I know the title sounds pretty extreme, and if you had asked me a week ago I’d tell you I trusted Jesus wholeheartedly. But it’s true, I don’t really trust him. Since moving to Uganda, I’ve been faced with the fact that I only trust Jesus with what I want to trust him with, which we all know isn’t real trust at all. Not only did the realization of my lack of trust happen, but I was also smacked in the face from the moment I got here with the fact of just how lacking my faith has been this past year. I’ve become so far removed from an intimate relationship with Jesus because of my lack of trust in his plan for my life. And on the flip side I’ve trusted Jesus less because of my lack of intimacy with him.
I was in a relationship this past year, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything, but I am now able to see just how “in it” I was. How my desire to be with him outweighed my desire for anything else-or almost anything else. While dating, all thoughts of what my future would look like shifted to include him, but I could never get rid of my desire to work and live in the developing world, particularly sub Saharan Africa. Two things that were definitely not desires of his. I’m not going to write about our relationship, because it’s not just my story, but the relationship ended when I accepted my current job in Uganda. While there is a lot I could say about our breakup, I think the biggest thing I’ve realized was how the whole time we were dating, instead of going to Jesus, I went to him. I traded my intimacy with my Heavenly Father for intimacy with him, and didn’t even realize it until he no longer was in my life. I’m not saying you can’t date and still be intimate with God, absolutely not, marriage is the greatest reflection of Christ’s love for us and the earthly reflection of that intimacy, and you need to date to her married. I’m saying I didn’t have that balance (not on purpose) and am now dealing with the fallout.
When we broke up a big piece of my trust with Jesus fractured. Why would God bring someone into my life who seemed long term only to take them away? Why would the Lord place a desire on my heart to live 9,000 miles away from the guy I was in love with? Why would God have me fall in love with someone when the timing was wrong? Why did I want things he didn’t want for me?
God was deviating from my plan and instead of going to him, going to the word, bringing my hurt and my questions, I withdrew into myself and a million “what if” questions, doubt, and avoidance.
Now to be clear it wasn’t my relationship that made me lose my trust in God, it was the choices I made this year to not pursue him. It was not making God my number one. It was not wanting to be called out by the Holy Spirit. It was not wanting to put in the effort it takes to maintain your relationship with God. It’s the fact that I love the perceived notion of control more than I do the “immeasurably more” he has for us (Ephesians 3:20).
Trusting God wholeheartedly is a lifelong process, it’s not a linear progression where one day we suddenly become the perfect image of faith. It’s messy, confusing, hard, exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating, and heartbreaking sometimes. But it’s also exhilarating, joyful, life-giving, fulfilling, meaningful, and a privilege.
Thank you Jesus for all you’re teaching me. It’s wild and I don’t understand it but I know you’re with me always, and your plans, even when I don’t trust them, are so much greater.