Life can be scary — there’s no doubting that. How do we handle things that frighten us? Do we actually trust God?
In the last six months, I feel like the Lord has placed me in circumstances that have nudged me to embrace uncomfortable situations. My initial reaction is to recoil — find a safe place and not risk the unknown. But, in God’s loving-kindness, there hasn’t been anywhere where I can shrink back.
The first circumstance was when the organization I worked for hired a new executive director. For those who know my journey, having a new authority figure in my life always puts me on edge. You can read a bit more about why that is here. If I’m being transparent, I had knots in my stomach the first day I had to work with my boss. I prayed and asked God to help my fears not overcome my rationale. The question at the forefront of my mind was, “can I trust her?” At that moment, I felt like the Holy Spirit placed this question in my mind, “can you trust Me?” I thought about that for a bit. Although driving, my mind took a mental inventory of the times the Lord had been with me — good and bad. When things were good, He was there. When I’d felt bulldozed, He was there. I asked God for the strength to trust Him with my new boss.
Fast forward a few months. A new job opportunity opens up. After several months of interviewing and submitting a few writing samples, I get a job offer. Again, I think, a new boss, but the Lord had clearly opened this door. My prayer through the interview process was, “Lord, if you want me to have this job, please have them off it to me.” They did, and I accepted. However, during the first week of onboarding, I wondered if I had made a mistake. It was incredibly fast-paced, and two days in, my supervisor wanted to know where my head was. I didn’t want to tell him, “I don’t even have space to think about where my headspace is. I am so overwhelmed.”
At this company, we have six core values. One of our values is:
Lead with Humility — It’s not about your deal; be comfortable with your limitations.
I decided to write out exactly how I felt and then share it with my supervisor. Again, this was extremely challenging to trust someone to:
- Not fire me for being unable to handle all that was on my plate.
- Take what I shared and not use it against me later.
My supervisor didn’t bat an eye. He reiterated that if I didn’t tell him where I was, he couldn’t help me get to where I needed to be. He reassured me that the company wanted me there, didn’t want to lose me and that things would just take time, and I could take as much time as I needed to learn all the concepts.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
As I was thinking about trust and being open to the people in my life I remembered what C.S Lewis said in TheFour Loves:
“To love [trust] at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
To trust and love the Lord and the people He places in our lives means being vulnerable. It means opening up and sharing our thoughts and fears, knowing we will get hurt at some point. People will fail us; we will fail our people. God has appointed man once to die; we will lose people we love. But the beauty is knowing no matter what we face, no matter the heartbreak, when our heart breaks — He is CLOSE to the broken-hearted. He will never leave us or forsake us. So, here’s to pushing past fear and living by faith.
“Faith is living like God is telling the truth.” — Tony Evans