i’m participating in a blog series hosted by ally spotts — a very talented writer and a fellow 20 something believer in life’s adventures and God’s love.
confession: sometimes i don’t trust God.
it’s not that i don’t know how. i’ve heard it explained several times. the problem is that i’m pretty good at tasks, and trusting God isn’t really a task. it s a belief, a lifestyle, a way of letting go of something. it is the unclenching of the hand and the calmness of breath. it doesn’t come very natural for me. i fight against it constantly because i’m a doer. and trusting doesn’t seem like you do much. someone else does the doing, and you just sit there and believe that it’s all going to be okay.
i guess it’s not so much that i actively don’t trust God to make things okay, but that i trust myself more.
what kind of crazyness is that?
i think it started like most control-issue stories do: i lost control of a few key relationships in my life over a short period of time, thus sending me into an overcorrecting nightmare where i steered myself into believing that if i control situations, people, emotions, outcomes, then i’d always end up happy and fancy-free.
i have learned over and over that when i make plans, i don’t always end up happy and fancy-free.
it’s happened in dating relationships. i used to see, from a distance, someone who i thought i would like to be romantically involved with. so i manipulated situations. i constantly started conversations based on half-real facts that i believed would make us instantly linked by our common ground, thus catapulting us into love.
truth: it never worked out. i never really heard from them again. rejection hurts anyways, but it hurts worse when you thought you had stirred everything together perfectly and wouldn’t end up feeling like crap. and instead of seeing it as an inevitable consequence to my type-A planning, i told God that i couldn’t believe He would make me feel this rejected, again and again.
it’s also happened in friendships. i once held onto a friend’s deep dark secret for so long that i felt like it was seeping out of my pores. i knew God wanted me to be a different voice in her life, a voice of truth in love; but that sounded like i would lose her as a friend. so i controlled the circumstance because i wanted to salvage my friendship with her. and as it usually does, God’s plan finally came to fruition. and as it usually ends up once i finally let go, my world fell apart. it was painful and rotten feeling. and instead of thanking God for bringing both of us out of the miry pit of lies and secrecy, i yelled at Him for taking away my friend — something i felt like i deserved.
and that’s the root of it all. i feel like i deserve a controlled, predictable life.
i feel like i deserve to know what’s going to happen, and i feel like i deserve for those happenings to be in complete alignment with what i want my life to look like.
as if i have any clue what that should be.
so i try and try to take the wheel into my own hands and i tell God what i want, when i want it. it is hard for me to trust, because i think i see the entire picture. i think i know what’s best for me.
the Bible says “trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understandings; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” [proverbs 3:5-6]
sometimes i need to stop and just read that slowly, like a nap. i flip it around, and i acknowledge what He’s already done. i thank Him for the coffee in this cup which reminds me i’ve been given a job that pays enough to sustain me. i thank Him for the hours of paperwork that are required when students are being charged with harassment, because it reminds me that He’s given me a job with purpose, a job in line with my passions. i thank Him for an over-filled email inbox because it reminds me that the power of story is endless, and we are all learning from each other one word at a time — and i get to hear about all of those stories.
trust isn’t easy. it’s hard almost all of the time. but beauty comes from letting go and remembering that He is the only One who is looking out for our best interest all of the time. we whine and scream and cry about how desperately we feel like something’s gotta give. we need our wish to be granted. right. now. and then when God steps in and breathes the warm whisper of provision, all we can say back is, “no better timing, Lord.” and we acknowledge His understanding. and we trust Him with more and more of our hearts.