As some of you already know, “trust” is my word for 2013.
Every year, I ask God to give me a word and then watch Him reveal the meaning to me throughout the year. It’s one of my favorite things to do, and I have my amazing friend, Candy, to thank for that. (Thanks, Candy!)
Anyways, if you’ve been following my blog for awhile you’d know that I typically discuss my word of the year just 2 times a year: once when I choose it in January, and again that December to examine how I grew in my word that particular year.
So clearly things are getting CRAZY over here because I’m about to discuss my word for the year in the middle of the year, in July! Wild, I know. ;)
I just feel like trust is such a huge subject for me, personally, and I need to unpack it here for a little while. I always learn from my own writing since that’s the way God speaks to me, so here goes… Maybe you and I will both learn something.
To be completely honest, I’ve spent most of the year avoiding my word so far. I’ve had several people ask me how ‘my word’ was going and I think I gave them each rather stutter-y and non-committal responses. Let’s be real, no one really wants to be forced to trust, especially in the natural. Trusting means that you’re not in control, that things may be out of your hands. I don’t like that very much, because I quite like my hands. But I’m learning… I’m learning that His hands are greater.
I’m learning that I only have to trust God, first and foremost. I’m learning that it’s okay that I don’t trust a multitude of people. It’s okay to guard my heart for a little while. I used to not be okay with that, I used to think something was wrong with me. But I’m learning that my spiritual gift of discernment is just that: a gift. I have so many crazy stories of knowing not to trust people right off the bat, and then having them prove themselves to be untrustworthy. My Mimi often tells me the story of a man who came to do yard work at my house when I was barely in elementary school. I didn’t know the man, but I knew that I didn’t trust him. Sure enough, he turned out to be a con and abandoned the job soon after starting it. (His last name was Stump, and he was in the tree business. I mean, seriously people.) But I was the only one that didn’t trust, and I was right on. Because of this story, and many others that I could bore you with, I’ve learned to trust my discernment and not resent it.
(Side note: Discernment is a really really weird spiritual gift and I don’t completely understand it, that’s for sure. In fact, I’m just now realizing that I probably need to chat with someone about it because some really weird stuff keeps happening to me. Spiritual gifts are so cool. Hey, let me know if you have the gift of discernment too, ok? Ok.)
Great. Now that we have my (lack of) knowledge concerning spiritual gifts out of the way…
Graham Cooke says that when it comes to trusting God, “all trust is joyful. If you don’t do it joyfully, you will do it anxiously, which means it isn’t really trust at all.”
Ok, ouch. That hurts a little bit because I have not been trusting completely joyfully this year. Which means I haven’t been trusting at all. Part of this year has been the definition of “anxious trusting”. You see, this is the year. This is the year that I decide what the rest of my life will consist of. Obviously, not really… But that is somewhat true. I have another year of high school left, but this calendar year is the one that I apply to college. It’s the year I choose my major, my path. And the thing that I’ve thought I’d be doing in college and for the rest of my life is kind of falling apart in my mind as I think of other things that I’d also like to do. I’m at the point where I’m anxiously trusting myself, and putting God on the back-burner. I can’t even hear Him speaking because I’m too busy doing all the things and trying to act out His job for Him.
This is not trust. I blindly call it trust, but I am wrong.
Trust is fun, trust is joy, trust is love.
I don’t know why it’s so hard for me, for us, to truly place trust in God’s hands. Do we think He’s not going to come through? Maybe that’s just it… Maybe we’re scared He IS going to come through. Maybe the deepest parts of our soul know that God is going to do what God wants to do, and that may not line up with what we think we want to do…and so that starts to scare us away.
I don’t want to be scared away anymore. I don’t want to be anxious. I’ve become so good at being anxious, but that is not my portion. I am not going to let anxiety define me. Who would want anxiety, when they could have joy?!
Trusting, without trusting in The Lord with all your heart, isn’t true trusting. He wants it all. The good parts, and the not-so-good parts.
Listen, I’m no expert. I don’t know the “trust formula”. I don’t even know what my next step should be in my own journey of trusting Him, but here’s where it all changed for me:
Earlier this year as my amazing mentor and friend, Amy, was praying over me, she told me that she saw a flaming sword running full-speed ahead. And then God told her that He trusted me. That’s right, the God of the universe trusts ME. Amy didn’t even know “trust” was my word, she was just telling me what God told her. But guess Who did know how much trust means to me this year? That’s right… God knows, and He truly cares. He cares about every detail in my heart. The God who formed the Heavens and the earth and still has time to be my best friend, whispers lovingly how much He adores and trusts me.
That’s when everything in my heart shifted about trust, when I realized trust isn’t one-sided. God loves me as much as I love Him, and then WAY more than that. And in order to love, I have to BE loved by Him. So my new truth is that to trust, I have to allow myself to BE trusted by Him. I get to trust from God, not just in God. I bring Him joy, because He trusts me. And true trust is always joyful. I may not know what’s next, but I’m going to clothe myself in the Joy of The Lord, because that is where I get my strength.
And YOU can wrap yourself up in His joy too. You don’t have to produce it by yourself, God loves to lavish His joy upon us. The Kingdom is all about receiving, so just ask for some joy today! You are in for an amazing day if you ask for that.
Remember that you can trust God, and also remember that God can trust you. You are worthy and blameless in His sight, precious one. His love never gives up on you.