This past summer James and I faced an extremely difficult challenge. Our oldest son was hurting and struggling to deal with his life pre-adoption. He needed help and honestly, it broke me watching him hurting. Mothers are created to provide in so many ways for their children. They carry the burden so their children don’t have to, they wipe every tear, fix every problem, and comfort each step of the way. In this case, no matter how many tears I wiped, answers I brought to the table, times I comforted, there was still no breakthrough. I felt anger towards his biological family for their choices. Choices they made for instant gratification that had life-long effects for my son and here I was carrying the brunt of those choices. I was the one to clean up the mess they made and no matter how hard I scrubbed the mess seemed to never go away.
One afternoon James called to inform me how a major door was shut in our face. We were desperately reaching out for help for our son. There are specific services given to children post-adoption and the call was to tell us they weren’t going to give it to him. For no specific reason. What they were willing to do was something he was already receiving and he needed more.
Someone had to fight for this child and we were willing. The shutting of this door made it feel like the end and the answer we were given to our problem was no true resolution. I walked to my bedroom, laid on my bed, and sobbed. Crying out to God, asking Him where He was, begging Him to do something, anything. To help my son and to help us as his parents.
I was at a complete loss. I felt defeated, angry, and my brain was racing on how to fix this. As I laid in bed, crying out to God, a thought entered my mind; “Will this be the time you choose to trust me.” It stopped me dead in my tracks. All the times in my life where I doubted God, chose to trust my own strength, my own ability and power came flooding to the forefront of my mind. I repented. I told God I was so sorry for trusting myself over Him, and looking for answers everywhere but Him. It was the first time I fully realized how little I truly trusted God.
Hello, my name is Heather and I’m a recovering control freak.
If you had asked me a year ago if I was a person who liked to be in control I confidently would have told you; most definitely not. I have had great faith in Christ and who He is in my life and in yours. I’ve studied scripture in college and in Israel. I’ve been in ministry my entire adult career where I spend hours regularly talking about the goodness of Christ, His healing authority, and how we can be a new creation through Him. Generally speaking, I was all in.
Except for one area of my heart.
There was a ‘thing’ I hesitantly refused to give over to the Lord. I didn’t realize I was holding tightly onto it until life backed me into a corner where I had to decide to keep holding or release. This ‘thing’ silently dictated my choices, emotions, and outlook. Without realizing it, this thing reared its ugly head during all major and minor life events while disguising itself as “being proactive.”
And that ‘thing’ is called trust.
While I loved the Lord with everything in me, I didn’t fully trust Him. I trusted myself and my capabilities to fix and navigate whatever challenge was set before me. I trusted my timeline, my words, and my actions before I trusted Christ.
The reason behind my mistrust was simple; I falsely believed I could count on myself. I knew I was going to show up and do whatever it took. Where the risk with involving others is, at any moment they can bow out, mess something up, or do things in ways I didn’t think was best. I was placing my trust in my limited abilities and not on my unlimited God. Oh, how sinful that really is. I also wasn’t believing what the Word said about God. My heart didn’t see God as one who is faithful and trustworthy for me on an individual level. I was using my past experiences with others who have failed me to define my expectations of God.
During this time of helplessness, I chose to go to my Helper. Psalm 33:20 literally calls God our helper, Jehovah Ezer. And, just like all the other times, God did was He said He would do. He helped. He opened new doors and brought total resolution on His timeline. I humbly learned my error and was deeply encouraged to choose to trust.
Friend, did you know it’s a choice? You have the choice every day to trust God, His will, His way. In scripture, we read about God’s will and it’s broken down into two separate categories: God’s sovereign will and His will of Command.
God’s sovereign will is regardless of any situation or circumstance. His sovereignty is supreme and all of human history is under God’s authority. Because God is good, we can trust His sovereign will to be good. (Acts 2:23; Rom. 9:18-19; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 8:28)
God’s will of command is His precepts or commands He has made known to us primarily through His Word. This is God’s declared will concerning what we should do and what God commands us to do. (Matt. 7:21; Eph. 5:17; John 4:34)
God’s sovereign will provides us with a firm foundation of security and His will of command offers us an opportunity of obedience. While God is in control, He chooses not to control our choices. God has given us the responsibility to choose Him.
Over the years I’ve spent countless hours trying to figure out why God has allowed hard things in my life. I’ve wrestled with thoughts of, “What lesson do I have to learn before this can be over?” or “What didn’t I learn last time that I need to learn now.” I’ve come to learn through scripture this isn’t how God operates. He doesn’t bring the bad so He can then bring the good. He simply brings the good out of the bad the enemy brought us. In the past, I’ve tried to process every single detail of the situation to try to understand what God is doing and where He will go with it. But, none of this time spent ever ended in peace. Nor did I walk away feeling encouraged, instead quit the opposite.
So, I had a choice to make. I had to choose daily to rely on God especially in the valleys that make me want to resist His trust and rely on my own ability. My mother always says, “His will, His Way.” I had to choose to trust God’s will and God’s way-knowing it’s the best.
And friend, that is where my peace comes from. That is where my trust resides.
I want to encourage you to have an open and honest dialog with God. Transparently speak your doubt and lack of trust towards Him. Share why you think you feel this way and what has led you to this place. He can handle your vulnerability. Then, ask Jesus to remind you of His faithfulness in your life. Ask Him to show you the times He was faithful and was a person of His Word.
I did this. I told Christ how part of my hesitation in trusting Him is knowing I was then subjected to His timeline and He often works slower than my impatient self liked. I told God everything I was feeling from the depths of my heart. And I was blown away by His response. I started to remember all the ways God had shown up in my life. All the ways He was faithful and never once forgotten me. I remembered the times where it was years before I saw things come to pass and seeing how it was even better because it was within His timeline. I remembered times where God came through quickly and no door or barrier was too strong or big to stop Him. I was encouraged by the countless ways He had shown me He is trustworthy and at the same time, felt convicted how after all of that, I still doubted Him.
And even in my continued doubt, God gave me the grace I never earned and showed me He is trustworthy.
The reason I’m sharing this season with you is that I want you to trust the Lord too. To truly trust Him, His ways, His timing without the incessant need to control and ensure an outcome you’re OK with.
As your friend, I don’t want you to exhaust yourself any more trying to figure it all out. When you work tirelessly to do work that ultimately belongs to God, there is a cost. I want you to experience the freedom I’ve experienced. To know there are times where you can step up and work hard and God will move within that, but there are just as many times where God will fight for you, with very little effort on your end.
Together, let’s choose to trust Jesus daily.
*For more depth and teaching on this subject, please read “Trustworthy” by Lysa Terkurst. This study is what God used to reveal everything I shared in this blog post.