If I hurt, am I really trusting?

My eldest has a new fear.

Any time my husband gets into the driver’s seat of our car while I am still out of the car, my eldest is convinced that he is about to leave me. She begins sobbing and yelling, “Daddy, don’t leave Mommy! Daddy, don’t leave Mommy!”.

The usual response is, “Sweetheart, have I ever left Mommy?!”

Apparently, that has nothing to do with anything.

I sometimes get frustrated with the apparent lack of trust that my daughter has in both of her parents, regardless of how many times we have proven ourselves to her.

“Why won’t you trust me?” I ask her. “Have I ever (you fill in the blank!) before?”

When I stop to think about it, though, I completely understand. So often I decide that this is the time that God is not going to care for me, no matter how many times before He has proven His goodness and His love.

How many times does He have to prove Himself to me before I will finally trust that He will do what is best for me, even when I can’t see it?

Recently, though, I have been struggling with a different sort of trust issue.

While Kristina struggled for life and in the early days of Mike facing life as a single parent, God helped me to work though how we trust Him in the darkest times.

Now there are different hard times.

I want to publish these words of mine. So far, God says no.

We want another baby to add to the beauty and joy of our family. So far, God says no.

I thought I was trusting Him in these things. After all, if I could trust Him through horrible pain and ugly death, surely I can trust Him in this also.

I trust that if He is saying no to my desires it is because He has something infinitely more beautiful in mind.

Yet it still hurts.

Why does it still hurt if I trust that God is love?

How can my heart feel as though it is breaking if I trust that God is good?

If I hurt when God says no, does that mean that I am not truly trusting?

This. This is what my heart and my head have been struggling with.

Then one night I was praying while nursing my youngest and God brought to my mind the image of Jesus in the Garden, praying so fervently His sweat fell like drops of blood, praying in anguish that He would not have to face what was coming.

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

It was as though God was laying a soothing hand on my troubled heart and telling me to look at His Son.

Of all who have ever walked this earth, Jesus trusted God. Jesus trusted that God is good, that God is love, that whatever God chooses is the very best, most beautiful thing.

And yet He still hurt. He still prayed in anguish and cried out to God to save Him.

So perhaps I am still trusting after all. Perhaps it is okay to hurt when God’s plans turn out to be something other than what I desire.

I will try not to doubt myself so much. I will try to allow myself to weep, to cry out to God in pain and disappointment, while still knowing that

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

art credit: Gethsemane by Carl Bloch

10 thoughts on “If I hurt, am I really trusting?

  1. Elizabeth, this is beautiful…as I begin year two of being a single mom, I can truly understand the doubt we feel as humans, when God’s plan differs from our own. But as you pointed out, God’s plan is ALWAYS more abundantly beautiful than what we can ever imagine! Thanks for sharing your comforting words.

    • Oh, Sarah, my heart aches when I read your words. I am so sorry that you have to go through parenting without an earthly partner, but grateful beyond words that God has promised to always be with us, to give us what we need, to give us peace and joy regardless of what is going on around us. I’m glad that He was able to speak a little comfort through me. I just prayed for you, and will do so again, for wisdom and peace, for joy and strength.

  2. Elizabeth, I know you don’t know me, but I graduated with Daniel and grew up across the street from where his parents live. Your writing is so beautiful. I just couldn’t read another post of yours without telling you this. I sincerely hope someday you do get to publish your words…they are beautiful and so comforting and just resonate with me everytime!


    • Thank you, Mandy. You just gave my heart a bit of joy! I’m grateful that God gives me the chance to write, to use words to breathe Him into the lives of a few others. Thanks for taking the time to tell me!

  3. I find myself in the same position as your eldest, not trusting God even though He has never failed me. Thank you for your words today and this encouragement.

    • Isn’t it funny how like children we are when it comes to our relationship with God?! I’m continually amazed at how much I learn about how NOT to act when I’m around my little ones.

  4. ” … it is okay to hurt when God’s plans turn out to be something other than what I desire.”

    Your words bring truth and life to the hurt that is oftentimes so hidden beneath the surface.

    I’m so glad to have found your blog.

    • So many times Christians think that it is not okay to hurt, that we are somehow not trusting or are not “Christian” enough if our hearts ache. That ends up doing nothing but causing us to shove our emotions deep inside.

      Thank you for your kind and gracious words. I’m glad you’re here too!

  5. Really beautiful. It’s hard to trust God in the hurt because it’s true, we feel like the pain shouldn’t be there but so often it remains and draws us to Him. Thanks so much for sharing your story, it is truly a blessing.

    • “…it remains and draws us to Him.” That is a good reminder for me: that I shouldn’t just rush through the pain, wishing that it would go away, but that I should look for why He is allowing my pain, look for the beautiful purpose for it. Thank you for reading and for your own words.

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