Saturday, January 20, 2018

In Whom Do You Trust?

Trust has always been a scary word for me; many would say with good reason. From the time I was a little girl, I had my trust violated. I grew up on an inner city block with the tough girls, but I wasn't one of them. I was always gentle and afraid of hurting people, so I was the one that got hurt. As a teenager in the suburbs, I was the victim of crime at fourteen years old. So who did I put my trust in- me! 

I grew up in church and I knew all about Jesus, but it wasn't until I was an adult that I actually knew Jesus. With a mind and a heart that was so afraid of losing control, it was so difficult to trust in God. Surrender only seemed to come in desperation. Does this sound familiar? Trust and faith are very hard things to achieve. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus tells his followers that if they had the faith of a mustard seed, they could tell a mountain to move and it would. 

Life happens, so of course over the years, the trust issues accumulated. This is something I have worked on for a long time. When I was a single mother, control was the word of the day. Self control may be a virtue, but we will never have control over everything. Having control is truly an illusion; at best we may feel in control. 

Through prayer and study of the Word, I am finally getting to the point of really putting trust in my Lord and Savior. I can honestly say I have true faith. This is something that I asked Him to help me with and He really has. 

Isn't it incredible to think that we can go to God and ask Him to help us do what He wants us to do and He will? Through looking back at all the times I needed Him and He got me through, I realized how faithful He has always been. He has never forsaken me. He has always loved me with no bounds, He has always helped me. Most of all, I have things in my life that have been resolved with no explanation, and I know that it was from Him. He showed me how much I can trust Him and put my faith in Him!

Oh what a wonderful God I serve! I lay my burdens at His feet every day. It is so freeing to not carry that weight anymore. I trust Him with it all. Sometimes I take those burdens back and I have to do it again. It's a process that hopefully will lessen over time. I never thought I could trust like this, but through Him and with Him through me I can. Not only do I trust in the Lord, but He has been healing the trust issues as well. 

My trust used to be in me, now my trust is in God. In whom do you really trust? 

Reprint from 5/2016

Sometimes I Wish

Sometimes I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You set impossible standards for yourself. I see in you the person you dreamed you would be. I see the things you never thought you could do, how many obstacles you have gotten past and how many times you have overcome.

Sometimes I wish you could stop for a bit and revel in how far you have come. I want you to look back and see where you were. Remember the person you once were and cherish the incredible person you are now.

Sometimes I wish you could see past the brave, confident woman I try to portray myself to be and know that I am not much different than you are. I learned to be a fighter, I didn't have a choice. I have a perfectly molded mask I wear when the need is there. Sometimes I don't know when to take it off. That's when I wish I was more like you.

Sometimes I wish there wasn't a reason to learn all I did, as a lot of that learning came from a lot of pain. When I remember, I can feel the sharp edges of emotion like a perfect storm descending upon me from different directions. I don't believe in regrets or what if's- but sometimes I wish I could write my own story from the beginning; starting fresh with blank white pages.

Sometimes I wish all of these things, and then I realize, once more, that I am who I am meant to be, and so are you. The person who I am is a culmination of the experiences I have had, what I have learned from them and how God used it all to shape what is now a life full of meaning and purpose. Through it all, God left me with a soft heart, so I could know others' pain and support them through. I stand up for what I believe in and I fight for others who cannot fight for themselves. Yet I still have this soft heart, and when I pay a price for standing up and stepping out, it can hurt a lot. Sometimes I wish my heart didn't feel so heavy, but I praise God that it is full. I can say that I have really lived, I have known such deep pain, but I have also known incredible feelings of joy. I think back to C.S. Lewis' "Shadow Lands," the story of his own life. C.S. Lewis played it safe for many years, until the American poet Joy Gresham stole his heart. The story is one of finding true happiness; the love of a lifetime, and also of suffering the devastating loss of that love. We risk pain every time we try, every time we step out. I love his quote that pain rouses a deaf world.

And so, I wish for all and for myself, that you are brave enough to step out, open enough to dance with the wind, wise enough to step slowly but deliberately, patient enough to take one step at a time and to always remember that it isn't the destination, but the journey that matters. My journey is like climbing a mountain. Walking with my Savior and helping others in their fights is an uphill climb. How amazing it is finding that beautiful place where one can rest and look out, to see a breathtaking view. In my weakness and humanity I wish so many things, but then, I look up, find I am a little closer to Heaven, and thank God for that mountain view.

Reprint from 2012