Confessions of a Doubter on Easter Sunday

I confess that I regularly struggle with doubts. I confess that I often fall into despair about the state of the world (and the church). I confess that this Easter I’m not feeling spiritual or celebratory in any way.

Because of this, when I read the resurrection story today, I was most interested in Mary Magdalene’s experience. Here’s a quick summary:

After Mary’s rollercoaster morning of discovering the tomb is empty and delivering the good news of Jesus’ resurrection to the disciples, their doubt has rubbed off on her and she’s sitting by the tomb weeping in despair. Even the fact that there were angels inside the tomb couldn’t convince her that everything was okay, because she tells them “they’ve taken my Lord!” Since she’s in such a state of doubt & despair, she mistakes Jesus for the gardener. Why? I think it’s because when darkness clouds our minds, we don’t always see the good things that are right in front of us. But he reveals himself to her and reassures her that He is Risen.

Jesus literally showed up for Mary in her moment of doubt & despair and reassured her. I love that! Because I am a doubter, and I am a despairer, and I admit that I need to be reassured often that there really is hope.

Here’s hoping that I’ll recognize the good things in front of me and not mistake Christ for the gardener.

Happy Easter, friends!

10 thoughts on “Confessions of a Doubter on Easter Sunday

  1. A similar, though on a much less dramatic scale, thing happened to me this evening. I was really stressing out about something and then all of a sudden I just felt the Holy Spirit take over and fill me with peace. I hadn’t even prayed yet. He just took my heart and my hand and held me, comforted me, got me through. And while this was happening my eyes went out of focus and in the margins of the text on the computer I saw three crosses. One was much larger and the other two were sideways, but it was really awesome.

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  2. My favorite part of the Easter story (besides the whole he-is-risen thing) is that he appeared to Mary first! But for different reasons… Long story short “Girl Power” but yknow, more like, a historically significant radical show of equality and responsibility for women.

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  3. Thank you for sharing these feelings! You are definitely not alone in them. Shame also eats me up when I doubt because i feel so unjustified in doubting on the first place. I mean, God loves me and died for me, and everyone else seems to get that, so even though I think it’s the truth why can’t I just believe it?

    I was reminded at church this morning that Jesus beat death, my sin, AND my shame. And you helped remind me that I’m not alone in what I feel. Thanks! Hoping we both see the good things God is and does for us!

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  4. Just the thing I needed to hear today. I too did not feel spiritual or celebratory today. While I usually try and spiritually prepare myself for Easter Sunday, I’ve been sick and didn’t even get to go to church this morning. I’m also in a season where I’m so busy with school that I hardly have time for church and it’s a struggle to seek Christ when I already feel so burdened. But that is exactly when I should seek Him! I do not talk much with others about my spiritual state, so it’s easy to feel like I’m the only Christian getting bogged down at times. Just knowing that everyone is facing struggles and yet still has that quiet victory in Christ hidden within them is a comforting reminder. I think that victory grows louder and one day it will be (as the words to The Call go) a battle cry. God has not forsaken us. We see dimly in a dirty mirror now, but one day our faith will be sight. Again, thanks for posting Kelli, you’re an encouragement to me:)

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  5. Oh man, thank you. Sunday/Monday blues are hitting for upcoming school stuff and I’m definitely going to want to be asking, “Am I mistaking Jesus for the gardener?” this week. Brief and lovely post, Kelli!

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  6. I adore the honesty in this post, because I feel the same way a lot of the time. I am glad that you have the bravery to admit that you get a bit lost sometimes, and don’t always know the answers. I have struggled with that for a long time, and it is amazing to know that I am not the only person with faith that gets shaken now and again. Thank you so much for this post.

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  7. This is really good that you are able to admit your doubts. Most people want to keep that to themselves as a sense of pride, so I appreciate your humility. I totally like what you said about how Mary mistook Jesus for a gardener. It makes you wonder in general how several people that Jesus was around even after he revealed he was alive again didn’t recognize him. Didn’t they spend three years with the guy? It’s wild! I like the one where he has a fire ready on the shore and is cooking fish best. His fishing buddies of old had no idea who he was. I mean he even recreated how he met them! (John 21). I wonder if I would be willing to swim fast to him right away as Peter did.

    I have a hard time with accepting a lot of the things in the world at times too and wanting God to just make things better more quickly WITHOUT so much of our help. Then again I know that there has to be some things that have changed that I just don’t know about because He really does care.

    He loves you Kelli. He’s right there! 🙂 As you feel your pains, He understands them and is with you.


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