For as long as I can remember I’ve felt an extreme pressure to find my purpose in the world. I’ve struggled with the idea of what society expects from a responsible and mature adult and their contributions to the world, and the contrast it held against my own dreams. Being born into a traditional Christian, Indian home in South Africa, I felt a strong pressure to not only please God, but to also choose a path that pleased my parents.
That being said, a part of my growth journey has been, and still is, tackling self-doubt head on. Rather than allowing it to simmer and rear its head to challenge me, I’ve opted to take the road paved with prayer journaling and a refusal to conform to the vexing uproar of my internal voice.
Self-doubt vs Scripture
The path to finding identity has been long. The reality of the journey is one that can’t be described to you by another, nor can it be clearly articulated. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown a greater desire to seek God’s direction and his answers for the thoughts and ideas I had no explanation for. The Scripture I’ve found myself attached to is in the book of Esther and reads:
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther, chapter 4, verse 14)
The latter part of this is Mordecai giving Esther clarity and instruction for true introspection. In that moment she may have experienced self-doubt and fear for her life, but the decision was to either rise up and face her fears head on or remain comfortable and safe, disregarding the fate of her people. That’s the determination I choose when facing self-doubt. I choose to see it as an opportunity to rise up, or stay silent. As I’ve grown older, I’ve started to observe the ever present presence of God in my life. As I’ve delved into fighting my self-doubt with Scripture I’ve begun to lean further into Him than towards a sense of self to find peace.
Peace in the storm
The first thing I’ve had to realise is that self-doubt doesn’t disappear overnight. Even as I write this, I’m having doubts of my own — about life choices and outcomes I’d like to see but can’t find reason to hope for. That’s where finding peace in the storm becomes critical. Having a safe place to hide, a harbour in the storm, is what continues to lead me to peace. And that’s where Esther chapter 4, verse 14 has come to the forefront. It’s been a lighthouse in stormy waters, when my soul has been restless and questioning, even as it still is. It never fails in guiding me back to my knees, back to God who shields, protects and answers.
Peace to each of us may take a different form, but ultimately the Lord knows what we each need, for it is He who created us to begin with. His shield and comfort may take different shapes in each of our lives, but it attends to our weary and bruised hearts wholly. It’s in the our deepest moment of doubt and remorse, regret and questioning that He chooses to point us back home and lead us to the peace that has been perfected in Christ.
The lighthouse leads home
In the New Testament, we are taught to engage the Holy Spirit as comforter and counsellor. There are fleeting moments of self-doubt when our human nature leads us to stray from our source. Whether this results from anger or stubbornness, we run all the same. We run from our source and often times stumble on the way.
Finding that lighthouse, whatever it may be, that leads you back to your fortress is how you reconnect with God. The Word plays an incremental part in leading us back. The Holy Spirit is our comforter when we are distressed, our counsellor in our seasons of need, so what better place is there to be?
Whether I’ve said all this for your benefit or mine remains to be determined. Take solace in knowing that you have a lighthouse in the storm. Your identity is found in Christ, He who has called you from before the worlds were formed. Self-doubt, fear and distress do not define you for you have been marked by His hand. When your heart turns in fear to flee, remember you have a lighthouse, and anchor in the storm waiting to lead you home.
Crystelda Naidoo hails from South Africa. She is an avid nerd and an unapologetic dreamer. Having completed a BSc. Biological Sciences and BCom Hons. majoring in marketing, she has since launched the lifestyle blog - Selah Blogger, targeted at empowering women in their daily lives.