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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

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As a kid, I thought I was indestructible. There was no place I wouldn’t explore, and no height too high to jump from.

I didn’t ask questions or think twice about my landings. I was daring and courageous. Don’t even get me started on when I first got my license. God worked over time with me.

As kids, we more readily trusted. We trusted our own abilities as well as others. We were fearless. We risked. We took risks with activities, academics, and relationships.

As adults, trust seems to get harder to do. We begin to institute the “think twice” rule in adulthood. Fears and wounds are introduced over time, and the force field of our hearts seems to grow stronger.

The process of trust is a long journey. It usually requires much reassurance along the way.

Learning to trust is a messy process.

The deception about trust is that it is solely based on the other person. Trusting someone else is no small thing. However, we become unsure of people over time, especially if we have experienced pain and hardship.

The truth about trust issues is not because of the other person, although that is a factor, but the deeper reason for trust issues is that we are unsure of ourselves.

Relationships are constantly growing and changing in our lives. It is hard to keep up with identifying our expectations and wants/needs in our relationships.

An eye opening truth for me is that the kid who used to climb to the highest point of a tree is now fear driven. My fears and insecurities are the lenses through which I see. These fears affect my relationships on every level.

Our fears cause us to undermine and discredit the people in our lives. Conflict and Failure is the inevitable result.

I have trust issues.

They are the thorns in my side. Trust is so hard for me. I am learning that the reason I have trust issues is because I have self-perception issues. The reason I think that people are going to abuse my trust is because deep down I think I am worth the abuse.

To be honest, the more intimate a relationship gets for me the more I play defense with my heart. The more intimate a relationship the more I tend to play out the potential pain in my head. This creates tension and hurt in my relationships.

My trust issues set up failure in a lot of ways. Somewhere in me is the voice that says, “You are worth leaving. You are replaceable. You are not worth your value. You are worth hurt.”

I am not disqualifying the experiences that have contributed to these fears. I have experienced pain that makes trust hard. However, the pain does not equal the truth about me.

I am also not disqualifying that some people are not trustworthy and you have to discern that for yourself.

Most conflicts related to trust begins with our own self-perception.

This is not just our relationships with one another, how we view ourselves affects our relationship with God. I know I dismiss him often by giving the voice of my fears too much weight. It wrecks havoc.

I am so thankful for a God who is patient, gentle, and unconditionally loving. He makes all things new in me.

Trust is a risk that requires surrendering our own understandings. 

What are your hang ups with trust?

What are your self-perceptions that hinder trust?

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Love is the most powerful word there is. Words, actions, song lyrics, poems, and the like try and capture its deep meaning and expression. I am convinced I will spend my lifetime trying to grasp its depth.

Love is no light expression. It always runs deep and means something.

I am grateful for the different glimpses of love I have experienced worldwide. Every culture has their own unique way of holding loves value. I’d like to think that all of my experiences have made a mixing bowl of loves expression in me.

I know I don’t always handle love well. Sin has corrupted love’s intentions and meanings. Love is meant to be known without conditions. Yet, we place criteria and walls around her. In some ways, love even has a standard.

Our culture has moved so far into the direction of conditional love that it makes my heart grieve. I tear up when I see an elderly couple walking hand-in-hand down the road. This picture always gives me a glimpse of unconditional and lasting love.

Love is a choice not a feeling.

Love takes commitment and faithfulness. Love takes trust and the grounding of safety that no matter what, the commitment of love and honor are fought for.

Honestly, our culture makes me sad. I hate that statisitically half of all marriages will end in divorce. Not only is that not ok, but the reason for some divorces is that one person just stopped fighting for love.

I hate that we have moved into being a culture where love is relative and anything goes. We cheer on people’s conditional love choices in the name of “happiness.”

We are becoming a society that thinks we are exempt from having to work through the hard of pain. We have lost the value of commitment. When we start saying, “we don’t have to…..’ the unconditional form of love is lost.

