Friday, January 9, 2015

Permission to Doubt - by Ann C. Sullivan

This was an amazing book!  Ann is very open about her struggle with
panic attacks and how this led her to really search for why this was
happening and what this meant for her faith.  Did God even exist and
if so, why would He allow this?  First she points out that it's good to question and investigate because it's important to get the truth right. Our personalities, our upbringing and out experiences will influence how much we question in the first place.

It's important to know what kind of doubt you're struggling with.  If its spiritual doubt, it could be that you're sinning in some way or it could mean that you're experiencing spiritual warfare.  Intellectual doubt is having a question that needs a practical answer.  Emotional doubt is the most common and the most difficult to identify because damaged emotions can make us think that how we feel is the truth.  Emotions take over and reason leaves.  With each of these kinds of doubt, she explains what you can do to understand where it's coming from and what you can do to deal with it. She talks about prayer, researching your questions and making sure your physical body is healthy and not causing any problems like was the case for her.  It's important to examine thought patterns and develop healthy habits such as exercise, eating right and sleeping well.  You may need to talk to someone or take medication.

This book really made me examine my doubt and figure out what kind it is and what's behind it.  I never thought about there being different kinds before and it made so much sense!  I especially liked the chapter on disillusionment and I realized the struggle I have with control and questioning why God does what He does or allows what He allows.  Ann says if something doesn't go the way we think it should, "we begin to contemplate how we would do things differently if we were in charge.  And that's the precise moment disillusionment and doubt...begin chipping away at our faith."  This really hit home for me and I know it's something I need to work on.  I'm not God and I can't even comprehend His plan and how He's using my struggles to help me grow.  I liked the humor and interesting stories and examples she shared from the Bible and people she's met, along with her own story.  This book had so much helpful information.  I'm planning to reread it in the future.  I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.   Amazon

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