So, I think this might be where we need to start. We need to build up our trust in God first as our foundation. And we can do this a couple ways. First, we ask him to strengthen our faith in him. We need to pray, just like the man in Mark 9 prayed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” This is a prayer God wants to answer for us. Secondly, we need to rehearse how God has come through for us and for our friends, and also read about how faithful God was all throughout Scripture. And thirdly, we need to sit with the realization that God alone is the only one truly worthy of our full trust. Then we move onto gratitude if we have even one person in our lives that we really feel we can trust.
Because if I’m understanding Scripture correctly, having trustworthy people in my life is basically a bonus.I totally get having a hard time trusting people after being hurt through this divorce process. I am, sadly, more cynical. I am not automatically believing the best about people. I am a bit more jaded and suspicious than I ever thought I’d be. But I believe this can soften with time and prayer, and I believe it’s something God wants to heal in us.I believe we need to actively work on forgiving those who have actually hurt us as this will clear away the bitterness and can restore a freedom and a balance to how we perceive people. But a word of warning: I am not saying forgive-and-forget. I am saying forgive. I think God wants us to remember, in part, some of the pain we’ve been through so we don’t keep walking into the same mistakes over and over again.This means I think we can ask God to help us know who we can trust. Hopefully we do have people in our lives whose intentions toward us are good, who love us for who we are, who we are able to share our hearts with and believe that what we share will go no further. If you don’t have people in your life like this, ask God to bring them into your life.
However, I also think it’s okay to have a healthy caution with people. Not everyone in your life needs to know every detail in your life. Not every friend in your life needs to be your best friend. If you’ve been hurt by someone, I believe the wise thing is to put some emotional distance until an apology, a change, and some healing has taken place.But if someone hasn’t hurt you, and they’ve given you no reason not to trust them, and yet you still find yourself leery, you might want to talk with someone about this who can help you diagnose what might really be going on. We might have blind spots that others can point out to us. I was recently struggling with something that someone said to me…I couldn’t seem to let it go no matter what I did…and a close friend said, “I think so-and-so might remind you of so-and-so, and that’s why it hurts like this.” Ding ding ding…breakthrough. So, open yourself up to a close friend or a counselor until you can get to the bottom of this, because walking through life through squinty, skeptical eyes is a sad place to live.
If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.
Yes, Elisabeth…I’m there too.
I am also wondering if it comes down to, that the type of trust we have in the Lord is and should be different than the trust we have in people…and always should be.
I know now as well, that when I am giving, in any capacity, that my aim should always be just to give….not to give and then get back.
I have always wanted reciprical relationships…in a more equal fashion. But I can say that it has never happened for me. Now I wonder if it can in a world that is so imperfect…which holds so many people that have also been hurt and are so imperfect.
I have a tendency to trust too…or I did. I still want a tender heart tho…because I know that when I close my heart even a little, then I also close it to the many possible opportunities everyday to minister to others and therefore fulfill God’s command to love…so it is for this reason I desire to keep it open.
On here, the internet, I find this as well…that for instance when I reach down into my heart to respond to someones post, and then get a trite response or no real response at all.
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Something I’m praying for the past few weeks is just newness, openness. I fear I’m more closed off than I even imagine I am. So I hear what you’re saying and I really resonate with that.
Elizabeth, as always I love your post.
But I sort of have an opposite response. My failed marriage almost makes me trust more easily not less. it is sort of like, “what do I have to lose?” I can no longer lose the love of my life, my happy family, the father of my children… Already have.
Definitely trusting God is key. But there are also some good tools that people can gain in learning to first of all trust themselves to make good choices, and also learn how to determine if another person is trustworthy or not. A great resource that I have found is a workbook called ‘Life After Trauma: A Workbook for Healing.’
You can check it out here: http://www.amazon.ca/Life-After-Trauma-Workbook-Healing/dp/1572302399:
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms;
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
1 Peter 3:1
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? …
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Jesus himself couldn’t even trust man.
But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.