The Precarious Business of Trusting God
By Z Zoccolante
Once upon a time I prayed to God. It wasn’t just a simple prayer, it was crawling to the closet to sob for an hour and to war for something to return to my life. I prayed and cried and wared like this for about four months with nothing to give me hope except my sheer force of will.
And God said no. Not to my face exactly but he didn’t give me back what I prayed for in endless tears. He didn’t resolve the thing I asked for in the way I wanted.
What happened was that it changed my heart forever.
For the good.
The time I spent crying and leaning into God to hold up my tiny little soul that was shattered, softened every part of me. It allowed me to keep my heart in love rather than anger, rage, bitterness, or complete and utter despair.
I watched as God helped me rebuild my life. I have a friend that when I used to tell her I loved her or did something nice for her, she’d tear up. I used to think that was strange until my life was being rebuilt.
I’d look at my new house and tear up. Someone would take care of me in some simple way, like buy me a coffee or do a small errand for me and I’d tear up. I appreciated everything so much more and had a tremendous amount of gratitude for kindness.
A few years later I am living my life and something comes up that I triggers old patterns of fear, massive anxiety, and the old program of something not being fair and feeling powerless.
I sit with it. I walk with it. It wakes me up at night. I don’t like it. Finally, I have a visualization talk with God where I picture it in a cardboard box and me giving it over to Him.
The problem is that I don’t want to give it to Him. I find myself unwilling to hold it out. The story in my head goes something like this, “I gave you something before and you took it away from me and it really really really hurt.”
And I think. Wow. It’s possible to hold two things at once. It’s possible for a part of me to completely trust God because He has shown up for me in amazing ways. And still there’s a part of me that’s like a tentative kid with their favorite, precious teddy bear, saying God I don’t really want to give this to you.
As I sit with this, it takes me a while because I know deep down that God makes everything good. I have seen it time and again in my life, how things seemed terrible and in the end worked out for me.
God tells me to trust Him and I know He has my good in mind, but still I cry as I hand over my cardboard box to Him and we both hold it and I take a breath and release my hands, clasping them together to resist the urge to pull it back.
Everything I have in this life is from God anyway but being human is a strange thing where we think that we are in control. Yes, we can and do manifest many things and even in this there is trust.
Trusting God feeling like a precarious thing. It can feel like we are empty handed, hoping.
And I cry because it makes me sad that the memory is triggered of the most painful thing in my life where God said, my answer is no. Trust me.
And so, I find myself in a new situation where God tells me again, Trust me.
God does this with so many things – trust me with you parent’s health, trust me with finances, your job, your living situation. But God does show up even if it’s not the way I wanted things to work, He works them out with love and care for me. He does have my back.
God has been reminding me of all the bible stories in the old testament, the ones of Moses, Joseph, Daniel. The one where Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den and God sent His angels to shut the mouths of the lions.
The characters in the bible went through some rough times but God would turn things around for them. God would show up in magical ways.
And I realize that that is the God I grew up believing in – a God of magic and wonder, a God who makes all things good in the end, a God that says – trust me, I have you in the palm of my hand.