life from birth.

Moses was born into a family of Israelite slaves living in Egypt. According to Pharoah’s law, Moses should have been killed at birth. But, Moses’ mother trusted God and defied the law, finally putting Moses in a basket in a river when she could no longer hide him. Then, according to God’s perfect plan, Pharoah’s daughter found Moses and adopted him as her own son.

So, Moses, the son of Israelite slaves, was brought up and educated in an Egyptian palace.

God was sovereignly preparing Moses to lead His people, Israel. Eighty years later, God came to Moses in a burning bush and told him that it was time for Israel to be freed from the oppression of the Egyptians.

You can almost see Moses excitedly nodding his head in agreement – until God said, “Therefore, come now, and I will send YOU to Pharaoh, so that YOU may bring My people out of Egypt.”

And, Moses did a double-take. “What, ME?”

Here was a man who had already experienced God’s intervention in his life, miraculously preparing him to lead his people. Yet, when the call came, Moses was immediately crippled with self-doubt.

Moses said, “Who am I?” God said, “It doesn’t matter who you are. I am God. I have called you. I will be with you. This is my work and I will see it done.

Moses said, “They will not listen to me.” God said, “This is my message. I will back up your words with miracles and signs that they will not be able to ignore.”

Moses said, “I can’t speak well.” God said, “I made your mouth. I will teach you what to say.

Moses said, “Send somebody else who is better equipped.” And God’s anger burned against Moses.

Do You Struggle with Self-Doubt? Do You Have a Hard Time Believing that God Could Actually Use You?

I don’t know about you, but I am so much like Moses.

I claim to believe that all things are possible with God, but I struggle to believe that God could actually use me. I believe that God can do amazing things through other people – but I know my own heart, my own weaknesses, my own limitations and sinfulness. I’m the one who struggles to make rice in a rice maker, to get dinner on the table before 7:00 p.m.

So, I claim that I am just too… weak, sinful, you name it, for God to use. And, I might even pride myself on my humility as I ignore God’s calling.

When it comes to God’s calling on our lives, self-doubt is nothing but God-doubt and pride.

Because, when God calls us to do something, He is the One Who will do it through us. He is the One Who will give us the strength and grace to get it done. And, in the end, He is the One Who will get all of the glory.

God does not call us to do something without giving us the strength to actually do it.

When God calls us to do something, we will feel inadequate. In fact, it is when we come to the end of our strength, when we see just how limited and weak we really are, when we acknowledge our own great inability, that we learn to lean on God. And, that is when God can use us.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 reminds us that God often calls us precisely because of our weaknesses.

But our fear and our inadequacies do not give us a pass to not obey God when He calls us to do something beyond our abilities.

Because, it never was about us or our abilities. It is all about God and His abilities.

Dear friend, what is God calling you to do today?

Is He calling you to teach a Sunday School class?

Is He calling you to forgive your husband and give your marriage another chance?

Has He called you to faithfully parent a difficult child?

Has He called you to patiently go over those multiplication facts YET AGAIN as you homeschool your child?

Is He calling you to speak truth into your friend’s life, even though she may not want to hear it?

Has He called you into a period of poor health where all you can do is quietly watch life go by from the background and pray for others?

Is He calling you to a season of denying yourself, working hard, and saving every penny so that you can pay off debt?

Is He calling you to set aside your own desires in order to tackle the dirty dishes in your sink and make dinner – for the ten thousandth time?

God Will Give You the Strength To Accomplish His Purpose In Your Life

I don’t know what God has called you to do today, but I do know that, no matter what His calling, He will give you the strength to accomplish His purpose in your life. He is simply asking you to look to Him.

Look to Him for your strength.

Look to Him to cleanse your heart of sin.

Look to Him when you are exhausted and at the end of your strength.

Look to Him for the endurance and patience you need to continue on.

When you are bewildered and don’t know where to turn, look to Him for the skill and wisdom that you so desperately need.

When you feel like you cannot take one more step, look to Him for the courage to take that next step of obedience. And the next step. And the next step.

The End of the Story

The path of obedience won’t be easy. It wasn’t for Moses. He experienced discouragement, frustration, exhaustion, and foolish moments when he allowed sin to master him.

Yet, when we remember Moses, we don’t remember the fearful whiner of Exodus 4, begging God to send someone else. We remember a strong man of God who walked in obedience during a difficult time and was used of God in a mighty way to bring about a great salvation for an entire nation.

