Learning to Trust Again
I love Jesus. Not because it is the ideology I was taught since birth, although I know that has a huge part to play in how I came to believe that The One Who Put The Stars Into Place created each one of us with the love of a perfect Father.
I love Him because over the last forty-four years I have developed a relationship with Him that has brought deep healing to my soul. I love Him because as long as I can remember I have felt Him leading me in a way that words often fail to describe.
I love because because as I grew older and started to dive deeper into the sacred scriptures I have seen how His story has played out. As I have learned to dive deeper into the Greek and Hebrew and history I have been left speechless over and over again at the love story that all creation sings.
I love Him but I have been struggling with what trusting Him looks like.
Love feels like an absolute to me. While there are feelings involved, so much of it is a choice. A sacrifice. A choosing to believe the best no matter what a feel. Love is a verb that I get to do every day.
How to trust. What trusting looks like…. I love absolutes but when it comes to trust, like a muscle it is built in the tension, trust is often built in uncertainty.
There are some things that are easy to trust: the brakes in my car because I know my husband checked them, whether the couch I am sitting on can hold the weight of my body, if the sun will rise in a couple hours, or if I choose to eat healthy foods my body will continue to feel strong and take my soul where it needs to go.
But then there are areas where trust is hard. I have shared how my trust in the American white evangelical church has been shaken. That doesn’t at all affect my love of God but rather what living out that love looks like. The last couple of years people who profess to love my God spout anger, judgement, racism, and take actions to impede the rights of people who think differently to vote and it makes it hard for me to know how to live out trusting.
I want trust to be an absolute. In many ways I wrongly thought that relationship with God was about absolutes. That’s where culture war Christianity comes from. It’s the idea that some people who know God better have the right and duty to tell other people how to live.
When I was a kid I first remember seeing this when a friend told me that trick or treating is evil. I was crushed because I love dressing up. When I asked my mom about it she was so amazing and simply asked what I love about Halloween and what I think about when I trick or treat. I told her I thought about candy.
I grew up in an apartment that had an army of kids and Halloween was always a blast because it was a community event. One year a friend’s mom made popcorn balls. They were amazing. To this day when the weather starts to change I crave popcorn balls and have an itch to play pretend and figure out what my next costume will be…
You see, in a world where religion is full of absolutes there is no grace. Instead there is pride insisting my way of understanding is the only way and God is on my side. I lived in that world for a long time in many ways so I get it. There is a false sense of security in this kind of absolutes. But over time it creates a hard heart or a questioning heart.
When it comes to relationships and trust, we have to let go of many of the absolutes we held on to for comfort. We have to relinquish control. For me that has looked like jumping off a series of cliffs that I felt God leading me to.
Trusting I was hearing God’s leading for my marriage was one of those cliffs. I was 21 when I first felt the tug in my heart of God asking me to trust Him to write my story when it came to love. I’ve written about it multiple times and sitting here on my couch with my husband asleep in the next room, it’s easy to talk about the waiting. I remember it. I remember wondering if I was crazy because I had felt I had heard god speak deeply to my but had no tangible proof that He had. Until the day Chris proposed and so much of my story made more sense.
But this time it feels different. It feels like I am standing on the edge of multiple cliffs. There are more areas where I need to trust God and in light of my mom’s death, how she died, what I had so deeply felt God speaking to me about her healing…
The anxiety that knocks on my door threatens to suck the air from my lungs. Like the Israelites in the desert romanticizing their slavery in Egypt, part of me misses when I thought God had less gray areas but instead could be understood and described easily….
As I type this out I am tempted to hit delete because I see the grammatical errors. I feel like this little excerpt from my heart is a confusing mess that needs to be wrestled with more in private. But then I feel it again.
That nudge. That leading. That familiar “knowing” deep in my heart that I have been invited into something with The One Who Loves Me Most and unless I hit send I will never know if I can trust this leading.
I am a writer. A writer who has been too scared to write. To heart broken to write. Too angry to write. Too overwhelmed to write.
But then I am reminded that it is often in my weakness that my God shines most brightly through me. And this moment, this phase, is an opportunity for Him to shine so brightly through me because I feel so weak.
While I am not sure what trusting God looks like in my life, I know what loving Him looks like. For me it is waking up every morning and doing my best to sit with Him and let Him align my day. It’s talking with Him as I drive. It’s weeping and yelling at Him when feelings of betrayal by Him pop up and letting Him lead me in processing all that swirls in my mind and heart.
Yeah knowing how to love my Savior is easy, but knowing how to trust Him… right now I only feel Him asking me to trust Him in each breath, each decision. To hand over each worry and soul crushing anxiety. To trade my facade of control into praise because every thing that causes me to worry is a chance to choose to trust.
So I hit send trusting I am feeling Him leading me in this breath.