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I Have Trust Issues

February 16, 2017

I want life to be as stable as a math problem. Two plus two always equals four. It will equal four today, tomorrow and into the tomorrows years from now.

Math equations don’t experience breakups and letdowns. They don’t get cancer. Or have their best friend get transferred and move across the country. They don’t have affairs or unmatched affections. They are highly predictable. Therefore, they are easy to trust.

But life doesn’t add up. People don’t add up. And in the rawest moments of honest hurting, God doesn’t add up. All of which makes us hold our trust ever so close to our chests until it becomes more tied to our fears than to our faith.

That’s where I was when Bob and Maria stuck out their hands to shake mine and invite me to their mountain home. I needed God to untangle some of my trust issues.

They were having a retreat at their mountain home with an eclectic group of some of their favorite people, and somehow I got on that list.

It was all going well until someone handed me a helmet. We were about to do a ropes course.
And not just any old ropes course. The grand dismount of this course was a leap from a platform to catch a bar suspended several feet away. I started looking around for the emergency exit, because there was no way on God’s green earth they were going to get me to jump.

And then Bob appeared. With his enormous smile, grandfather-gray hair and arms magnetic with the purest grace, he drew me over to the edge.

“Lysa, this isn’t about finishing the ropes course. This is about conquering your hesitancy, resistance and fear. These ropes holding you will only let you slightly drop if you miss the bar. Then they will catch, and you absolutely will not fall,” he whispered as if he had a window view inside of my soul.

I looked at the space between the edge of the platform and the bar. I saw death. Bob saw life.
What a visual for the word trust.

What we see will violate what we know unless what we know dictates what we see.

Bob knew the ropes would hold me. And he knew that my ability to survive this jump had absolutely nothing to do with my efforts. I was held safe standing on the platform. I would be held safe in midair. And I would absolutely be safe, whether or not I caught the bar.

Bob whispered, “You are absolutely loved. Now, when you’re ready, jump.”

I can’t tell you how long I stood there. It felt like days and milliseconds all at the same time. The world swirled and tilted and shifted without me so much as twitching a muscle fiber. I forgot to breathe. I couldn’t even blink.

I would imagine you’ve been in situations that have felt quite paralyzing as well. And it’s in these times I have to tie my heart to soul-steadying verses like Hebrews 13:5b-6: “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’”.

Just like those ropes wrapped around and around my body holding me to the course from beginning to end, God’s Word can wrap our souls with steady assurance.

The peace of our souls does not have to rise and fall with unpredictable people or situations. Our feelings will shift, of course. People do affect us. But the peace of our souls is tethered to all that God is. And though we can’t predict His specific plans, the fact that God will work everything together for good is a completely predictable promise.

Bob whispered one final thing: “It’s already done.”

I don’t know exactly what he meant, but I know what my soul heard. God has already caught me. His goodness and love have pursued me and won me. I just need to jump into that reality. And without any other conscious thought, my soul kicked in where my brain could not. My feet exploded off the platform and into midair.

I touched the bar, but I did not catch it. I didn’t need to. Because trust caught me.

Lord, I can’t thank You enough for the promise that I can trust You at all times. Even though people may fail me … even though others may abandon me … You never will. I’m choosing to let that truth steady my heart today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

This blog post was taken from my new book Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. You can find out more and order your copy by clicking here.

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18 Comments
  1. Rhonda

    This was so beautiful. Than you.

    Reply
  2. Sue

    Lysa – thank you so much for these words! Could not have come at a more appropriate time. Tonight I am going to have a heart to heart talk with someone dear to me and risk feeling abandoned depending on the outcome of this discussion. I am going to be reading this over and over again today remembering that God will be next to me during this discussion!

    Reply
  3. shelly

    I am in a place of having to trust God. At the moment, there is not enough money each month to pay my bills. Somehow, over the past 3 months, money I didn’t expect has come into my life. Not much. Sometimes not in time to pay everything when it’s due. But, the electricity is still on. A friend put oil in my tank. It’s been late, but I’ve paid the rent each month. I do honestly believe these past few months have been about God strengthening my faith. I’ve had no choice.
    I read Unglued. I have Uninvited. I’ve had it for months. I read to the part where the airport guy tells you not to talk to yourself that way and then I put it down. I am afraid to read this book. I see the title, and I get sad.
    I understand I obviously need to read this book. I get God is giving me a challenge. I trust your words to help me. Picking up the book is like you jumping off the platform.

