Learning to Trust

He sat at my feet, leaning against me. His eyes, black like coal, looked up at me and my heart melted as I touched his soft curly hair.  He was sweet and innocent, only one year old. The kind woman who brought him to me said he was only given love a few times a day when fed and to potty. Tears welled up in my eyes at hearing this. Our new puppy greeted our children and grandchildren with enthusiasm and followed me from room to room, never wanting to be left alone. I shared with him my secrets, my fears, and my joy. He watched me as I prayed and shed tears. When I was on my knees, he cuddled next to me. We loved on him continually, but trust was a difficult thing for him to grasp. He never let go of that one small part of his heart that had been wounded. Max was our loyal, precious standard poodle who lived to be fifteen years old. 

When we have been hurt or betrayed, it is difficult to trust people. A piece of our heart has been damaged. Maybe you trusted someone by sharing a secret or trusted someone to do what they had promised but failed to do. I had trust issues in the past like Max, but I have learned to be more discerning. The big whopping blow of trust came through church leaders with whom we shared long term friendships. Through false accusations, my husband and I were devastated, and others were hurt too. I knew I had to trust the Lord to help me work through the forgiveness, hurt, and betrayal. 

The pain was so deep, I stopped trusting others altogether. I shared my trust issues with a spiritual leader, and she told me that if I cannot trust people, then I cannot trust God! I knew that was not true. The Lord has proven Himself to be worthy of my trust, no matter what people do.  The Scriptures remind us to trust in the Lord and abide in His truth. God is faithful and His radical love for us is deeper than what any human can give.  In 1 John 4:16, we read, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” The Lord will never fail us or leave us alone in our anguish. David, who knew the pain of betrayal, wrote, “But I have trusted in your faithfulness. My heart shall rejoice in your salvation, I will sing to the Lord, because he has looked after me” (Psalm 13:5-5 TPT). 

In our situation, God wanted us to change the place we were in. I had chosen to shut my eyes to the unhealthiness around me, so the Lord allowed a bomb to drop that opened our eyes. When we ignore His nudges to change, He sometimes allows deep wounds to move us towards His will for us. Through this experience, God brought us through a refining process. We had to put our trust in God and not in man. We also had to trust Him to heal our broken hearts. Only He could bring the restoration we needed.  

Standing on scripture, praying, and shedding lots of tears helped through this trial. Here are some scriptures I stood on during this difficult time:

  • “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” –Psalm 145:18 ESV
  • “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped….” –Psalm 28:7 NKJV
  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” –Proverbs 3:5 ESV
  • “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” –Psalm 62:8 NKJV
  • “I will never lose sight of your steadfast love for me. Your faithfulness has steadied my steps.” –Psalm 26:3 TPT

It took years for the hurt to subside, but in that time the Lord opened my eyes to things in me that needed changing. For example, I learned to set boundaries in my life and stick with them. There were more lessons, but most of all, I experienced true refuge in the Lord. I learned how to rebuke the enemy in my thoughts, and how to live a life of full forgiveness. I learned to hold onto His comforting words and have patience while we waited for Him to direct us. In the end, the experience ended up being God’s best for us. 

David wrote the words that expressed exactly how I felt during this time. “I waited and waited and waited some more, patiently knowing, God would come through for me. Then, at last, he bent down and listened to my cry. He stooped down to lift me out of danger from the desolate pit, out of the muddy mess I had fallen into. Now he lifted me up to a firm secure place and steadied me while I walk along his ascending path. A new song for a new day rises in me every time I think about how he breaks through for me! Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until everyone hears how God has set me free” (Psalm 40:2 TPT).  

Our precious dog Max was loving, sweet, and loyal, but he never fully trusted. Are you like Max or are you totally trusting in the Lord no matter what happens in your life? Only God can show you what He wants you to learn when your heart has been broken. 

Let’s pray:

Lord, when someone hurts me, first help me to forgive even when my emotions don’t feel like it. Then lead me to Scripture to keep me strong. Help me trust You when the pain seem unbearable. Remind me of Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Lord, You are my Helper, Comforter, Refuge, Provider, the God who hears and sees me, and Immanuel, the God with us. I put my trust in You. Amen.