Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's really all about T-R-U-S-T

After our miscarriage, asking those big questions about God's love and His goodness, I had to make a decision as to whether or not I still trusted Him (or whether I ever really had with the day to day parts of life). It's a huge question, one that cannot be overlooked. It's so easy to say "yes, I trust God," but when things go wrong, tragedy strikes, or expectations are not met it can seem to be nothing but words. According to (source of choice at 2am), trust means "reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence."

So how does God measure up? Can I rely on His integrity? Is His strength enough to sustain me? Is He really able? Is He a "sure" thing? Do I have ultimate confidence in Him? For me, asking those specific questions takes some of the mystery out of trust, making it easier to see through the right answers I've known for years and hear instead the cries of my heart. The fact is that many days my actions, words, and thoughts give evidence that I do not trust God. I often live as though my strength is all that is available, that I must watch out for myself and rely on my abilities.

Trusting God is not something to be reserved for the major issues in life. If I do not practice trusting God every minute of every day, I am sure to fail to trust Him when something goes wrong. Trusting is a habit, just as is not trusting. In a way, that perspective is encouraging because it indicates that with perseverance, over time I can grow my trust muscles by practicing and developing a new habit.

After losing a baby, it is easy to think that trusting God will be easier once another pregnancy comes along and ends with the birth of a healthy baby. However, if we cannot trust God through a miscarriage or stillbirth, we cannot trust Him through a healthy pregnancy or through the blessings and trials of motherhood. Fears that we hold when pregnant will have the same undertones as the fears we will have while raising our other children, or while working, or while ________ (fill in the blank with anything in your life). Fear is fear. It just looks for a good place to land; if that place dries up and becomes irrelevant, it will simply find another suitable host.

Many women have mentioned fearing that they will either be unable to become pregnant after a loss, or that additional losses will occur. This fear can be consuming, and frequently remains throughout the duration of any subsequent pregnancies. It is interesting to note that in the Bible, fear is directly contrasted with trusting God. "When I am afraid, I will trust in You" (Psalm 56:3). We are to put off fear and put on trust. It's like taking off your house slippers to put on your tennis shoes. It's one or the other.

God does not change. He is just as trustworthy when you do trust Him as when you do not trust Him. The difference is in our choices. Trust is one of those emotions that often comes after the decision. I choose to trust God this minute. I choose to trust Him this next minute too. Eventually all of those choices will become a way of life, and trust will begin to soothe, calm, bring peace, and restore balance.

Regardless of where you are right this minute on your journey with God, or on your journey through the death of a baby, know that God is trustworthy. He is able. And He can be relied upon to be your strength. Really, what can we gain by doubting Him? Without trust in God there cannot be peace, true joy, or contentment. Without trust in God things can easily seem to be without meaning or purpose. But through trust we find life-giving energy, love, and wisdom.

No, trust doesn't take away the pain, and it doesn't make life easy. But it really is all we have.

And it really is enough.