Trust the process. This is what I’ve been saying to myself lately…on repeat. Every single time I come up against a situation that I have absolutely no control over, I have been striving to reach for trust instead of reacting out of this bloodthirst for control. I can tell you that I’m certain of one thing at this very moment – it has been a messy process.
Trusting doesn’t come easily to me, and trusting the Lord has proven to be more difficult than I would like to admit. In the middle of the mess, I’ve had to face parts of myself and pieces of my heart that haven’t been fully surrendered to Jesus. While reaching for trust, I’ve found in my heart that selfishness and conditional love have made their home where the sweetness of surrender should be. I have slowly been facing my deepest fears and darkest “what ifs”, and I am working on handing over my right to take control when I should be seeking Him, who knows and sees what’s ahead. I am facing the reality that I truly only have the ability to see what is in front of me… moment by moment, and that by trying to squint into the distance to anticipate what’s next, I am missing out on the gift of His immediate presence in my life. I was not created to know what comes next, I was only created to know that moment by moment, He is enough for me.
I’ve made peace with the fact that this process is slow and far from pretty and perfect. I’m learning that trust is a habit born from discipline and the fight to overcome my human tendencies by submitting them intentionally, moment by moment, to the name of Jesus. I truly do have a choice in this; to remain as I am or to grow. I am choosing to grow, as painful and as messy as it might be, I am choosing Him. I am choosing to trust the process of letting go and letting God move.
If you are struggling to find His face in the midst of your mess, trust this… you are not alone. So if you’re deciding whether or not the choice to grow is worth it, or the choice to trust, I want to share with you five reasons why I believe that trusting is worth the risk.
1. You really aren’t in control anyway.
That sucks, right? Let’s just admit right now that none of us like to feel as if we’ve lost control of anything, especially ourselves. To admit this might make you feel like you’re weak or a failure. But, the truth of the matter is that while you are striving for control, you are missing out on the beauty of His presence in your life. When we strive and fight for control, when we are so focused on anticipating the “what ifs”, we diminish the power of God. But when we choose to step back and admit that the control actually lies with Jesus, we get the opportunity to watch Him show up and show off. And I don’t know about you, but if there’s one show-off that doesn’t get on my nerves… it’s the God of the universe.
2. How you feel, isn’t always what’s true.
This is a hard one for me because I am very reactionary. I tend to go with my gut, and sometimes those reactions only make matters worse. When you walk through the fire, it’s very challenging not to let your emotions rule your decisions. Why? Because we choose ourselves and we forget the goodness of our Father. In our fear, we begin to listen to the lie that He isn’t enough. When we start to believe that He isn’t enough, we get angry, or we feel like He isn’t with us. We turn away from trusting because we have bought into the lie that how we feel is our reality. This is why it is so important to subject your feelings to the truth of His voice. When you start to feel like this, be honest with Him; get angry at Him, get sad, scream, cry and shout. But then come back to the truth of what He says.
3. He is the only person who can provide peace in place of anxiety.
I love movies and reading books. Both are a lovely escape from reality because I get to step into a whole new world, if only for a moment. I love drinking red wine and talking with my girlfriends. I adore my furbabies and am convinced they are so much better than yours. I lose myself in my writing, and I come alive when I put words to a page. All of these things are gifts that bring me joy, but in the midst of trials, they are nothing but empty hiding places. No thing, substance or person can give you the kind of everlasting peace that your soul craves. Jesus is the only one who can fill this void, and this peace He offers only comes when we choose to hand over control in exchange for His presence. Trust breeds peace, and peace brings clarity to life and to self.
4. He is good.
You may not feel like He is good, but just like we discussed earlier, our feelings can be deceiving. I have been in this place of doubting the goodness of Jesus many times. Every single time I wrestle with this, I come to the same conclusion – He really is good. Even in the midst of devastation and sorrow, He is faithful. Why does He allow these terrible things to happen? I wish I knew, but I have experienced His presence in my life, and I have experienced the absence of His presence in my life, and I am here to tell you that I would much rather face this crazy, beautiful, difficult life with Him rather than without Him. Believing He is good is not a feeling, it is a choice. A choice made despite your circumstances; despite the lie that He has forgotten you, that a “good” God would never allow this to happen to you. One of my favorite things about Jesus is when I get to watch Him bring beauty from the ashes of my brokenness. There is a purpose for your pain, and I encourage you to stick with Him so you don’t miss out on the amazing way He redeems every single sorrowful moment.
5. There is sweetness to be found in surrender.
Surrender is painful. I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you. It can be painful and hard, and it may even require you to walk away from people or things that you have learned to rely so heavily on. I can promise you one thing, though. The temporary pain of surrender is worth the freedom waiting for you. Trusting Jesus when He asks for your surrender only brings the sweetness of His presence and joy in your life. It’s a freedom worth fighting for, and it opens doors to healing and redemption. What if who you were created to be, or your very calling, is waiting for you on the other side of that surrender? It will be a battle, so get ready and sharpen your sword, but it will be the greatest journey of your life. Blessings will pour out from the hard choice of surrender, and sweet freedom will greet you in the form of Jesus.
You’re always taking a risk when you open yourself up completely to someone, and I know that can be a scary thing. Maybe you won’t like what you find, and there will probably be work to do once you actually take the time to look at your heart. Here’s the beauty in moving towards trusting Jesus with this process: He’s full of abundant grace and He’s the God of second chances. No, He’s the God of a million chances… thank you, Jesus, because I can use all the help I can get!
There is no fear to be found in the moment by moment journey of placing your trust in a God that adores every single part of who you are. The only thing waiting for you on the other side of this crazy, chaotic, wonderful adventure is a life lived governed by the peace of Jesus.