On Learning to Trust Again

Do you remember the first time you heard you had an enemy? You were cautioned to be on guard for your adversary prowls ready to devour truth. When we are tempted by lies and driven toward wrong we are taught to raise arms against the devil.

Perhaps that’s why I didn’t see this attack coming. There wasn’t any warning. No alarm bells rang. The pursuit didn’t involve pitchforks and fire.

I was looking over my shoulder for the devil, but I was wounded by friendly fire.

When hurt radiates from the place your heart has been anchored, you find yourself in the middle of the sea on a sinking ship. One moment your foundation is sure and the next you’re clamoring for the life raft questioning if the hand reaching out wants to draw you to safety or shove you under.

Trust takes a beating when your safe place feels like enemy territory.

Confusion quickly replaces logic. Your heart longs for understanding, but the facts that stretch out before you only prove to deepen and widen your wounds.

So how do you learn to trust again?

Learning to Trust 2

I’ve asked the Lord that question a lot over the past year. Yes, it’s taken that long. With infinite wisdom and tender grace, God has traveled the road before me to bring perspective and offer healing. If what I’ve endured brings any measure of comfort to my sojourners, I offer these nuggets of wisdom to you:

1. You may never understand.

“Do you know what I want? I want justice – oceans of it. I want fairness – rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.” Amos 5:24 MSG

We serve a God who is right and true and good. So when our hearts are fixed on Him we long for those same distinct patterns. When our hurt stems from people or places who we believe pursue that same righteousness, it can be hard to reconcile the wrong. But, justice and fairness isn’t in our hands – or our grip on our [perceived] enemies would tighten. God does not owe us explanations and often it is with great grace that He conceals His purposes. Knowledge is not likely to heal your wounds, but God can.

God’s purpose is not to inform us, but rather transform us. Nothing will satisfy the quest for justice except surrendering it (or them) to a just God.

2. Choose council wisely.

“In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free…what can mere people do to me?” Psalm 118:5-6 NLT

While you are working on trust, pursue wisdom. God and His word are the first and foremost source – He hears our cries. But often our cry is for trusted companions to come alongside us. Our tendency, especially after friendly fire, is to assume that everyone has an ulterior motive. It’s okay to be guarded, but walls are meant to keep people out and you don’t need to travel this journey alone. In your tender and vulnerable state, choose people who will direct you toward God, not draw you further away.

You will know them by their spirit of grace and love that exceeds your pain – they will provide a safe haven and a healing balm for your wounds.

3. Point your voice in the right direction.

“The heart cry of justice is a longing to be heard.” Chris Jackson

When our pain is unexpected and comes from once trusted sources, we often can’t resolve it in our own minds. Our longing to be accepted and understood has been damaged. So it’s only natural for us to want others to validate our feelings. However, when our desire is to honor God, we must be cautious to not further damage His Kingdom. Our goal should be to spare others, not cause them to stumble over, our pain.

4. This journey won’t be easy.

“You joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” Hebrews 10:34 ESV

You might feel like you’ve been stripped of all value and worth, but you’re treasure is to come.

There is far-reaching fruit that blossoms from the seeds of pain. God plants those seeds one at time and growth does not happen overnight; neither does healing. In the same way that you need to be surrounded by grace, you need to extend it to yourself. Don’t strive for every inch of growth, but simply lean into the process. Stop focusing on the pain and instead watch God. He is weaving good out of bad – there will be beauty from the ashes.

5. They are sinners, just like me.

“Whatever is written in these scriptures is not what God says about others, but to us…it’s clear enough isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us.” Romans 3:19 MSG

This step can be the most arduous to travel. We aren’t any better than the ones who brought our pain. We are all dealt the blow of flesh; we are all sinners. Intentional or not, their sins aren’t any different from ours.

What sets us apart is our response to our offenses. Will we humble ourselves before God?

While God tells us to lavish forgiveness as generously as it has been given to us, He doesn’t place a time-table on that process. But, don’t grow stagnant in this phase of your journey. Don’t linger in bitterness and anger, but allow God to move you toward healing, restoration even. You may never forget. There will be scars (healed wounds) of this battle etched across your life, but forgiveness will set you free to live life fully. And as you do, allow those markers to remind you to never leave those scars on the life of another.

My intent isn’t to over-simplify or minimize this journey back to trust. I’ve siphoned down to five what feels like five-million uphill steps. I am still learning to trust and traveling with the Lord at the gracious pace and timing He has chosen for me. He’ll do the same for you.

But this I know to be true: when confusion and chaos seem to reign, when you aren’t sure who is true and good, when the hurt feels deep and healing feels far off…TRUST GOD. Follow hard after Him and someday you won’t have to question the pain or the long-enduring journey, you’ll get to see why.

“You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.” Job 11:16 NIV

Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holly Barrett, Kelly Balarie, Holley Gerth, Kristin Hill Taylor, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Photo Credit (text overlay by Tiffany Parry)

29 thoughts on “On Learning to Trust Again

  1. There are two situations with people close to me that have rocked my world in the forgiveness department – as in, I’ve struggled to forgive them. The hurts run deep and have overflowed to so many other areas of my life as I’ve put off forgiving them. God’s been working on this with me and I’m finding freedom. It’s amazing, really, although I shouldn’t doubt what He says to be true. Your words here are as refreshing and welcoming as ever. So grateful you share your heart so beautifully and link up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. The struggle is real, isn’t it. I know that feeling of being upended as you try to work through the hurt. I’m so grateful that God has been gracious and patient and He’s done work in my heart – in me – to change my perspective, which made it easier (not easy) to see them through His eyes. Trusting that God knows their hearts and sees their motives made it easier to release them to Him. Praying for you on your own journey to forgiveness…so grateful we don’t travel alone. Hugs, sweet friend.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t tell you how much I needed this tonight!! I feel so guilty about some unforgiveness that’s been trying to eat me alive sometimes, but I don’t want to be a bitter and angry person. He’s been showing me through some amazing turn of events that it’s okay to be angry, but in the end I have to let it go. I know it’s going to take me a long time to trust some people again, but it’s something I need to work on.

    1. I’m so glad the words met you, Abby. It’s a journey that is for certain and some days it feels like it’s behind you and the next you’re facing it again. But God brings healing and growth and I know that He will show you how to navigate the steps ahead. In time, this will be something you look back on rather than face head on. Praying for your heart and that you find those safe and trusted places where it is handled with care. Thank you for trusting me with it here. Blessings, sweet friend. 💛

  3. Yes, how deep the wounds of a trusted friend do go. It has taken me years to get to a place of peace towards friends that have hurt me, I had to trust God and not myself or my emotions, to get through it. I can honestly say I am now a better person/friend for having gone through the whole ordeal.

    1. I agree, Alecia. As hard as the journey has been, God has taught me so much about Him and about myself…it has changed me in ways that I am very grateful for. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. 💛

  4. The wounds from a trusted friend go deep. Thank you for sharing the reality of the hard emotional and spiritual process that leads to healing and the solution that is easy to say, but sometimes hard to actually do: trust God. Letting go of the need to have answers and understand, frees us to rest in God, even when it hurts. I am blessed by your words today.

    1. You’re right, Ginger…it can be hard to trust the Lord as we navigate the ups and downs, even though that’s our heart desire. I’m so glad there is rest in God, healing too. So blessed you stopped by today. Blessings!

  5. So good, Tiffany! These are some powerful words of Truth. I can see how God is using this journey of yours to bring healing to others! You go girl… continuing in His grace! Love you, girlfriend! And thank you for these grace-filled words!

    1. Aww, thanks Rachel – your encouragement is dear to my heart! It’s an awesome thing to know that our experiences can speak truth into other lives and be used as a measure of healing. Continuing in His grace indeed! Blessings to you dear friend. xoxo

  6. “Stop focusing on the pain and instead watch God. He is weaving good out of bad – there will be beauty from the ashes” Amen! These words are coming true in my experience. Thank you for the wisdom in this post, Tiffany. A really helpful and informative read. I’m delighted to have met you via ‘Poetry Joy’. Bless you! :) x

    1. So glad that you stopped by today, Joy – I’m happy to have met you too! The pain can be a powerful presence sometimes, can’t it? I’m grateful that God is bigger and that His grace can rewrite those painful stories to ones filled with growth and good. A double portion of blessings back at you! :)

  7. Forgiveness and trust, I think, are connected yet two different things. We must forgive and forgive quickly yet trust, rebuilding it, takes time. And you are right, we never really forget but we can choose NOT to remember. And all in love…thanks for sharing this great post, Tiffany.

    1. Thank you, Sheila. I’m grateful for a God of grace who tenderly leads us through these often unclear paths on the road to forgiveness and trust…the God who restores and sets all things right in His time. 💛

  8. “What sets us apart is our response to offenses.” Amen, Tiffany. God is slowly teaching me this. It is so easy to respond to fire with fire, but we need to reflect Jesus, especially in those moments. Blessed by your words here today, friend.

    1. It is a slow learn, Abby – especially when we’ve been deeply offended. I know my initial response can be to hunt down answers rather than be still before God. I’m grateful He is gracious to keep teaching us the right path and forgive us when we follow our own. Thank you for your faithful encouragement, friend.

  9. Wow. Simply Wow. I know this pain well and you do such a beautiful job capturing the raw emotion as well as the healing that only Jesus can bring. Faith chooses to survive what it cannot explain. I’ve learned that truth well.

    Thank you for finding me today. I look forward to reading more of your beautiful inspiration.

    Embracing the journey — albeit sometimes with a limp :-)

    1. “Faith chooses to survive what it cannot explain” – that I love. We truly do have to cling to God and believe that He is truth and He knows truth, even when we perhaps never will. Thank you for stopping by, Christi and linking arms with me – we travel together friend, limps and all! :)

  10. “Trust takes a beating when your safe place feels like enemy territory.” Such true words, Tiffany. I know I’ve experienced this and loved how God continued to draw me close to Him. Visiting from #TellHisStory today.

  11. Such a great read, Tiffany! I have been studying what the Bible says of what forgiveness looks like, which is why I so agree with all your wisdom here. It is in our nature to linger on our hurts, so we need to choose to trust God with the matter — and this needs to happen on a daily basis. Often our head needs to go before our heart here, choosing to show forgiveness and trusting the Lord to bring our heart to the same place at some point as well. These sort of things are never easy, especially because they often take a long time and also daily effort. But at the same time, we are drawing so much closer to Jesus and that makes it all worth the while, doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing this, Tiffany! God bless you!

    1. So true, Ronja…our head needs to go before our heart. It is a daily choice to fix our thoughts and reign them toward what is good and true, rather than allowing them to linger in the hurt. While the hurt has been wide and deep, yes…it has drawn me towards God for comfort and strength and He has provided both so generously and tenderly. Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts here…you bless me!

  12. Oh Tiffany, I love this post! There is great wisdom in its key clicks and practical tips. I’ve even wrote “friendly fire” in my journal in the past couple of years when thinking about how Christians wound each other. The wounds hurt, but I’m thankful God heals completely. Trusting him today. You’re a blessing!

    1. Me too, Kristi…eternally grateful for the Healer of our heart and Binder of our wounds. I can’t imagine anyone who can handle those hurts with more grace than He! Blessed you visited today and that we can trust Him together.

  13. Tiffany,
    Thank You so much for these words! They are very timely for my apprehensive heart. This morning as I was praying I related to God that I needed help in being able to “trust again.”
    May the Lord bless you indeed in your journey!

    1. I’m so glad the words met you this morning, Leigh. God is worthy of our trust and I’ll be praying He leads you along the path to restoring yours with wisdom and grace. He has a beautiful way of rising up to meet those apprehensive steps. Hugs and thank you for visiting.

  14. “But this I know to be true: when confusion and chaos seem to reign, when you aren’t sure who is true and good, when the hurt feels deep and healing feels far off…TRUST GOD.” These are words of wisdom, and your whole post is so good. It really is hard when those you trust are the ones who bring pain, but God is so faithful and we can always trust Him even when we can’t see very far ahead. As you said, there will be scars, but instead of dwelling on them we can let them remind us of how we should treat others. Thank you for sharing your heart here. I’m visiting from the #raralinkup.

    1. Especially when we can’t see ahead, we have to trust Him indeed, Gayl. You are right, it isn’t easy but even with the difficulty and hurt, I can (now) stand before God grateful for the work He has done and continues to do. Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Blessings!

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