When I was 8-years-old I lost my father. At 12, I lost my mother, and as if that wasn't enough at the age of 15, just as I least expected it my brother died from a car accident. His passing was sudden, abrupt and a shock to the family. It's one thing to lose a loved one to sickness because you witnessed their health deteriorate; it is another to lose them from an accident, this has been a shock that I am still grappling with.
Time hasn't healed any of it but made living with the pain bearable. These weren't the only adversities I faced and definitely weren't the last. At 17 years I failed my matric (Grade 12/senior year), I thought I wasn’t affected by this until the stress and shock unravelled and made sick physically. This resulted in me seeing a psychologist for counselling. At this point I was aware of God, I knew there is a God but I simply didn’t know how to bring myself to trusting Him.
Trusting God during adversity almost feels and seems impossible when you don't know and understand what it means, mainly because when you’re in pain nothing seems bigger than the adversity at hand. During this time I learnt that trusting God is a process. It doesn't happen over talking about it, over prayer or reading on a topic about it. These, although needed, are just contributing factors in helping one know about trusting God.
|Trust (v.) | according to oxford dictionary it is to believe that someone is honest and means no harm. A Biblical definition of trust is complete reliance or dependence, in other words, it is full submission. Trusting in what we do not see because of the faith given to us. It is believing in the promises of God in all circumstances, even in those where the evidence seems contrary.
My journey of learning to trust God started the year I failed my matric. Because I desired to trust God’s plan for me, I would lock myself every day, praying with bitter cries asking God for answers but I reached a point where I had cried enough. It was at this point that my brother gave me a book titled "Starting your Best life Now" by Joel Osteen. I dedicated to reading this book every day in hopes of feeling better - I most probably used the book as a mechanism of forgetting and escaping from my reality but to my surprise, it gave me more than I anticipated. A snippet of one of the stories in the book is a story about Tara Holland.
Tara Holland dreamed of being Miss America since she was a little girl. After two years as runner up in the Miss Florida pageant, she was tempted to give up, but she chose to focus on her goal. She rented videos of every pageant she could find and watched them over and over again. As she watched each woman being crowned a winner she pictured herself receiving the crown and walking down the runway in victory. Tara was crowned Miss America in 1997. "You must start looking at life through the eyes of faith, visualising the life you want to live,
" the author wrote.
The author then writes, "what about you? what do you want to do with your life? Perhaps you most often see and des
cribe yourself in terms of the past experiences or present limitations," in my case, I defined myself with to the present limitations. I thought and believed that my dreams were over and so what do I move on to from this.
And then I read, "Quiet your heart and receive God's word: 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29'11
This scripture came at the right time. God knew how much I needed to hear this because every time I would read it I grew to believe it as truth and not a mere saying. The more I read it the more I realised that I had a choice, to either take God for his word and trust him or wallow in self-pity, which had proven to yield no good results for a long time. I chose to trust. Every day I would speak this verse to myself over and over again. The more I meditated on it the easier it became to trust God. I believed what the word said and It was through this that I learnt to surrender and tapped into a place of trusting God.
From this, I learnt that adversities unfortunately or fortunately are part of life, but I have God’s trusted word and believe in his promises, I’ll get through anything. "Submit your heart in full obedience to God. Don't prop yourself up with human wisdom and understanding. In every area of your life, acknowledge God and right act according to his wisdom, and he will make the right path clear to you." - Proverbs 3:5. Like a trusted friend who is always there in good times and in bad times is God’s faithfulness. He is always there for us, leading and guiding us no matter what life throws at us, and that makes him trustworthy. The choice to trust him is ours, what will you choose?
Photos by: Brain on Unsplash