Love requires work. It is through choosing the hard of that work where love grows deeper. Love fought for on a deep level is called intimacy. I hate that we are losing sight of love.

I have experienced conditional love. I know I have also dished it out. I hate that I have. I could call my conditions defenses for fears and doubt, but that is no excuse. Love is meant to be known unconditionally.

I will admit to not always fighting for love and choosing to work through the hard and pain. I honestly fear love as much as I crave loving deeply.  I also don’t want to communicate that my love comes with stipulations. Makes me cringe.

Paul writes in Ephesians, “that you, being rooted and established in love…” I wrestle with these words. My first response to that verse is how many people truly know what this is like?  People who know and trust they are loved is becoming a rarity.

Why is that!?

I wrestle deeply with the truth that He loves me unconditionally and faithfullyMost days I can’t wrap my heart around that truth. I wish I could confidently know that I am rooted and established in love.

I want to get back to the place where unconditional love still walks hand-in-hand down the road. I want 50 years of committed marriage to not be a surprise to us. I want to fight for the norm of relationships to be know for their established love.

Love has no conditions. It is meant to have roots. 

How have you experienced unconditional love?

How have you experienced conditional love? 

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I have been marinating on this verse from Proverbs 29, “fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

There are so many things that surface for me regarding the word “fear.” I wouldn’t consider myself a fearful person. I am not afraid of heights, spiders (maybe a little), snakes, bugs, public speaking, and I don’t think I was born with the embarrassment gene. When it came to the game Truth or Dare, I always chose dare. I love engaging in things in which adrenaline turns my voice into a silent expression of awe.

Sky diving, didn’t free fall long enough.

Bungee jumping, the taller the drop the better.

Great White shark diving, first in the water.

But what about those little fears that are harder to identify? What about those things you catch glimpses of that leave you conflicted?

As I read this proverb, I started to think through and ask myself the question of what are my fears? I discovered that my fears are wrapped up in the things around me. I can safely say that the root of all my pride filled moments, anger, and conflict, resides a hidden fear in me.

I am broken and those broken parts in me are messy.

The masks of fear in me look like not knowing or feeling like I am enough. I struggle with feeling like I am not good enough or the fear of not having anything good to offer. I greatly crave wanting to offer something worthwhile and great. I fear accpetance in certain groups of people. I fear feeling foolish or stupid.

On this road of mine, I have experienced pain and wounds. Anyone who has experienced pain would love to guard against ever feeling that level of pain again – or any pain for that matter. I am learning to recognize how that fear manifests itself in me.

I would love to trust more easily without the small voice of doubt. Yet that is the fear that grips tightest in me. It is a good thing that the rest of the verse talks about the solution to fear, trusting in Him. Sometimes I wish everything wasn’t in the catagorey of “life-long process.”

How are you fears doing?

Do you know what your fears are?

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The bible is filled with amazing stories of miracles and wonders. Jesus did incredible things. He healed the sick, and raised the dead; gave the blind person sight and the mute a voice.

Jesus was active. His abilities matched no other.

Homes and courts would overflow with people just trying to get a glimpse of him. People traveled from all over bringing their needs to place before him, and hear his words.

Jesus did illogically astonishing things.

I shake my head at the amazing things Jesus did; story after story of miracles and wonders. God’s abilities were seen very clear through Jesus. Nothing was impossible for Jesus.

I read some of these stories and wonder about the person who didn’t get healed by Jesus. Was there a person he did not touch or heal? Were there people he did not “come through for?

There is a harsh reality that I bet there was. There is a harsh reality that even today things happen that make us question God’s abilities.

This world is filled with things that happen and we wish God would do, or would have done, something.

There is a part in the bible that every time I read it I am left with the question of why? Hebrew 11 is a great chapter of incredible faith. However, it is also a sobering chapter of faith that would seem to cause a tension between what happens and God’s abilities.

