Tag Archives: confession

Trust is a verb

Freeway pic

Confession: I’ve been having a few trust issues lately. With God. Funny how we can delude ourselves into thinking we’ve conquered something; or at least have dealt with it so much that it’s not that much of a problem anymore. Ha.

My trust issues are centered around my future and God’s plans for me (or lack of plans, as my restless mind might believe). As I approach mid-life, I’ve been a lot more aware of how short life is. I faced some health concerns this year while a couple of other friends are still fighting for their lives. My daughter is pregnant with my grand-child. And what’s more, my hormones have decided it’s time for them to take center stage and make a complete mockery out of me, leaving me all but brainless.

Just ask my poor husband who sat in the car with me as I stopped at a red light, (in a busy intersection, mind you), only to proceed right through it afterward. I’m not sure who was more shocked, him or me. Poor, sweet man. I laughed and he stared straight ahead – wide-eyed and ashen, as he gently said, you just ran through a red light. I’m still cracking-up. He’s still recovering.

Or – how about the time I went shopping and left all of the grocery’s in the car for four hours in 90-degree heat? That was fun too. I got to throw away all kinds of formerly-frozen goodies.

Yup. Life’s been interesting at almost forty-seven.

But, as much fun as I’m having scaring the crap out my man and wasting food, I’ve been a bit down. Questions like, What purpose do I have? Is it too late to do anything now?, still consume me. Regrets and fears are also vying for center stage. Mix those with my crazy hormones, and we really have something special going on.

I know what God’s Word says on the matter; that He has plans for me, cares for me, that age holds no boundaries for Him… But, when so much time has gone by, when instance after instance occurs where I’m thinking, This is it! only for it to come and go, when I read a book, or a blog, or hear a teaching that gives me hope one more time but then…. nothing, I feel done. Tired of trying.

And that’s the problem. I “feel” done. And thus, I “act” done.

I stop pursuing dreams. I stop working on my book. I want to stop singing at church because I figure, what’s the sense. I feel old and washed-up so why not just embrace being a grandma and focus on pee-pee diapers and scraping macaroni-and-cheese off my floor. Too much time has gone by and my trust that God has a plan for me is swirling down the drain, along with the macaroni.

But something dawned on me the other day. As I was preparing for my women’s group, it occurred that I’ve been viewing trust as a feeling. It’s not.

Trust is a verb.

Just like love, trust is a choice. A decision I make through action. I know, duh. But for some of us hard-headed, red-light-running folk we need reminders now and again.  Reminders that it really doesn’t matter how I feel about the matter; what matters is what I do about the matter. And if I read my Bible correctly, it means I keep on keeping on. I persevere. Write. Sing. And wash macaroni away.

For someone else, it might mean changing the way they are doing a relationship because it’s not healthy. “Letting go” would be their trust in action.

It might mean laying down Candy Crush, Facebook, or Instagram, trusting that God can do something infinitely more valuable with that time. “Being still” would be the trust in action.

It might mean joining a small group of fantastic women, tying strings around our wrists and committing to growing through honest communication. “Sharing” would be our trust in action.

It might mean speaking, creating, serving, leading, mothering or planning; day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Simply working on the things God has set before us, with our whole hearts. “Doing” being our act of trusting God.

It’s a great thing to see trust as a verb! This means even if I feel like I’m not trusting God, I can show that I am through my actions.

I suppose it’s still not about me. I suppose if I really trust Him, it will mean that I keep working hard at what He’s called me to do, no matter how many years I have to do it for. Or if I never see the pay-off. Or never “arrive” at my preferred destination.

And so, I begin (again) today. Right now it’s time to trust God by posting this blog. And hope that maybe my little reminder will help someone else. And then watch my little grandson. And make him mac & cheese.

Doing life together

Before summer, I noticed I had been slipping back into some old yucky habits. Nothing major, just some small things that a few years back I thought I had for the most part conquered – like holding onto grudges or feeling entitled. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why they were creeping back up. I was still reading my Bible, talked to God all the time and even enjoyed listening to my favorite preachers while I played Solitaire on my computer.

After a few frustrating months of trying to figure out why I absolutely could not conquer them again, I thought I’d finally ask God and then sit still long enough to hear what He had to say. His answer surprised me.

You’re doing life alone.

Excuse me? That didn’t make sense. I have several girlfriends who I talk to all the time. I am blessed to have amazing family that I spend time with every week. And to top it all off, a wonderful husband who spends time listening to my every frustration and victory (well, almost every one). But besides all of that, what in the world did doing life alone have to do with my issues creeping back up?

At first, I just didn’t get it. But after a bit of reflecting, I realized something. I really wasn’t doing life with anybody – at least not the way I had a few years back when I was meeting on a regular basis with a wonderful group of women. It was a weekly invitation to dump, listen, cry, laugh, confess and study God’s Word together. We drank coffee and sometimes got on each other’s nerves.   It was wonderful.

I felt like God spoke to my heart ever so clearly that day, reminding me that we are always going to battle our flesh; that’s a given. But that’s exactly why we need to do life together. Because when we do, it’s not just me trying to maintain my spiritual sobriety – it’s you and all of your wisdom, prayers and encouragement helping me. And two are stronger than one. And three are stronger than two.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.   James 5:16, NIV

I don’t know about you, but I don’t just want to be healed – I want to stay healed. And that involves continual confession: confession that we need healing – whether physical or emotional; confession that we don’t have all the answers and that we need others’ input; confession of sin; confession that we’re struggling or hurting or happy – just honest declaration of truth. And that involves people.

It’s amazing how much freedom we can experience by simply sharing our lives with each other. No wonder God advises it.

But, like all worthwhile things, being in community comes with a price:

  • We have to override our fears that if people really knew us they’d run for the hills.
  • We have to be willing to look at our junk and be challenged.
  • We have to get out of our comfort zones.
  • We have to make time for it.
  • Basically, we have to set aside our pride that encourages us to do life alone.

After I received that revelation from God, I immediately called two close friends that I used to be in group with. I told them I missed doing life together. They did too. We now meet Wednesday mornings again to dump, listen, cry, laugh, confess and share God’s Word together. It’s wonderful.

Also, our church just launched community groups. My husband and I joined one and we met for the first time last night. That was wonderful too. If you go to my church, join a group. If you don’t, join a group.

Do life with people who will challenge you, support you, love on you, pray for you, hold you accountable and get on your nerves. I promise – it’ll be wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.