By Nathalie Flores
Over the past few months, I have been learning a lot about who I am in Christ. We’ve taken a variety of personality and skills tests that have dug deep into the core of who we are as individuals and how that plays a part in our relationships. Most importantly, how it bleeds into our relationship with Christ.
A few Sundays ago, Bill Fullilove, our professor and Ministries Pastor at McLean Presbyterian, spoke about doubt. He opened with, “Do you ever wonder if it’s all true?” To which I answered honestly, no. I’ve always believed it’s true. I grew up going to church, religiously attending Sunday school, and attempting to show up to small group as much as a college student could. Therefore, I grew up believing that this world was spoken into existence by a God that we cannot see or touch. That He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, my sins, and rose from the dead to ascend into heaven to spend eternity alongside our Heavenly Father.
I wasn’t allowing myself to experience the joy and amazement of God because of the fear that it might get slammed down or ripped away.
Regardless, I listened attentively as the sermon continued. It’s an interesting and bold topic, and I wanted to learn how to be there for my community should doubt ever arise. Bill then dove into some of the different shapes and forms doubt can take. There’s intellectual doubt, there’s doubt fueled by a “lack” of proof, and there’s doubt because it’s just too good to be true.
And after that last point, conviction settled in.
Prior to this sermon, John Kyle, the director of the Capital Fellows program, had sat with me during a debrief of one of the personality tests for hours diving into this fear we had discovered at my core - I wasn’t allowing myself to experience the joy and amazement of God because of the fear that it might get slammed down or ripped away. Our conversation was merging with this sermon on doubt, creating lots of confusing webs in my head. When untangled, I came to realize - I had been doubting the Lord.
I have been living in fear, protecting myself from experiencing hope in the Lord than to risk being excited about what He was doing in my life. Not only was I doubting who He was, but I was doubting the sovereign power He had over my life.
As believers, we are called to rejoice in the Lord and trust in Him always. Passage after passage, we are constantly encouraged of the promise of His plan for us. We are always reminded to lift up our worries and doubts to Him in exchange for strength, wisdom, fortitude, and grace. Yet, I wasn’t doing or believing any of that.
I wasn’t letting myself experience the rush of excitement that comes with moving to a city like Washington, D.C., yet I’m only here because it was the Lord that guided me. I wasn’t letting myself believe that a group of twelve strangers could care for me so deeply and so intentionally, yet it was Him who placed me here so intentionally. I wasn’t letting my heart open up to the loving kindness of those at McLean Presbyterian Church, a congregation He has so obviously placed his hand over.
But what a blessing those have all been in helping me figure out how to fearlessly love, live, and believe in what the Lord has planned for me. He left the testimony of hundreds of people who touched him and saw him and lived with him in the gospels for us to turn to when we are doubting. We have stories, we have proof of the miracles and wonders God has for us at the ready.
I’m learning to doubt my own doubt and dive into who He says I am, which is a beloved, redeemed child of God, deserving of all the joys, excitement, and wonders of the world He created for me, for us.
In the words of my wise friend and fellow Capital Fellow, Esther James, I don’t have a pretty bow to tie up what I’m learning and working on here. It’s something I have learned to take day by day, as the unexpected arises and thwarts my progress. But I am holding tight to the promise found in Isaiah 43:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. - Isaiah 43:1-2
Isn’t that amazing? There is nothing to fear because through Christ, we are redeemed, we have a name, and we have someone who will stand next to us in the fire, through trials and tribulation, and through doubt and fear. And not just anyone, but the King of Kings. He is Emmanuel, God with us.
Please pray that the other Fellows and I would find peace and comfort in the Lord and the promises He has for us. That we may fully enjoy and grab hold of this life He has called us to, and this life we are living as Season 13 of Capital Fellows.
Pictures from the Week
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Capital Fellows is a leadership and vocational development program for recent college graduates. It's a 9-month program that includes a paid job in your field of interest, service in the church and city, a personal mentor, vocational coaching, life with a host family, and customized seminary courses to help you grow in your walk with the Lord in all areas of life.
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