Hebrews 11 talks about amazing people of faith. It goes on to describe people who had received back their dead raised to life, those who shut the mouths of lions, those who escaped the sword, and weakness turned into conquering power. In the same breath, there is a list of those who seemed to die by the sword, flogged, imprisoned, stoned and killed.

What do we do with the tension of when God seems to use his abilities and when he seems absent?

God is able.

He is also always doing things we do not see or can even grasp.

There are stories like Lazarus, one of Jesus’ closest friends, who was sick and Jesus waited to show up. John the Baptist, a man Jesus described as one of the greatest men who ever lived, stayed in prison while Jesus did not free him. Jesus, God’s own son, hung on a cross. Battered and beaten, Jesus hung on a cross.

Many mocked Jesus’ abilities to be able to save himself. They called out to him to pray and ask God to save him. Jesus never did.

Jesus never questioned the father’s abilities in the midst of his circumstances.

It is so hard to reconcile our circumstances and God’s abilities. It is easy to claim his abilities when they seem to be for us. What about claiming his character and ability when they seem to be absent and far?

Our circumstances do not reflect the way God feels about us.” Andy Stanley

How do your circumstances stir up in you thoughts and questions about God?

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My GPS messes with my head sometimes. I have been known to question my GPS out loud. I mean have you ever caught yourself questioning the direction choice of your GPS!? It is maddening when the GPS turns out to be right.

DANG IT!

It takes the choice of faith to follow the direction of our GPS. For the most part I trust that the machine will get me where it is plugged in to go.

Trusting to follow the GPS is a small example of making the choice in faith.

Faith is a choice.

I think we can get wrapped up in the tension between choosing our own heart’s fearful voice verses what God is doing or saying. I know I struggle with this tension in me often.

The thing about choosing faith in God is that we forfeit our right to know best. In all honesty I really don’t know what’s best most times.

The other thing about making the choice for faith is that it forfeits our understanding.

More often than not what we think should happen does not look anything like what actually does happen. Making the decision to respond in faith surrenders our understanding of the logic in situations and outcomes.

The story of Joseph confronts my tension between choosing my logic and choosing faith.

Joseph led a life that looked nothing like he imagined it to be. Joseph had huge dreams for himself, but how he got to those dreams is shocking.

Joseph had multiple dreams about his life meaning big things for many people. However, he spent many years prior to that dream serving as a slave, as well as being falsely accused, which landed him in prison. In each situation Joseph clearly chose faith.

Nothing about the path of “success” that Joseph experienced made any logical sense. In the end, Joseph’s dream came true; he became the most important man in many people’s lives.

Joseph chose faith. Joseph forfeited is right to be in control and to know what was best for him. Joseph surrendered his understanding, and he followed.

I am in a season where I feel like steps are being taken back. It is not fun. I am realizing more and more that what I see as a step back may just be bigger steps forward then I can ever imagine or understand. I have to make the choice of faith.

I am choosing to lean not on my own understanding, but surrender to the one who knows the destination for me.

In what ways can you choose faith? 

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I loved listening to stories growing up. I love them still. There is life in the form of story. My imagination would run away with me listening to illustrations and tales of life being learned.

I am a very visual person. I see so much through the eyes of story. I hear truth through story. I see between the lines of what is not being said.

I have understood so much truth reading through stories of the bible. My heart has been camping out in one in particular.

I have been asking God for wisdom and revelation for my heart to know him better, but I was not ready for an immediate response.

Jesus tells a story to a group of local leaders that not only captures my heart, but unveils her fears as well.  

In Luke 14, Jesus is eating at the house of one of the prominent religious leaders. He tells them the story that introduces real humility, as well as, redefines honor for their lives. Jesus tells them that when invited to a wedding feast, do not assume the place of honor or someone more distinguished then you might have been invited. In humiliation, the host would have to ask you to give up your seat. So when you go to a wedding feast take the lowest place, so when your host comes, he can move you up to a better seat.

