Thursday, July 9, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ Doubting Christians

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest Blogger, Ruth O'Neil   @writerrutho

My guest, Ruth O'Neil, and I have only recently met. It's uncanny how many things we have in common. The "thing" that thrills me the most is our shared knowledge of God's sovereignty - not only understanding His authority in our lives, but understanding how, in His sovereignty, He orchestrates events that weave together a perfectly beautiful tapestry, even the difficult events. God truly is amazing. He is amazing in His love for us, mighty to deliver us, and tender in His care. Ruth and I join together praying that the words of her heart will give you strength for the journey as you learn to trust the sovereign hand of the One who loves you.

Welcome Ruth!

Christians sometimes have doubts. Yes, you read that right. I was one of them. I knew I was saved as a young child, but I had doubts. Every night I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my life. I think I varied the words because I wanted to make sure I “did it right.” Eventually my doubts subsided and I no longer worried…at least about my salvation.

New doubts arose. I doubted I had a testimony. I listened to others tell their life stories, which were so much more powerful. I wanted to reach people, but I’d had no “repulsive” behavior to repent from. There were no tales of sin and repentance and change I could share.

But then God opened my eyes. He placed that one last puzzle piece into place, completing the big picture. Granted, it took me several years to see it, but God is gracious and patient. My testimony is one of God’s love and His great plan for our lives.

Every aspect of our life is in God’s hands. When I skipped eighth grade I had no idea it had anything to do with my mother’s death, but hindsight, being twenty-twenty, I can now see where God had been at work all along.

I was thrilled to skip from seventh to ninth grade. It was then I met my future husband. We dated for a while and on my sixteenth birthday he gave me a ring. Most parents would put up a fuss about that, but not mine. We had no plans to marry the following week.

Over the next few years we made plans, those plans included children after we’d been married a year or two. However, three weeks after our wedding, I found myself sicker than I’d ever been in my entire life. I was pregnant. This wasn’t in my plans.

But God was at work.
Our daughter was born perfectly healthy three weeks early. My parents enjoyed our baby whenever they had an opportunity to see her. Living in different states made it a little difficult.
Then, when my daughter was nine months old my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. As she grew sicker, our church bought me an airline ticket and I was able to fly home. My daughter was thirteen months old then, and my mom watched every movement she made.
Before our visit my daughter wasn’t really walking much. It wasn’t that she couldn’t it was more like she wouldn’t. But even that little thing was in God’s perfect timing. During that visit my daughter really began walking. At first I thought it was because there was a whole new world to explore at Grandma’s house, but three weeks later, my mom passed away.

If I had not skipped a grade, I would have graduated a year later, gone to college a year later, got married a year later, and my daughter would have been born a year later. I know now that God wanted my mom to have the blessing of seeing her first grandchild taking her first steps.
That’s my testimony. A testimony of God’s love for us in planning out our lives in ways we can’t possibly see until all is said and done, if we are able to see it at all.

Know there is no need for doubt. God loves you and has your life in His hands.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others


Meet Ruth:

Ruth O’Neil has been a freelance writer for 20-plus years. She sees everything as a writing opportunity in disguise, whether it is an interesting character, setting, or situation. You can find her book series “What a Difference a Year Makes” on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or her website ( You can also visit her on her blog at When she’s not writing or homeschooling her kids, Ruth spends her time quilting, reading, scrapbooking, camping and hiking with her family.

Ruth O’Neil books 
(What a Difference a Year Makes series):

Come Eat at My Table

Karin. Secretive. Angry. Fearful. Hurt. Unforgiving. All these emotions will come raging back to the surface after years of repression and a chance encounter. Until Karin faces her past she and her family cannot face their future.


Shelly never saw the need for companionship outside of her father and Professor Yates. Now her father is gone and Professor Yates is pushing her to step out her front door, out of her comfort zone. Then there’s Jay. His comfort zone includes the entire universe and he is bound and determined to drag Shelly along with him.

In honor of her father’s memory, Shelly picks up one of their old pastimes, genealogy. She figures it would be nice to know where she came from. It would be nice to belong. What would it feel like to belong?

Everyone seems to have a place in the world where they belong. Except Shelly. - trailer


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