It’s been about six months into this “year of trust.” Focusing on this word has helped center me, especially during times when I feel like I’m slipping into worry or wondering “what if.” As I write this today, I am also feeling heartbroken about the world’s events, about hate and evil that spreads fear into our culture, so I am reminded that trusting involves more than just my own life. It means trusting with things I can’t make sense of and feel lost and confused about.
How to Trust When You’re Not a Trusting Person
I’ve studied the effects of a background like mine, where trust is not established early on in life. How can you trust the parent who hits or belittles you? How you can feel safe in an environment where you are abused? These simple patterns of trust are established as babies and small children and if you miss it you need to mindfully learn trust when you get older.
So if you’re not a trusting person, do some research and self-reflection and figure out why. Push aside shame. It has no place in your soul.
Learn to dole out vulnerability slowly and appropriately. Ask God to help you with this, even if not trusting God is the very thing you struggle with.
My research and reflections showed me why I didn’t trust God and after that I focused on how to do something about it. This concentration on trust this year is really a final piece in that. I was tired of my habit of trusting people more than I trusted God. (Think about that for a second… yeah, it’s backwards.)
I would trust new people who came into my life, trust family members even when they didn’t behave lovingly, and trusted friends even when they showed me they weren’t for me. And yet, the minute something negative would happen I would blame God and feel like he didn’t like me. I couldn’t rest in trust.
(Be Still, available in my shop)
Creatively Surrounding Myself With Trust Reminders
It’s no secret that when my mind is continually focused on something it is reflected in the things I say and do. I’ve noticed this past half year that my art has reflected my desire for trust.
Sometimes God has us create things because other people need to see them or read them, and sometimes it is because we’re the ones that need to see or read them.
Over at Putting on the New I wrote about the things I needed to give up in order to trust God. In order to truly put my trust where it should be I’ve had to give up my desire to know and understand everything in detail. If I didn’t get what was happening, I got angry with myself. Why did this terrible act happen in the world? Why did this person do this to me?
But in the end, it didn’t matter why. God will take care of the act and the why of the act. I need to focus on him and the person he wants me to be.
Transparency Without Shame
In sharing this desire for more trust, I’ve heard from so many people who share the same desire! This is what is so beautiful about vulnerability. Sure, there are a couple people who will take the things you say and use them against you somehow. They’ll make fun of you, preach to you, or put you down to make themselves feel better. But you’ll be surprised at how many people come forward and tell you, “You feel like that? Me too.”
I share things with the blog and readers and social media when I am comfortable with them and when I feel it will benefit someone else. I’ve chosen to be transparent at this season in my life because this is the last stretch of this particular trust struggle. God has already moved me past the point of return to my old ways, and now it’s just a matter of baby steps (mixed in with a sprint or two) until I am done with this struggle (and probably on to the next one). This is what is so great about having a relationship with God, he teaches you throughout your life.