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Lindsey Mitzel learns a lesson about doubts, trust, and perseverance ... all while making a batch of mayonnaise.

I decided to make chicken salad for dinner. It was an easy meal and a crowd-pleaser. Except that day it wasn’t. I’d made half the meal before realizing that I didn’t have enough mayo. “Ah, I’ll just make some,” I thought. I’ve made mayonnaise before, and it turned out fine. These days I usually just buy it, but it shouldn’t take long to make a batch. Fast forward twenty minutes—my toddler opening every cabinet and drawer in the kitchen, my next two children, hungry and whining to eat, and my oldest two, asking me loads of questions about what I was making, and so on.  

The mayonnaise, however, wasn’t turning out. Why won’t it thicken? I researched and tried again, and nothing was making my concoction into thick spread versus mayonnaise soup. I thought I had done everything right—room-temperature ingredients, measured very carefully.  

Finally, I stopped trying, sat down, and the tears came. My second daughter gave me a hug, told me it was okay if it didn’t work out, we could eat something different, and asked if I’d prayed and asked Jesus to help me.  




I hadn’t. Instead of asking for help or believing in the process of making mayonnaise—turning a sloshy mess into glorious thick goop—I kind of just inwardly panicked. I did pray and eventually it did turn out. The answer, however, wasn’t scrapping everything again, or giving up completely, but sticking with the process—being faithful to each slow drop of oil—getting myself (and my kitchen) messy while trusting that eventually the chemistry would work. Watery will turn pudding-like. I don’t need to push harder. I need to trust. 


Click to tweet:
I don’t need to push harder. I need to trust. #CatholicMom


The Bible gives us examples of some, like Noah, Mary, and Joseph, who trusted fully in the Lord when asked to do seemingly crazy things. But what about the rest of us who fear the worst when the mayonnaise doesn’t come together fast enough? St. Paul says,

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)


Jesus, however, also seems to understand when we invariably doubt. When Jesus appears to the disciples after His Resurrection, Thomas is skeptical and Jesus encourages him to physically touch His wounds: “Do not be unbelieving, but believe” (John 20:27).

When appearing to His disciples, Jesus states:

“Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see.” (Luke 24:38b-39a)


While some saints show us what is possible when we cast every doubt aside (Hebrews 12:1), some also give us examples of perseverance through doubts. St. Gregory writes,  

In a marvelous way, God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his Master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief. The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside, and our faith is strengthened.


Many saints, including Padre Pio, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Jane de Chantal, experienced doubts. In his article, "Even the Saints Had to Overcome Doubt," Fr. Joseph M. Esper writes,

It’s true that faith is a gift from God, but it must also be a choice on our part — and when we decide we do believe and act accordingly, even though it seems difficult or impossible (or even like so many empty words), we give great glory to the Lord.


It seems that when God asks us to do something that we cannot imagine how to do on our own, we need to trust in Him through the process, even when it all seems to fall apart (or not come together to begin with). God will see us through, and in the end, He will be far more glorified by our perseverance through struggle (or doubt) than if it had all come together quickly and easily.  



Copyright 2024 Lindsey Mitzel
Images: Canva