Doubt No More
Written by Victoria Hoppes
Servant Year site supervisor
Two years ago, I embarked on a new journey when I moved to Philadelphia and began working in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Over the last two years, there have been many moments in which I have doubted my abilities to be an effective leader in our ministry. One of the things that I have learned over the last year in particular is that sometimes I don’t trust myself as much as I probably should, and when that happens, I don’t always trust God’s timing or faithfulness.
I see and experience this doubt as a Site Supervisor for Servant Year, too. Sometimes I doubt that I am being a good example to the members who serve in our office, and I wonder if I am providing too little (or even too much) support to their ministry. I also see this doubt as members find themselves immersed in the challenges that come from living and doing service in Philadelphia. There are uncertainties that come from living in a new, unfamiliar place with new people, doing ministry that at times can be stressful and difficult. When these feelings of self-doubt come to the surface, we move away from the mission and purpose of what we are called to do.
This week’s appointed lectionary texts come from the stories of Noah and Jesus. I am sure that both Noah and Jesus had moments in their ministry when they were filled with self-doubt, for neither of them was called to an easy task. However, the promise of God’s presence, along with the reminder that they were beloved children of God, equipped them to release those doubts and fears and live into their individual callings as leaders to God’s people. Even today God’s covenant remains with us, providing us with hope, comfort and support. It is through the presence of God’s Spirit in our lives and through the waters of baptism that we are reminded that we are beloved children of God who are claimed, called, and sent to bring the message of hope, peace, and love to all people.
Though there are times when I see and experience doubt, there are also many, many times when I see the Spirit working, reminding both myself and our Servant Year members that we are all called, beloved children of God. I see it through spiritual formation and through the creation of new communities. I see it through the moments of encouragement that come when a major task is accomplished or a program is run successfully. I see it through the relationships that we build with the people whom we serve. I see it through the churches, neighborhoods, and ministries to which we are bringing real, positive change and growth.
We will always face doubt in our ministries. However, will always be God’s beloved children, too. This Lent, may we remember the presence of God in our lives, knowing and trusting that God will always be faithful to us.