Confession time…I have got trust issues. I’m not just referring to trust issues in romantic relationships although that is where they commonly manifest themselves. Many people often believe that trust issues simply center around having suspicious thoughts towards other people. I did so too until I found out something that reshaped my view. Constantly misplacing your trust i.e. trusting people you shouldn’t trust or being too trusting, are also symptoms of having trust issues. Now I know for certain that I have experienced both extremes of the trust spectrum. My spiritual life and my walk with Christ have done so much to anchor me and to ease the anxieties that stem from my trust issues. Many of us struggle with trust issues and project our feelings of mistrust on God. Disclaimer; I’m not an authority on this issues-definitely, not a counselor- but I will share on how I’m learning to trust God.
Recognising that God is not people
This is a tough one, I know. Once upon a time, several years ago, my eight or nine-year-old self was asked why she believed in a God she couldn’t see. That question made a lot of sense at the time and helped to destabilize my child-like faith. The truth is I have grappled with it as an adult and even as a Christian. Our human understanding often struggles to grasp God’s goodness, His glory, His grace, and His love for us because we see Him through our cloudy human lens but that doesn’t mean these aspects of Him don’t exist. We can only discover who He is by spending time with Him (yes, that old cliché but it will always be true) through reading His word, prayer, and meditating upon His goodness, and when we do that, we will see how remarkably consistent He is. Human beings may be fickle, constantly changing their mind and behavior when they feel the occasion calls for it. Fun fact: the phrase, “steadfast love,” is repeated about 196 times in the Old Testament and 127 times in Psalms alone. That should tell you something! He remains the same and His love for us doesn’t change regardless of what we do.
Allowing Him to reveal the core of our trust issues and heal us
Trust issues do not just arise in a vacuum, they come from personal traumas, past hurts, and disappointments by people who we may have thought would never let us down. I had to confront the fact there were issues that were weighing down my heart and made it difficult to trust God and people. I had built a wall and believed that I couldn’t rely on anyone but myself. I have been humbled time and again, and I am having to learn to discard that belief. Unresolved trust issues make it hard for us to be fully surrendered to God because we can’t understand why He allowed the people in our lives to hurt us, and we feel we are better off trusting ourselves. However, no matter how hard we try we will never be able to fix ourselves. Striving to only hardens our hearts with pride. We are human after all. Identifying the experiences that made us develop trust issues will help us to reverse the negative impact by replacing the lies they left us with the truth of God’s word.
Learning to see yourself and other people through God’s eyes
Adopting a Christ-like perspective of ourselves and the world around us takes time but ultimately helps to heal past hearts and may save us from some (but not all) future heartaches. Understanding that we are all deeply flawed and desperately in need of God’s love and grace will help us to walk in humility with Him and to extend grace to other people, even to those who have hurt us and broken our trust. Another tough call, right? Remember, that you may have at some point broken someone’s trust and also require forgiveness from God and that person. Seeing yourself and others through God’s eyes frees you from the bondage of what other people have done to you in the past and of your own limited perspective, and it makes you more compassionate towards people.
Letting go of my trust issues is an on-going battle. There are days when I feel that I’m back at square one but being in a relationship with God is that He draws me back to Him, and tells me to trust in Him. Dealing with my trust issues is helping me realise that there is no one more deserving of my trust than He is.