Dear Wren and Lydia,
I’ve been thinking about trust. I read somewhere lately about the reality that while it maybe somewhat ‘easy’ to forgive it’s not easy to trust again.
While I would not say it’s ‘easy’ to forgive…I have realized that it’s far easier for me to say I forgive someone than for me to actually trust that person again.
The truth is…we shouldn’t trust everyone. Not everyone is trustworthy. And sometimes forgiveness happens without trust. We can release someone from the penalty of an offense but also acknowledge that they no longer have a place in our inner circle of trust.
Which is a scary truth…it means there are times when I ask for forgiveness and it might even be granted, but I’ve lost trust in the process.
Are you trustworthy? Who knows they can trust you?
We all hurt people. Literally everyone of us hurts people on a daily basis through intentional acts and also just plain ignorance or indifference. Even those we love the most. Maybe especially those we love the most.
If you interact with other human beings you will experience hurt. You will hurt others and they will hurt you. It’s inevitable. Forgiveness will be necessary for you to live at peace with God and others.
And that’s a hard enough process in itself…but to trust others? Wow…now that’s a reality check.
I would venture to say that most of us have very few people we really trust.
I mean people we trust with our real, honest self. People who we believe are honestly interested in our best and have our backs when times are hard.
There are levels of trust. Most of us have people who we live in community with and we know they care about us, but I’m talking about a deeper connection than that.
This morning in our devotions we read about how the main purpose of Jesus and the Christian life overall is for reconciliation with God and reconciliation with one another. That requires an immense amount of trust.
When I don’t trust someone I’m not my natural self with them. I resort to small talk. I don’t share any struggles or pain. When I don’t trust someone I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. I lean towards hurt rather than assuming the best. When I don’t trust someone I find every action…the words I say, where I look, etc. being something I have to think about. I can’t relax with people I don’t trust.
Trust is earned. I think we all realize over time that no one is perfect. We can allow for off days and moments. We know we need grace and surely others need it too. But trust is definitely earned over long periods of time and experience and quickly lost in moments when trust is broken.
I’ve experienced this. Oh you can say your sorry and ask forgiveness, but somehow you know the relationship will never be the same.
God can and does heal. But I want you to understand how important your words and actions are towards others, even your thoughts.
There’s not much worse than knowing you have broken trust with someone you love and knowing that it will not quickly be restored. Or if it will ever be restored.
It’s easy to see it when you look at other people’s lives. It’s so clear and you wonder how they don’t see it. But it’s not so easy to see the same in ourselves sometimes.
Blending families has been really tricky in this way especially. Family is all about trust. Sometimes it’s been hard to know how to take things and a variety of hurts have happened over the past two years. I want you to know that this is not just unique to blended families. All families experience broken trust and hurt. There is no perfect family. But I do think it is a special, unique situation for blended families to build trust with one another.
Sometimes apologies have been made and I think forgiveness has even occurred from time to time but trust has been hard to come by.
We are two years in now. It’s better than it was, which gives me great hope. But I know honestly if we all sat down with one another we couldn’t wholeheartedly say that we trust one another. It’s ok. We can be honest about this.
I’ve been praying, thinking and processing about how this can move forward, baby steps, so that more trust is built between us.
I’m an eternal optimist. Never realized this about myself until the past two years. I believe that when we all love Jesus that makes a difference and that He is always at work within all of us and leading us toward healing. Reconciliation is His main business.
I just wonder today…who do you trust? Who do you feel completely safe to be yourself with? Who do you feel has your back? Who can you give the benefit of the doubt to, even if they maybe send mixed signals sometimes?
I’m asking myself the same questions. And I asked Dane the same questions today too. I think you will probably find that you have a very short list of names that come to mind.
How could we grow in our trust of others? How could we be more trustworthy ourselves?
If we desire reconciliation…(and yes I hope we always do), than trust must be the foundation. Without trust no real reconciliation occurs.
I think this means an end to self protecting. An end to rehearsing old hurts. And end to clamming up and going on the defense. I think it means great vulnerability and openness. And I think it means most importantly a steady and amazing trust in Jesus.
Another post for another day…do we trust God? That’s probably where this whole conversation needs to start.
Love your momma who knows you can’t and shouldn’t trust just anyone, but surely wants you to have people in your life who you know you can trust…even when they’re imperfect. I hope you know you can trust me. And I hope you know you can trust Dane and each other.
(P.S. if trust needs to be rebuilt…the first step is realizing that it does and then being open and vulnerable to have those conversations with the person who you feel has broken trust. This requires an immense amount of love and grace, and honestly it can only happen through the miraculous healing of Jesus. And then I think it’s about baby steps…time…more love…more grace…time…=redemptive healing possible.)