“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
As far back as I can remember, I have had little trust in others; not allowing people to see into my heart or get close enough to know the real me. I’m a very sensitive, caring person and my heart gets bruised easily. Somewhere along the road I guess I decided I’d rather not let people in. I figured it would be easier to go through life not letting people know me than allowing myself to be hurt. Thankfully, the past few years, God has been helping me tear down those walls. It has not been easy and my heart has not just been bruised in the process – it has been trampled on. Still, I am learning to trust others, allowing some to see bits and pieces of me and others to see even more. God brought Nate into my life and, in allowing myself to open up to him, I have experienced such and amazingly secure, trust filled relationship.
Lately, though, I have been discovering that my lack of trust goes so much farther than simply other people. I have been finding that more often than not, I am not truly trusting God. I’m not saying I don’t have faith in God or don’t love Him; I’m just saying that when problems come up, I have such a hard time turning to God in prayer. I’m more apt to cry, talk to Nate, or just bottle it up inside. I’m learning that I don’t feel as though God cares or will do anything about it. I don’t believe my problems are worth His time.
This past week, I’ve been struck time and time again with reminders of God’s care and goodness. I’ve been convicted about my lack of trust in so many ways.
One of the concerns I have is paying off student loans (which, truth be told, our combined loans aren’t even as much as the average individual who graduates from Multnomah). Any talk of finances leads me to frustration or tears. It’s not simply that I want us to be out of debt. For me, it’s more that I often don’t feel as though we will be able to give our lives to ministry, start a family, or even (selfishly) buy a house until we have this weight off our shoulders. A few days ago, while reading through archives of the blog Under the Sycamore, I came across a blog post sharing an amazing story of God providing finances for two families’ adoption processes. Reading this happened at the perfect time, reminding me that money is never an obstacle for following the Lord. I’m not saying that I now believe that God’s just going to provide the money to pay off our loans in one day, but it was such a good reminder that God is in control. He has called us into ministry and will provide all we need – Probably not all we want, but definitely all we need.
I was still mulling this over when Nate and I stopped by one of our former professor’s house on Saturday. Through a completely different context, the discussion of trusting God came up. We talked especially about finances and this man said something very poignant. He quoted John 14:14 “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Of course, we have to take into consideration the will of God, but he said that he would rather ask for something and have it not be God’s will and, therefore not receive it, than not ask for something and have it be God’s will but not receive it because he didn’t ask. He shared specific stories he has been a part of where God has answered prayers in amazing ways. It reminded me, once again, of how often I just don’t ask God for things because I don’t trust Him. I’d rather be self reliant and worry about everything on my own than turn to the all powerful God. How crazy is that?
Yesterday I felt all this come to a head. Nate and I are thinking about and praying about where God wants us in our next season of life. We’re contemplating a move, getting new jobs, and going to a new church and it just overwhelmed me. The position Nate is applying for seems like the perfect fit for both of us and I am so scared it won’t happen. I am not trusting God in that. Beyond all that, I also was overcome by feelings of loneliness. Friendships are so different now that I’m not in school or in a workplace with adults. I don’t feel deep connections with many women and often it leaves my heart feeling so empty. Because of the blog post I read and conversations I’ve been having recently, I really began praying. I’m praying that God will give Nate the position, that there will be amazing women I can grow close with, and that I can get a job that I find so much more meaningful than the job I have now. My mind still is having problems wrapping itself around these prayers because I feel like they are so selfish.
This morning I was reading through a different blog and came across a post of a girl who went through the same feelings of loneliness and her biggest prayer when moving was friendships and God answered that prayer so thoroughly. Even though it was written years ago, I felt like it was written for me. It reminded me that my prayers are not selfish. God knows the desires of my heart and wants me to pray for them. He cares about the little things like me having friendships.
I’m still processing through all this and I am so thankful God has been bringing so many reminders of his trustworthiness into my life this past week. I’m sure my mindset will not immediately change. I will still have moments, days, weeks even that I don’t understand and don’t trust the Lord, but God is shaping and molding me to be more trusting – of others and of Him.