    Reply
    • Terry Ann

      Dear Shelly, “jump off and read the book”! I witnessed my husband take his own life Nov 16, 2017. I’ve felt more than “Univited”; more like totally abandoned! I’ve been reading this book with our church’s women’s bible study group. We are using the workbook and video series as well. I’ve loved it and needed to hear these words for so long that I jumped ahead and finished the book yesterday. You won’t be disappointed. Lysa’s words are backed by scripture reminding us each and every day that we have an awesome God who will never abandon us! He loves us enough to send his son to die for us….what greater love is there than this.
      So take the plunge….you won’t be disappointed!
      Hugs,
      Terry Ann

      Reply
  4. Jody

    I, too, vividly remember a ropes course where I had to leap for the bar. I grabbed it, but no one had told me that just grabbing it was not enough. I had to really hold on to the bar in order to be able to swing like a trapeze artist. True, God has us no matter what, but if we touch the bar and feel His trust, hold tight.

    Reply
  5. Liza

    I am just finding you and the words that you you have written. I have struggled with feeling that I am not enough. No one seems to see me. I speak and no one listens. I know how truly fortunate I am for having my wonderful husband and children. But, something is missing from my life. Most people have friends and family. I have the family that I created with my husband and children. I am an only child and my mother raised me on her own. She passed away from Colon Cancer 5 days after her 45th birthday. I was 24 years old and raising 2 small children by myself. When she passed away, I lost my whole sense of what I knew as my life and who I was. I never had to question life until then. My mother wasn’t just a great mother, she was my best friend. She was my protector, she was my everything! I have never felt such loneliness and feelings of not belonging. We’re in the military and move every two years. One would think that you would meet new people and have friends all over the world. But, sadly, I never seem to connect with anyone and it’s not from a lack of trying. I’m very outgoing and trustworthy. I feel like I’m the one who is always putting in the effort to establish a new relationship. I pray every day for God to see this struggle and change what it is about me that is so unlovable.

    Reply
    • Jess

      Hi Liza,

      Honestly I don’t know the right words to tell you but I read what you wrote and could relate to part of it. A few years ago while in college, I struggled with self esteem issues and other issues. I lived on campus so I was away from home mostly. I felt really lost and alone and invisible really. While I didn’t want to be part of the ‘in crowd’ I felt alone and not good enough. God always provided though so there were people who cared – I just never felt like I belonged or was enough to be loved. I still don’t have many friends but that’s fine. I’ve been learning that sometimes for where God wants to take us we cannot go there with others holding on to or distracting us. Being alone doesn’t mean you’re not loveable. I want to encourage you, it may be tough but just for a few days, see yourself as lovely, lovable and completely loved. Reach out to others and be kind simply because you can – don’t think about making friends just be friendly because it’s good and because you can.
      No matter what the future brings or how unclear the path may seem, never doubt your worth in your Father’s eyes.

      Reply
    • Jessica

      Hi Liza

      I too understand what it feels like to not have many supporters around me, to try to be friendly and also feel like I’m not enough. A few years ago while I attended college and lived on campus I did in fact feel invisible. I knew I had a purpose in life and that there were those who cared about and loved me but I had to learn to love me and work through my self esteem and self worth issues.

      I’m much better now but not totally fine with my self sometimes. In all though I realized that there were some things God wanted to give me and bring me places that certain things and certain people just could not be in my life if I really wanted what He had for me.

      I’m not saying it’s the same with you. I’d like to encourage you though, it may be hard but see yourself as enough for what God wants. He will help you each day to be the ‘enough’ that He needs you to be. See yourself as lovely, lovable and loved. And keep reaching out to others but not because you are in need of their friendship. Do it simply because it’s a good thing and because you can do it. And finally (here’s some advice I got years ago) the things that happen in life and the outcomes are just a reflection of who you are and what you can do. They are not the sum total of you. Take care of yourself and each week, do something special for you.

      Reply
    • Maria M.

      I see you. I relate to feeling not enough. I am fortunate to still have my mother, but it seems I cannot have children. My husband doesn’t work and won’t get help. You are enough, I am enough. Let’s tell ourselves that every day and it will sink in.

