Life and other catastrophes · Relating to God · Spiritual growth and healing

Learning to trust again

I hadn’t been married all that long, and was living in a flat in Sydney’s inner-west. My husband was away overseas for work and my Monday in the office had been like any other. Until I turned the key in the apartment door. There was something amiss as my eyes scanned the small lounge room. The DVD player was gone, and a few other small items. I panicked, and raced to the bedroom where several belongings had been pushed over in an attempt to uncover treasure. But there was only one treasure I could think of – my engagement ring. I opened the small box which held the precious item Michael had selected for me the summer before, and as I’d feared, it was gone.

But it wasn’t losing those things that upset me most. It was the fact that someone had been inside our house, and carelessly touched and taken precious items without our permission. It was a shock, and I felt violated.

The next Monday, after Michael had returned, it happened again. This time they took our TV, and several other large items.

For a long time after the robberies, I would glance around the room each time I arrived home, expecting to see items missing. Such is the impact of crime. You continue to predict the worst, and you trust people less.

Perhaps you’ve been through something similar – or worse, you might have undergone serious physical, sexual or emotional abuse that has left you reeling, cautiously looking for danger at every turn, unable to believe there are good people still in the world.

Abuse creates new ‘stories’ in our minds, and the warnings we give ourselves are our attempt to protect ourselves from future harm. It’s understandable isn’t it?

Trust must be built up again slowly, and we need to replace our negative experiences with enough positive ones that we can start to believe the world is reasonably safe. That we will be OK…

I remember a time when I wasn’t even sure God was trustworthy. I’d experienced some hurts which left me reeling, questioning the safety of the world around me. I tried to push everything away… including God. But for me, having known the love of God since I was a little girl, it was like trying to push away air. I simply could not. I could attempt to walk away, but he could not cease to exist. He was as real as he ever had been. And I had a strong sense he was waiting for me to return. To trust again. And I did.

But it took a lot of emotional support from others to do that. People who showed me the love of God in words and actions.

It’s never easy to trust, no matter what we have or haven’t been through. We are by nature skeptics, and believing in a God we can’t see? Not always easy.

It can take some deep exploring before we get to a place where we can fall into His arms.

But just because we don’t find the freefall easy, doesn’t mean He isn’t waiting, hands outstretched.

*

“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.”

(Isaiah 66:13)

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25 thoughts on “Learning to trust again

  1. was this recent?

    i had the same experience recent and another years ago.

    the recent was, when my money was pick pocked.
    I ask “am I God’s child? then why did it it happen to me?”

    I do not have the answers, but one thing I did.
    “I confess with my mouth, that those robbers will come to know Jesus”
    and someday they will.

    another one years ago.

    it was 3am in the morning, I was working on a project in my computer.
    my wife was pregnant with our first baby and it was the week we were expecting

    I went to bed 3:30am. then for some reason I woke up instantly got up at 4:30am
    then to my surprise, my computer was gone, T.V. was gone, and other appliances were gone.

    worst? all the money was gone, including the atm.
    we have nothing left for the hospital for my wifes child birth

    had I woke up while the robbey was happening, I am probably in a big trouble.

    I am thankful, that in spite of me not really knowing God’s grace that time, God’s grace was in me already.

    God’s grace is in you too. had you come home with the robber inside the house? it could spell disaster.

    the reality is that, we believers may also experience things like this. but thank God not for the things we know, but the things we do not know that He protected us from. 🙂

    be blessed. amen

    – grace and peace

    1. So well said. Thank you for sharing your stories, and I’m so sorry you went through that. What a horrible thing to happen, of all weeks. But how wonderful that you know His grace, and can look back and be thankful for what you were protected from. Thank you for helping me to gain some perspective about what happened to me too. God is always good, and through all our experiences He is with us 🙂 So thankful for that. God bless,
      Ali

  2. Big hugs to you Ali! Thank you for the sharing. It is indeed hard to learn to trust again… Thank God for his faithfulness that even when we are unfaithful, he remains faithful and trustworthy… This always amazes me 🙂

    xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, it’s a journey isn’t it? He certainly is. We might change and doubt, but he stays the same. What an amazing God we serve 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, and encouraging me 🙂

  3. Hi.
    Trust is key. It is something that we are all working at, in our different levels of life. I like how you put it in the end. You said even though we are having trust issues the fact remains that God has His arms wide open. He is waiting for us. You did not say those exact words but that is what I got. So thank you for the reminder and the challenge.

