Trust Issues? Me?

My Parachute Jump!

My father committed suicide when I was just a few months old; my stepfather didn’t live up to his promises; and my fiancĂ© cheated on me. In fact, every man that has ever played a pivotal part in my life disappointed me in one way or another. As a result, I became thick skinned and independent… so, trusting God was never easy. The let downs made me stronger – so strong that I became self sufficient: dependent on my own labour and decisiveness to get me through. I didn’t want anything for free and I didn’t want a hero; my ‘DIY policy’ was the only way to avoid disappointment.

When I got to know God and His promise of being the Father I had never had and the husband that would love me unconditionally, it sounded great. The dream was beautiful but the harsh reality was that I wasn’t sure if I bought into it. I soon realised that although I wanted all of those things, I couldn’t get to the point of actually trusting Him to do them for me. My own father had killed himself when I was too young to remember and my stepfather wasn’t much better. I gained solace in my first love and transferred all of my neediness to him - only to receive it thrown back in my face. If I ever made a mistake or didn’t like something he did, he wouldn’t speak to me for days, sometimes weeks… so how could I trust that what this Man was saying was true?

Somewhere along the way, like a thief in the night, I had lost my belief in men. I had lost the belief that they would stick around when the going got tough or that they would carry out their promises or even that they would accept me back if I did wrong. Like a step child, I pushed God’s buttons to see if He would bail out like all the rest. I wanted to trust that He would reward me like He said but I would make sure that I worked for it – I didn’t want a freebie that could be snatched away. In my heart I wanted to let go and jump (!) into His hands but something was holding me back... I didn’t really trust Him at all. I questioned. I second guessed. I tried to earn the promises on my own merit. I tried to be ‘good’. I complained. I sulked. I cried to get pity. But I never trusted Him. I never trusted that He would be as wonderful as He promised or as faithful as I had hoped.

Well here I am today, still learning to trust God and taking it a day at a time. I tried it out and got somewhere and the fact that God ‘passed my tests’ amazed me and encouraged me to try it some more. One step at a time. When I pushed Him away, He stayed by my side and whispered words of encouragement. When I made a mistake and expected the backlash, He assured me that I could start over. When I have felt lonely, afraid, worried or anxious, He always provided me with a Word that made it all better again. His timing was always perfect; His patience outstanding and His care totally undeserved. He was in it for the long run… And when I tested what He said and put it into practice it worked! He was true to His Word!

One of the biggest lessons that I have learnt from Him was that surrounding myself with a bulletproof, tamper proof, barbed wire fence to protect myself wasn’t the way. I couldn’t be who I wanted to be singlehandedly and every day the unresolved issues that I carried were like worms, eating away at all that was good. My ‘DIY policy’ proved fallible because in the end I would even let myself down. Now what? Was I going to run away from me?

I had to face the issues and deal with the traumas of my past; (you know, the things that we hope God will make better but don’t want to come to terms with). I told Him things I would never share with anyone and He kept my secrets. He knew some of my biggest desires (some that I have never spoken about) and surprised me by fulfilling them! He gave without receiving anything in return and when I was horrible He still gave me a shoulder to cry on. It was time to give back…

The Oxford definition of trust is: Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing. Since that realisation in my life, I have learnt to trust in God. Day by day I make a conscience decision to rely on Him for what I need and to depend on Him when I don’t get what I think I need. I have learnt to believe that He will do what He says He will, no matter how long it takes. He hasn’t failed me yet! But most importantly, I have learnt to sit in His hands and let Him guide me through this journey called life. Now I’m working on the next phase: lying down and falling asleep!

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

really encouraging gemma, thanks

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