This story has pierced my heart. God has shown me my own heart through this story. As I attempt to unpack my heart, please know that I am not translating the story in the actual context it was meant for, but a story that illustrates me.

You see, I have deep fears in my life. Part of my fears depth comes from early family brokenness that still leaves me winded. Other parts are the make-up of life’s wounds and broken trust.

I find my lost heart in this story as I fear so much being replaceable. I fear being a meantime friend until someone better comes along. One lie I struggle to get off of repeat says, “Tracee, you are only good enough until…” Sadly, I have known too much of the “until” places in my life. I have been shown the message of replaceable with my heart.

Naturally my fears surface the most in deep and intimate friendships. When the “place of honor” is invited by my closest friends, I sit and wait, expectant to be moved. I am like that person who has their own row on an airplane, watching to see if the next passenger boarding will ask me to move over.

I sit, fearful of humiliation.

There are times I wrongly defend that place. Trust is dismissed and manipulation takes over. Not saying it’s my finest hour, but it’s real.

The flip side of waiting fearful is dismissing the place of honor all together. Sometimes to risk sitting in that place is so fearful that I can dismiss it all together. I can seatbelt myself into the lowest place and dismiss my loved one’s heart for me.

Dismissing the place of honor is crushing to those who want you in it. Love and trust have no place when that invitation is dismissed. The fruit of defending the lowest place is an unquenchable need to be reminded you are more.

There is no room for faith and trust in fear. Fear paralyzes and bonds, while risking to trust provides freedom. At least that is the hope.

I am working on my fears now that I see them a little bit more clearly. God is gentle and patient with me.

Any stories that are showing you your heart these days?

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When it comes to relationships of any kind, I am more of a tortoise then the hare. I am slow to let my walls down, slow to share, and slow to trust.

I cherish the heart of other people. I treasure knowing what is really between the lines of their heart. I know sharing is no small thing. It takes trust, and I don’t take trust lightly.

This is a true story for my heart as well. I cherish every shape that my heart is in. I have tender wounds, and painful places. My heart has requirements of love and protection. Each heart does. My heart has many finger prints on her, but only a few hold her – only a few reside in my heart as trustworthy.

You can call my heart high maintenance, but our hearts deserve high maintenance love and care.

It takes necessary time to develop trust. It takes time for people to know if the other is able to handle their hearts well. That is called healthy.

If it takes time for me to trust that someone will care well in handling my heart, could God have a process of trust?

I have been struck by this idea that God takes me through a process of knowing what’s in my heart. If I am not just going to place my name and heart into someone’s careless hands, is God the same way? Maybe not the exact way I do, but something similar.

There is a verse Deuteronomy 8 that has got me marinating. Verse 2 states, “remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.

God took hold of a nation and freed them from slavery. He led them out into the desert to make them a nation he could call his own. There was a process desperately needed for this to happen. The nation of Israel needed to detox from their life only known under tyranny and slavery. God needed time with them, and they needed time with him.

We all come from an “old way of life.” It takes time to really know the God who saves us. Old patterns, and ways of thinking, take time to change. Transformation happens inside of relationship. God is not quick to launch us into our next “promise land” without our hearts being ready. Likewise, we don’t take our relationships to the next level without stepping stones.

There is a necessary process that happens from when we first accept the invitation to follow after Jesus, and when that invitation becomes a lifestyle. God wants us to really know that we cannot live our lives on our own.

Jesus took his disciples through the process of following after him before they were ever sent out on their own carrying his name. Time was needed.

God needs to know what’s in our hearts before the next steps happen. My dream is to be a speaker after his own heart. There is huge process I am/will go through before that happens. Carrying his name is no small thing. I want to be trusted with his name. I care an unbelievable amount about people valuing my heart. Why should I think that God would be different?

I desire to be a woman after God’s own heart, and to do great things with that heart. That requires a process of humbling and testing in me. If you have any dreams of something similar, the same will be required of you as well.

Growing relationships build trust over time.

Will you give him yours?

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