I’ve always been the strong girl. The girl who could handle anything. I’ve also been very trusting in all my relationships. Believing that others would love me, the way I loved them. They would honor and respect me the way I did for them.
Unfortunately, this world is full of selfish people and trust is tested, comprised and destroyed on a regular basis. I have felt the pain of betrayal more times than I can count. I have also spouted the importance of continuing to believe the best in everyone.
After my marriage ended in divorce due to infidelity on his part, I was truly devastated. Something I really believed would never happen to me. Years later when I decided to open my heart again I felt I had worked through the garbage my heart was holding on to; that through counseling, godly pursuits and close friends I did the hard work to heal myself and help me trust again.
The true test came when I entered in to another long term relationship. He is amazing. He has been dealt a similar hand in life and is a true gentleman. I trusted him. I knew he would never do to me, what I could never bear to go through again because of these things. I had no doubt that we would be great together and above all he would never betray me.
The problem with that is I know we are all human, and humans make mistakes. Has he betrayed me? No. But I have found myself expecting him to, and ultimately trying to “fail proof” our relationship before we make the ultimate commitment of marriage. As if I can come up with a 12 step plan to make sure he never hurts me, like I’ve been hurt before.
That’s not the definition of trust though is it? How can I say I will trust again, if I have to manipulate the situation to my liking in order to trust him. That’s not how this works.
Gods design is to walk in faith. Not after you have manipulated the situation to your comfort zone. In your most uncomfortable, challenging, soul based fears we must trust. I used to think this was easy, that all people needed to practice faith and grace in all relationships and life would be sunshine and rainbows. Life is a challenge most days. We create boundaries to love instead of fostering growth and connection. We mistrust everyone out of self preservation, which is counterintuitive yet difficult to change.
Our church challenged us to focus on one thing this year. One word or concept that you need to work on and after days of prayer and late night discussions I know mine is trust.
I think I know it, but I don’t. I know I deserve it, but I struggle to give it. I know what it means, but not what it looks like.
That is my focus this year. May God help me find the scars on my heart that need healing, may he love me through the pain and keep me grounded in the fact that I am loved and can and will be a better me in the new year.