Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trust and the Broken Heart

My heart is broken and I can't say why.  Well, I could, but I won't...it's a personal issue.  One I've grappled with for a long time.  It's one of those things we tend to label as a "test of faith" and say God is "building our character." It's not something we hope for, not something we desire, not something we want to work through.

But there it is. 

Of course, if I had truly given it over some time ago, maybe it wouldn't hurt so badly now.  Or maybe it would have hurt the same, just sooner.  No way to tell, really.

The one thing I do know is that there's a trust issue in the middle of this.  Am I willing to let go of this dream, this hope, this desire, altogether, forever, so He can work out His plan for my life?

How much do I honestly trust God?  

I thought I trusted Him a lot.  He's proven Himself faithful over and over again.  But it's always easier to trust when we have nowhere to go.  When there is NO money left in the bank account, but I still need gas to get back and forth to work a few more days, it's a no-brainer.  I pray.  I ask God for provision.  When a friend is hurting because of a health concern, a relationship problem, the loss of a job.  I pray.  God knows the need and will meet it.  When a loved one dies and there is intense grief that feels like it will never subside.  I pray.  God heals broken hearts, mends lives, brings purpose out of pain.  Even when it's a good thing like an outreach but there are so many variables that it is impossible to plan for each one.  I pray.  God works all things together ministering to the hearts, minds and souls of those served, and receiving the glory.

But in all these cases, there is nothing I can do.  It is out of my control.  There are no circumstances to be manipulated.  It is a relatively easy thing to relinquish the doubts, the fears, the needs up to God for Him to sort out and make right when we feel powerless in our own strength.

I trust Him a lot...but do I trust Him completely?

This thing that is breaking my heart.  How often have I tried to work it out on my own?  How many times have I offered it over to God while never removing my hand?  It too is out of my control, but I refuse to see that.  I'm pretty sure given more time, more effort, a different approach, I can make it happen.

My trust is impeded by fear.  If I let go completely, altogether, forever...what if He doesn't give it back?  What will I do then?  What happens to the minutes, hours, days and even years I've invested in this dream...spent cultivating this hope?  What will fill my time now?  Will there be a new dream?  What will that look like? 

I feel sick in the pit of my stomach at the very notion of it.  

I have no answers other than to trust in the God I know is faithful.  Like the acrobat who lets go of the swing bar, hands out, eyes searching for the one who's watching for the release, I have to trust in the only One who can catch me.  Trust in His perfect timing and in His grip.  After all, He's the one who has plans to prosper and not harm me.  The one who withholds no good thing from His children.  The one who has my name etched on the palm of His hand that is outstretched and reaching for me.  These thoughts offer me immense comfort, but still I know the way will be hard.  I've faltered before.  I may again.

And so I pray. 

Matthew West - Rest
Psalm 34:18  "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."


  1. This is a very nice read Toni. I thank you for writing it. For me, it IS fear that keeps us from trusting any(One) or any(Thing). He has never let me down. He has shown me that He is in Everyone and Everything. Sometimes, including myself, we think because we "believe" and "have faith" that we don't need any thing or any one else to help us. He did make us in His Image, and again, for me, He brings ALL things to help us remember Who He is, thus remembering who we are, in Him. We want control, that is what we are taught, "learned behaviour". Letting go of what we thought was right and live in the world as we "see" it, is, a very difficult thing to do, never impossible. It is a choice we all have to make, would you agree? But once done, and practiced(pray without ceasing), it becomes easier. I liken it to waking up every morning. Our judgements of things and others cause us pain and discomfort, but again that is what we are "taught". One thing I know for absolute certainty, the more I "trust" the Unknown, (God, The Universe, Great Spirit, The Divine Source, Whatever One calls It), the easier it becomes to let go and indeed let "God". Thank you for your faith Toni, for without yours, mine wouldn't mean a thing. Love and Light to you and everyone.

    1. Anonymous - thank you for your comment. Yes, we certainly want to control things and sometimes we need to let go of what we thought was right because it is not. His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. At the risk of offending, I do have to differ with you on something though. God is God - He is not the Universe, He created the universe. We need to guard against interweaving the One True God with new age thinking and vague descriptions of some random cosmic spirit or the unknown. He defines Himself as the I Am. If you read my previous post "The Future of Awesome" I talk about how His character is predictable. It is the one thing we CAN know and trust for sure no matter what. His ways may be unknown to us because as previously stated, they are higher than we can comprehend... but He makes Himself and the essence of Who He is very much known to us :) Blessings to you.

  2. I may be reading too much into this. But if I'm not...my heart is breaking along with yours. Praying with and for you.

    1. You are reading exactly right I'm sure. We'll talk soon.

  3. Toni, If all you have is His Faithfulness to cling to you are completely safe. So fly...I (and many others) are prayerfully cheering your faith and heart on. He will not let you fall-(far) before He catches you full because in reality you know He never lets you go- but that doesn't mean that the space between won't send shivers down your spine, make you gasp or shake you up a bit. He's really not "predictable" faithful, yes. Predictable? I think not. He has often done things in ways I never could anticipate, or that I would have chosen. But He has never let me down. Your Aslan is not tame...trust is hard for us. But someday we will trust Him full as He will fill the gaps in Himself when we see Him at last, face to face. Hang on and let go. Yeah. Love, In His Grace, Dawn

    1. Hi Dawn- thanks for the observations :) By predictable, I meant we can count on Him to abide by His promises - even though I'm the first to agree that His methods are anything but (see my statements on the Future of Awesome post). I love God's creative way of rarely if ever doing things the same way twice...He enjoys surprising us in wonderful ways. But you may be right...faithful might just be the better word. Or perhaps "unchanging" rather than predictable - His character does not change even when He answers prayers in a million different ways :) I love that line "Your Aslan is not tame" - I so loved how CS Lewis presented Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia. Strong, but gentle, fierce but kind...but never tame!!

  4. I hear you, Toni. I relate to the examples you give and how this situation, while still requiring faith, is a little different.

    The last few months, my cry has been, "I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" ((hugs))

    1. Thanks Christine, and I echo your cry. As I continue to read The Circle Maker, there are so many awesome ideas about praying through situations instead of about them, and circling and standing on God's promises even when we don't yet see the results. As only God can, it's turning out to be just the right book to encourage me at just the right time.