      Reply
  6. Jennifer

    Lysa,

    A friend of mine introduced me to your Bible Study/Devotional Univited. It is like you are writing about me. I read chapter 3 last night and the idea of “living loved” struck me square in the face. I’ve been told all my life by family that I’m not good enough. All of my mistakes are thrown back in my face. I struggle with acceptance and love. Especially from God. I look to others for acceptance and if they don’t want me the way i want them them (there’s a gentleman I like who says he likes me but says he likes another girl better) my typical response is “why am I so unloveable?” What’s wrong with me? Your book “Uninvited” is helping me see that God loves me for me and He has already accepted me. I don’t need the acceptance of others to be valuable because in God’s eyes I’m already priceless. Thank you for writing this book. I really want to explore more what “living loved” looks like. God bless you for your honesty and vulnerability.

    Reply
  7. Ann

    Lysa, Thank you for your transparency in sharing. We all struggle with trust issues and your excellent analogy with the ropes and the words of assurance were soul bandaids to me today.
    I appreciate your love.

    Reply
  8. Shawna Wallace

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story about your marriage. Ive been married 3 yrs and my husband and I have really been going threw alot of trials. I was searching for somethng to give me hope. I prayed for something or someone to help. Then I found you…Your 5 days of Scripture and Prayers over marriage. Ive been doing this every day and today is day 5. Your words really sounded like my marriage. I have faith that my marriage will be restored. I’ve been leaving the notes I take and scriptures for my husband to read, whenever he feels the need. I didn’t say you have tl read this…
    I thank God for leading me to you and your words.
    God Bless

    Reply
  9. Su

    Dear Lysa,
    Thank you for the helpful writing …You seem to understand so deeply what I am feeling. You seem to understand the pain that I, unfortunately am still living with; the horrible pain that accompanies lack of trust. I have prayed that my trust issues would someday become part of my past. I felt/heard God saying to me that what I must do first is to trust the one you can. (which is God). I’d appreciate prayers in doing this.

    Reply
  10. Kinbu

    My life’s changed rather dramatically in the last couple of years. From someone who was reasonably financially comfortable to a person who can barely put food on the table for her children. Looking back at who I was before, even as a Christian I truly believe my trust in God for my daily needs came from the solidity of the balance in the bank rather than on God. Now I truly understand what it means to trust and totally depend on God for everything! It was sad for me to realise I had to go through this route in life for God to get my attention that even though I was saying I was a Christian who trusts and have faith in God….when the comforts I was used to was no longer there…the amount of trust I have in God became obvious! I am very grateful to God for loving me this much to wake me up this way (painful though the experience is) and make me re-examine my life and the things which are truly important.

    Reply
  11. Brenda Miller

    Lisa
    I wanted send note Thank you for my gift & read note. opened
    Thank you Everything your very sweet . I say Thank you all stress christmas got missed placed wasn’t sure where was.
    Thank you

    Reply
  12. Mae Lane

    I’m currently reading this book, and it’s absolutely speaking to my heart. The struggles you address are the same I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Your book gives me hope that I can overcome these feelings and focus on God’s love for me. Thank you!!

    Reply
  13. Greg Williams

    I just read your story on girls rescued from human tracking. A few years ago , I was sitting at a bar when a couple guys walked in and sat by me. The guy beside me and I struck up a conversation and it was shockingly because he hinted that he could supply me with a teenage girl who would do any sexual thing. By the grace of God,I survived that night and knew that I had sat shoulder to shoulder with a Tracker. I went to the restroom and thankfully they had left the premises. And that has become a hot button issue in my life. And your story about that really touched my heart and soul, God Bless you Lusater for sharing your experience!

    Reply
  14. Lori Reed

    I just started reading Uninvited about a week ago. Lysa, I feel like you’ve lived watching my whole life and all the battles within my heart. This book was written just for me. I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that I’m not the only one who has experienced these debilitating, irrational, hurtful feelings and thoughts. I’ve thought I was just crazy or that even though I love the Lord and gave my life to him long ago, that there were just parts of me that would forever remain broken–sort of my “Thorn in the Flesh”. I look forward to continuing to read and study God’s word to get to the point that I trust God to be God. I love Jesus. I know He loves me. I know He is enough. Why do I still feel rejected? Thank you for your brutal honesty and for your glorious application of the salve of grace and love that only the Lord can provide. Just, Thank You. Satan’s attacks are still coming, but my heart overflows with moving toward that love story that provides full, true acceptance and help with my trust issues.

    Reply
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