    Rolain.

    1. Hi Rolain
      So true isn’t it, and I think we all have trust issues to some extent, depending on what we’ve been through. I’m glad you were encouraged by that – He doesn’t change, and is always there, whether we feel abandoned, bereft, hurt… or not. Thanks for dropping by 🙂
      Ali

  4. My dear Ali, this post brought me close to tears especially when you wrote about a time when you weren’t sure God was trustworthy. Somehow eventhough it has been ingrained in us that God loves and He is the essence of trust, our own experiences in life can sometimes stain our hearts. And sadly it can stain how we view Him. Isn’t it true that if our heart is not set right, it is distanced from the truth of who God truly is. And until we cleanse and heal our hearts, we will not walk in the fullness of who He is and who we are. And yet, as you so beautifully wrote, He guides us back always to Himself until we are back in His arms again.

    I have missed you. Sorry I have missed your last few posts. Have been a bit busy but always, always think of you and keep some time to come here to catch up with you a while. Many blessings to you and hugs across the oceans, Sharon

    1. Oh, thank you so much for writing Sharon, and thank you for your beautiful heart.
      So well said – only He can cleanse us from the stains left by the world, and our own decisions. He is amazing, and truly does heal 🙂
      That’s fine – it’s always wonderful to see you when you can drop by. Blessings and hugs back to you – take care and thanks for writing and being such an encouragement,
      Ali

  5. Thank you, Ali, for showing us how even in the worst of situations, He is still trustworthy, we have to turn to Him and believe He’s still there for us! God bless you and yours!

  6. I had a friend who returned home to a ransacked house with items missing. She shared the same feelings of being violated. Glad you were safe, and are trusting again.

  7. Goodness, so sorry to hear about this. As someone with some ‘trust issues’ here I can appreciate what you are saying about being hesitant to trust after that. The good news of course is God (as you already know) through the Holy Spirit though can restore our trust through faith. Thanks for sharing such a personal story. Blessings to you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Brian. It is wonderful isn’t it – restoring our trust through faith, I like that. We just need to lean into Him and believe He won’t let us down like people do (at times).

  8. Sheesh, going through two robberies would make even the most trusting person wonder. (I’ve not had my house robbed, but we’ve had two cars stolen. That’s not nearly as personal, but it still leaves a bad feeling.)

    I think it is hard to put trust in God when we use our experiences as a guide. There isn’t a friend around who hasn’t let us down at one time or another. We just have to remember that God isn’t like that. Faith is being able to put aside what we know about broken trust and being able to turn our hearts to God anyway.

  9. I was shocked and deeply saddened by your experiences Ali and you are right to connect your trauma with other forms of abuse with its lasting impact. I feel encouraged to write about my own experiences (though only briefly here of course). For me the abuse came from the place I most trusted – the church. For a time I was truly broken and felt robbed of my faith. It seemed I just cried out to the void. Then changes and new opportunities occurred that showed me God had not left me. In fact He had shown me just how much resilience I had and that through the pain and the changes wrought in me, I had learned so much about myself that I may never have discovered otherwise. I also gained a chance to change into something new, something different and better. Thank you for your posts, your work is amazing! God bless. Michael.

    1. Thanks so much Michael, and thank you for sharing from your heart. Church can be the unsafest of places, tragically. That’s wonderful you were able to see your way out of that hard time and know God hadn’t abandoned ship, and how much strength you really had. At the time it’s so hard to see the purpose of abuse, but there is treasure and wisdom, down the track, that emerges if we allow God to help us find it. Thanks so much for being so encouraging, and God bless you and your ministry. Looking forward to checking out your blog.
      Ali

  10. Your story gripped me…because I can so relate to the broken trust. It does take a very long time to stop expecting the same bad thing to happen again. Thank you for sharing in such a tangible way.

    1. Thank you Denise… and it is hard to regain trust isn’t it. Some experiences just stay with us and it’s hard to move on. But we can trust God, and He will lead us forward if we let Him. All the best.
      Ali

    1. I’m so glad Joy – the best decision I ever made too, and He won’t let us down 🙂 Thanks for dropping in, great to see you.

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