In the end, it wasn’t Moses. It was God. And, it will be God in your life, and it will be God in my life. God will give us the strength to accomplish His calling in our lives.

Today, when self-doubt threatens to cripple you, look to God and replace your self-doubt with God-trust. May He be honored and glorified in your life and mine!

How about you? Do you struggle with self-doubt? Has God encouraged you through His Word to keep on going? I would love to hear from you! Please scroll down to comment.

More Posts from Path Through the Narrow Gate: 

You would never take a sledge hammer to the walls of your home. But, are you unintentionally destroying your home in one of these common ways?  Are you intentionally putting yourself "out there" to build relationships with your neighbors for the sake of sharing your faith? Here's some encouragement and ideas to help you do just that.  If you are exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, and even resentful, you are not alone. Elijah felt this way too, and God's response might surprise you!|Lessons from Elijah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 thoughts on “To the Christian Woman Who Is Crippled By Self-Doubt

  1. Hi Anna,
    I would like to start off by saying you DO have what it takes to run this blog. I stumbled across your website after being on Pinterest for the past hour trying to find information on how to start studying the bible with my little ones. Another hour has passed with me soaking up what you have to offer on your website 🙂. I truly love what God has put on your heart to blog, especially this article. I struggle with self doubt daily. With being a mom to little ones, having a career that takes up at least 40 hours of my week, along with trying to be that partner, or friend, or co worker, or daughter, or sister that is supposed to be the one that has it all together (in their eyes) because I’ve excepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior….I struggle with self doubt. As much as I spend time in the word daily and ask the Lord to guide and take control of every area of my life, and know that he’s there..I still struggle with self doubt. Reading this has helped me look at things differently and reminds me that the Lord is at work and does not sleep.
    Thank you for writing this. May God continue to bless you in all that you do.
    (BTW this is my first time leaving such a personal comment on a blog, but I felt that you needed to know how much of inspiration you mean to me)

    • Genevieve, thank you so much for this encouragement. I really appreciate it. May God be with you and bless you as you seek to teach your children His Word and be used of Him in your relationships – even when you are exhausted or doubtful. I am praying for you!

  2. Thank you for writing this! In July of last year, after much prayer, I stepped into a new job. It has been a challenge to say the least. I constantly feel “out of my league” and struggle with the thoughts of “I’m not enough”. I got up this morning and went to Pinterest to look up scripture and this article popped up. Glad I read it. I needed to be reminded that God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. I will approach today with a new sense of expectancy to see how God will use me today. Again, thank you and please remember to pray for me as I will pray for you.

    • I am praying for you, Nikki! May God be with you and help you to grow in faith even as you are stretched in this new job. He is such an amazing God, worthy of our worship! He can get us through. May God bless you!

  3. I really struggle with self doubt. I have for quite sometime. I surrendered my life to Christ in 2009, and God delivered me from crack cocaine, along with other countless addictions. I love the Lord with all my heart, and my soul. Because I know if it had not been for Him, where would I be. I feel unworthy of His love. How can He (God) use someone like me. I’m a failure. I’ve failed as a wife (a praying wife). I’ve failed as a mother (a praying mother). When asked to speak about different things at church, I fumble, I don’t know how to speak in front of people. I was asked to pray before our Sunday morning worship service, (I think it was a trial run) I had just joined that ministry. Every since then, I haven’t been asked to pray anymore. Could it be, I didn’t pray as well as they expected me to? I don’t know!! But it has plaqued my mind. I love the church that I’ve joined, not sure if they love me. This is just a sample of my self doubt. I could go on and on…

    • Shirley, I am praying for you! I do not know if this helps or not, but please know that you are not at all alone in this self-doubt. I grew up in Brazil, where my parents were serving as missionaries. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior at a very young age. Your story and my story are completely different, yet so much the same in how Jesus is working in our hearts. I struggle with self-doubt all the time. Sometimes, I even struggle with self-doubt as I share my testimony because I don’t have an obvious, dramatic change in my life. And, I am a terrible public speaker. Just throwing that out there. I feel like I fail my family all the time. That’s why I was so encouraged by the story of Moses – He struggled with self-doubt too, but look what God did in his heart! Look at how God brought him around and helped him overcome this sin, changed Moses’ focus, and used Moses to shape the entire future of his people. Please be encouraged, Shirley. Then, look for the ways that God is uniquely calling you to serve in this church. Maybe you could even ask others what strengths they see in you and where you could use those strengths, to get some ideas? (For example, maybe you are gifted in encouraging others? Or making visitors feel welcome? Or baking cookies for church functions?) May God be with you and help you to grow in Him until He is all that you see and you find peace from these self-doubts!

