The Erosion of Belief

The erosion of belief: when doubt about one area of giftedness or ability begins to erode others.

Erosion doesn’t discriminate – It simply erodes.

Wow – that was profound. Yay me…

Also, it’s not real choosy – once it starts in, it doesn’t just smack down its favorite parts but leave the stuff it doesn’t care for alone, unlike the whole “white meat / dark meat” chicken negotiations that happen in our home. Fortunately, my beloved and I are pretty divided on our chicken preferences, so no diplomacy or intervention is needed.

And Beka doesn’t really care either, as long as there’s hope of something hitting the floor.

Anyway, back to erosion…

If one part of something starts to erode, the rest of it usually follows. Erosion isn’t really selective – once it starts in, it tends to go for the whole enchilada.

Although I’m really not an enchilada fan – I’m more into tacos, or a nice taco salad.

Good gravy bones, I’m wandering all over today, aren’t I? Yikes…

Where the rubber meets the road, or where the mudslide meets the bank, if you will…

(And if you won’t, well, we’re still going there…)

…is this:

When a humanbean of the person persuasion gets clobbered in one part of that collection of stuff we call our “gifts,” that can be the opening salvo in the erosion tango. If that humanbean gets clobbered again in that same area, then things shift to more of a swing dance.

Another clobber, and it turns into the kind of stuff that makes my back ache and my knees crunch.


But here’s the thang… once that mudslide gets some momentum, the site of the original clobber isn’t the only thing that gets swept away. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, other parts of how we see ourselves become erosion fodder.

Would you like a real-life example? Of course you would! We’re only 300 words into this puppy, so we got time to burn…

There was a part of my life, at one time called my “career,” that got majorly clobbered. I’d been working in this area for 19 years and some change, had moved a bit within that area, and finally seemed to settle in my “calling,” a purpose that seemed to use all my gifts and interests. It was amazing, and I thought my “nomadic career path” had finally settled on one zip code.

And I was oh so very wrong.

The budget monster reared its ugly head, and I was launched out a porthole.

Cue the erosion.

So I become a vocational nomad once again, trying to find a path, a purpose, something to call “mine,” and only seeing more wandering. I’m on shifting sand, looking for a path where there is none.

But my “calling” in this one area wasn’t the only thing that took a hit – I just didn’t know it yet.

To keep this thrilling tale from turning into a bumbling blimp of blah, let me sum up – I racked up a few more “clobbers” in the same area, none of which were my own doing, and wound up wondering how I ever stumbled into that work in the first place. If I was that awful at it, why didn’t anybody tell me to just hang it up?

Belief in any giftedness I might have possessed in that area? Eroded.


That’s not the only area that got swept away…

If I’m that lame in _________, and I just keep getting clobbered, how can I believe that I’m actually worth anything in ________? How can I believe anyone who says, “You have a real gift for ________?”

How can I believe that I have any gifts or abilities at all?

The erosion of belief: when doubt about one area of giftedness or ability begins to erode others.

Can I throw a rather unique wrench into the works here?

(“You CAN…”)

Sorry… MAY I throw a rather unique wrench into the works here?

(“Yes. Yes you may.”)

Sheesh. Tough room.

For the past four years, I’ve had the added upheaval of seeing my entire being changed, both physically and mentally. And though you’d think that losing over 200 pounds and being ReBorn would make everything shiny and happy, truthfully, you’d be full of flying beanie weenies.

I know I am. Full of the aforementioned beanie weenies, that is.

Talk about erosion of belief… What happens when you don’t recognize yourself in the mirror? When your body doesn’t move the same way it has for the previous 50 years? When everything changes?

How can you believe anything about yourself, when you aren’t sure who you are?

The erosion of belief: when doubt about one area of giftedness or ability begins to erode others.

Another example, recent but equally tasty…

I met with a friend early this year about a music project – taking some songs she had written, filling them out with instrumentation, helping with style, etc., and getting them ready to be recorded and produced into a CD. I agreed to get on board, excited for the project…

On the surface, anyway. But, honestly, down below, the doubts were flowing…

And, I did nothing. I made a few attempts to begin the work, played with some ideas, but down deep, I really didn’t think I was up to the task.

After all, if I stink at _________, what makes me think I can do ________?

So, I did nothing. And, my friend moved on. She has someone who will actually do the work, will actually produce the end product, and will deliver…

Like I didn’t.

She kindly asked me if I’d be willing to come and record the bass parts for the project, and I really appreciated being asked.

But, I declined.

I recommended someone who is a “real” bass player, who could actually deliver an inspired, decent performance, instead of flailing and fumble-fingering, which is what I major in. I honestly doubted that I’d be able to bring creative, decent bass parts to the session, even though I play bass almost every week at church. I doubt my creative abilities, especially when the red RECORDING light is on.

I also don’t know if I could have done that session, knowing that I had the opportunity to do that project, and just let it lie there. I let down a friend, by doing nothing…

Because, somewhere inside, I didn’t believe I could actually pull it off.

Getting clobbered a few times created doubt about one area of ability, and that’s created doubt about other abilities, and now I pretty much don’t do anything…

Because deep down, I really don’t believe I can do anything. I doubt my gifts and abilities.

Now, others will try and encourage me, telling me to get out there and do it, to put on the big boy pants and get moving, and to just suck it up, buttercup. They’ll tell me how gifted I am, how much God has blessed me with, and how thankful I should be.

For the record, all those things are true.


Others, no matter how much they love me or how sincere they are, can’t talk away the erosion. Encouragement, while heard and accepted on one level, really can’t stop the doubt.

And, for the record, I appreciate those who love me and want to speak words of grace and encouragement over me.


The erosion can only be healed from the inside out. And I’m not sure how that works.

This is potentially where some pithy phrases about how “God meets us in the dark places” and “makes a way for us” and “is a refuge in times of trouble” and “never gives us more than we can bear” and “will continue the good work He began” and stuff like that would pop up. But if you’ve read my blog at all, you may know how I feel about pithy phrases that can fit so nicely on the changeable letter sign out front.

To sum it up for those who don’t know how I feel about pithy phrases:


I have to slowly, quietly walk with my Father. And listen to Him alone. So for now, I won’t be pushing ahead, blazing new trails, or grabbing all the gusto I can…

’cause frankly, I can’t. Grab gusto, that is. My gusto grabbing abilities are pretty much zip at this time.

So I probably won’t be taking on new challenges, other than trying to justify my existence and not run us into more debt. (And that’s a lot right there…) And try not to pick up any new hobbies, vocations, or interests, ’cause ain’t nobody got time for that schizzle bajizzle.

Word to yo rockin’ chair.

I’ll be quiet, I’ll do what I do, and I’ll listen…

And that’s enough, for now.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *