I hadn’t been married all that long, and was living in a flat in Sydney’s inner-west. My husband was away overseas for work and my Monday in the office had been like any other. Until I turned the key in the apartment door. There was something amiss as my eyes scanned the small lounge room. The DVD player was gone, and a few other small items. I panicked, and raced to the bedroom where several belongings had been pushed over in an attempt to uncover treasure. But there was only one treasure I could think of – my engagement ring. I opened the small box which held the precious item Michael had selected for me the summer before, and as I’d feared, it was gone.
But it wasn’t losing those things that upset me most. It was the fact that someone had been inside our house, and carelessly touched and taken precious items without our permission. It was a shock, and I felt violated.
The next Monday, after Michael had returned, it happened again. This time they took our TV, and several other large items.
For a long time after the robberies, I would glance around the room each time I arrived home, expecting to see items missing. Such is the impact of crime. You continue to predict the worst, and you trust people less.
Perhaps you’ve been through something similar – or worse, you might have undergone serious physical, sexual or emotional abuse that has left you reeling, cautiously looking for danger at every turn, unable to believe there are good people still in the world.
Abuse creates new ‘stories’ in our minds, and the warnings we give ourselves are our attempt to protect ourselves from future harm. It’s understandable isn’t it?
Trust must be built up again slowly, and we need to replace our negative experiences with enough positive ones that we can start to believe the world is reasonably safe. That we will be OK…
I remember a time when I wasn’t even sure God was trustworthy. I’d experienced some hurts which left me reeling, questioning the safety of the world around me. I tried to push everything away… including God. But for me, having known the love of God since I was a little girl, it was like trying to push away air. I simply could not. I could attempt to walk away, but he could not cease to exist. He was as real as he ever had been. And I had a strong sense he was waiting for me to return. To trust again. And I did.
But it took a lot of emotional support from others to do that. People who showed me the love of God in words and actions.
It’s never easy to trust, no matter what we have or haven’t been through. We are by nature skeptics, and believing in a God we can’t see? Not always easy.
It can take some deep exploring before we get to a place where we can fall into His arms.
But just because we don’t find the freefall easy, doesn’t mean He isn’t waiting, hands outstretched.
“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.”