  4. this is so true…. He Has He called me into a period of poor health where all I can do is quietly watch life go by from the background and pray for others?
    People say look to God but then they don’t tell you actually how to go about it
    I feel like giving up
    thankyou for your article tho it was an eye opener

    • I don’t understand what it is like to struggle with long-term illness, but I do know what it is to face discouragement, disappointment, and even seasons of depression. I think that when we feel like giving up, “looking to God” and even “faith” is just getting up each morning, spending time in God’s Word, and then going about our day. Honestly, there are times when getting up in the morning and facing a discouraging situation or uncertainty is a HUGE step of faith. And, continuing to pursue a relationship with God even when things are difficult is another HUGE step of faith. I will be praying for you!

    • God has been teaching me so very much about my identity being found in Him and His love this year, as I have struggled with major self doubt for so many years. For anyone who needs encouragement, could I suggest to you reading verses on how much God loves you out loud, even daily, as you start to memorize them that way without even really trying. One of the ones that has become the most precious to me is Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you. ” And spend time dwelling on that, not just saying it or reading it, as well as thanking God for that love that is ALWAYS there for us. The more these truths really sink in then. If you type in google, verses on God’s love for us, it will bring up a ton of websites with lots of verses. He loves you so much my sister.

  5. Thank you God for Your word. This blog came at the perfect time, Gods timing is perfect. May He continue to Bless you with His strength and courage.

  6. Beautiful, powerful, encouraging commentary! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have doubts…my trap is that I try to dig in with my own strength and determination when I’m doubting, only to fall even harder. I love the example of Moses (one interpretation was that he was an introvert!), because he was arguably the most influential person in the Old Covenant but only because God chose to use him. It’s humbling and empowering at the same time. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

  7. Thank you for not giving into self-doubt! I have always struggled with this too and it is encouraging to know I am not alone. I can relate to almost everything you have ever posted, but I’m sorry I don’t always comment on them. So the next time you feel unsure of what you are writing here, please remember that there are people like me that were quietly encouraged or challenged by something you said, but our busyness or our own self-doubt might keep us from actually typing a reply. You are a blessing and you may not truly understand the impact you have made on others until you leave this world. Have a blessed day and I look forward to reading your next post!

  8. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for perservering and enduring. Thank you for sharing your moments of weakness. Thank you for seeking God and sharing His glory.

    Your message as truly been a message from God directed towards me. I want to share how you were His vessel.

    As a homeschool mom I struggle with patience, attitude, vs state requirements and what the boys actually know compared to their “grade level”. See i’m always for grasping concepts before moving on, however my pressure of “time” is always driving me to brinks of anxiety.

    Last year I spent months researching a history currciculium that would focus on God, be enlighting to the boys while fulfulling state requirements. I was excited to find my prayers answered. Yet when the year started i was hestitant to use and actually did not pick it up for months. Once I did I could not understand why I hadn’t and was upset with myself that I was “behind” to complete in our designed school year. Well a third of the way through I became distraught once again over history and a new search began. Time was taken away from my boys, husband, and household responsibilies all in the name of the perfect history program. I spoke with companies about their books and countless moms from Facebook I never met, to moms within my own co-op and nothing was settling. I prayed but I could not discern if my answers were my own or from God. Finally last night (litetally) I decided I would be obdient with this year and continue on with what I had and hope it was right according to God.

    This morning I wake to a gloomy, rainy day and try to remind myself this isnt “gloom” this is a cleansing a day of renewal. My youngest son decided to tackle school before breakfast and a half hour before our designated “start time”. So I decided to accept the challenge and teach in my PJs and read my devotional emails when time permitted. It was during a rare opportunity I seen your email about why you chose not to stop blogging and made a chose to read your article when time permitted. A choice I will forever be grateful for!

    Often I have looked back on Moses and how he question God on “what are You thinking” debate and seen myself and I was amazed how this was so relevant to myself in my current self-doubting homeschool dilema.

    Thank you for this reminder. I am choosing to be obdient to God in all of our homeschool teachings, including history.

    I pray you have a fabulous day and know you are not the only mom who has dinner completed by 7:30.

    Your sister in Christ, Valerie

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Valerie! I am praying for you right now as I write this, that God will give you the strength to get through what He has called you to do today – even history! (And, we should start a late dinner club! Lol. The good thing about serving dinner so late is that my family is starving by that point and willing to eat anything.)