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Posts Tagged ‘trusting God’

 

I have questions. A lot of questions. I’m always curious about the mystery of God. I love exploring who he is! He is like a Colorado hike that shows me more than I ever thought possible.

WE have questions!

I love that he hears them. I love that God wants our questions. No question is too much. No answer is explained in a way I was anticipating.

My questions:

  • Am I the character trait I value in others most?
  • Do I trust you with my next?
  • Are my dreams really your desires?
  • Can I really be a voice for you?
  • Will I see greater things than these?

I have questions. Those are just some of them. I would love to know some of YOUR questions. I would love for us to share what we really know about him with one another with our questions.

Bring your big and bring your small!

What kind of questions do you have?

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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 weaker.

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 of the trust process is that it is solely based on the other person. Trusting someone else is no small thing. 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 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. 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 up with trust?

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About eight years ago I moved to Colorado. There was no real outward reason why I made the decision to move. Life was actually the most perfect I had ever experienced it to be. I had an amazing group of friends. Seriously, it felt like Acts living going on in our community. I loved my church, and I loved the city I was living in so much.

So why did I move?

Something in me felt the nudge to go. God had something for me. I didn’t know what. I fought hard not to go. Again, life was perfect. Maybe that was the why –I still don’t fully know, but it changed my life. For the four years following I was lonely, struggled to find a job, community was hard to come by, and I was not a big fan of the jobs I had.

However, something happened in me within those four years. I have never felt closer and more intimate with God. I learned a ton about myself and what he has wired me for. I honestly think that I would not know God at the depth that I know him now had I not stepped out. I actually grew in passions that I didn’t even know I had.

In Matthew 10, Jesus calls his 12 disciples to himself and equips them to be sent out on their own. Jesus provides some huge essentials for his friends before he sends them out. The first thing he provides the disciples with is his authority. Jesus provides his authority for his friends to experience the extraordinary. Jesus asked his friends to trust in the provision he was giving them to be enough.

The second provision Jesus equips his disciples with is direction. He tells them specifically where to go. Jesus states “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.”

I pray the prayer of direction a lot. I have made myself red in the face asking God the question of, “where am I supposed to be?” I am realizing that I am the one who makes this question hard. I am the one who doubts that he has a somewhere for me. If I am being most honest, part of me fears the where he has for me, so I listen with selective ears.

He is faithful to answer all of my questions for clarity and details. I am realizing that the places that grow in my heart are there for a reason. Colorado was no coincidence for me. I may have thought I was bringing a new idea to him about Colorado, but he nudged me in that direction first.

Jesus has a specific people, and place, in mind for his disciples to go. He had something just for them. He has some place in mind for you and me. There is always a tug on my heart when it’s time to move.

Colorado was a season for me. After four years I moved back to the DC area. Ironically, four years later I am feeling the nudge to move again.

God provides for all of our questions. He plants the nudges in our hearts. He grows our passions for specific things and specific places. There may not be a rhyme or reason for the where, but it is life changing if we would risk.

God provides the how and where.

Any place is he is nudging you to go? Are you in a place he has nudged you to be?

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There is something about a person of quality that always captures my attention. I am continuously drawn to good character in people. Good character makes the difference in this world. Good character makes one different.

I have been drawn to the character traits of Joseph this weekend. I am referring to Mary’s husband, Joseph. Frankly, I don’t think he gets enough PT (playing time) in conversation and talks. Joseph is a man of unbelievable trust and faith in God. His obedience brings me to silence.

So often, I breeze over Joseph’s part in the story of Jesus. Joseph plays an extraordinary part in the introduction of Jesus.

Mary is often credited with the crucial “yes” of bringing Jesus into the world, but Joseph carried a weighty “yes” of obedience as well.

Joseph was described as a “righteous man.” He was. When Joseph discovered Mary was pregnaunt, he made no specticall, but honored Mary and treated her well. That’s character. When the angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream, he listened and said yes.

Joseph chose trust and humility. His obedience changed the world.

I don’t know if Joseph really understood the magnitude of his yes long-term, but it changes the way I look at obedience.

When Joseph said yes to the angel of the Lord, scripture was fulfilled. Every time Joseph obeyed the words of the Lord, Jesus was protected and saved, and scripture was fulfilled.

I don’t know how the words of the angel truly impacted Joseph, but he trusted those words enough to find out. The angel of the Lord described the baby in Mary’s womb as, “the one who would save the world from their sins.

Umm..what!? What did that even do to Joseph’s heart? That is a big deal. What would that even look like?

Joseph obeyed. The world was changed. I wonder if he just shook his head as the life of Jesus unfolded. What was his response when word started to spread about the miracles he was doing, and the words of truth that were piercing hundreds of people?

Joseph was a man of character. His life of obedience and trust brings me to my knees. His yes mattered so much. I have no idea how far my obedience to God will go.

Trusting in the truth of God matters; obeying that truth goes further than we will ever see.

Any decisions you might be on the fence about?

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Abraham is my boy this week. His story of trust has made its way deep inside my heart. Abraham was a man who knew real faith. I think about Abraham’s life of intimacy with God and my only response is awe. Abraham had no other friends or mentors teaching him about faith and trust in an almighty God. He had no scripture to read for guidance. Abraham just had God.

God presented Abraham with and invitation to trust him. Without logical reason to believe, He did.

I have been marinating on something that Andy Stanley said. In his book, “God of Grace,” Andy states, “Abraham was homeless in the land that God gave him.

My heart is still wrestling to articulate why this sentence runs deep in me. I just feel the weight of this sentence in more ways the one.

I have traveled all over the world. I have experienced stretches of seasons where I felt more nomadic, and homeless, then rooted. I have lived with friends and family in different seasons of life. I have lived on couches, spare beds, foutons in home offices, air mattresses, pull out beds, ground pads for camping, floor space, and those nice pull out beds with the bar in your back. I have known suitcase living. It is not fun. The temporary-ness of that lifestyle is exhausting.

Abraham left a rooted home and community and lived out of a tent with his family. They traveled all over the land that God called them too. This had to have been lonely and isolating. I wonder if Abraham grew tired of living out of the back of wagon.

There is also another level to this nomadic-homlessness that resonates deep in me.

God asked Abraham to leave what he knew and live as a foreigner. In essence, God asked Abraham to live life as “one of these things is not like the other.” I have felt like this on more occassions than one.

As a leader, I often feel like one of these things is not like the other. I have ideas and passions that don’t make sense to very many people. The life of a leader is often times lonely and isolating.

I did not grow up in a Christian home, so when I decided to follow Christ, I quickly became the foreigner in my family. I was asked by the same God of Abraham to trust him. To this day I still feel very much like one of these things is not like the other in my family. My heart has known deep homelessness in that sense. I chose to believe anyway and moved my tent.

My parents divorced when I was a teenager. My world shattered in more ways then I recognize. At that time I only knew of one other family who’s parents were divorced. I have known the pain of feeling like a foreigner in brokenness. I grew up with an invisible scarlet letter of pain in me; a foreigner. I chose to trust God to redeem my heart. I have known trust in his healing.

Andy may have just been referring to Abraham’s location, but for me the statement runs deep. I have known what it’s like to be, and feel, nomadic and homeless. I have known what it’s like to trust God into a foreign land. It is really hard. The decision Abraham made to trust God was no small thing, and neither is mine.

How does the statement, “Abraham was homeless in the land God gave him” resonate with you?

 

 

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