Trust Issues

Hello old friends, new followers, and fellow bloggers, 

My name is Simone and I have trust issues.  Yep, it’s true – I have a hard time with trust.  I thought this journey of becoming was going to be easy.  I shouted on the promise that year 26 was going to be the year of eradicating my fears.  On January 11th, I thought God was going to eradicate fear out of my life by challenging me to do new and exciting things like traveling or skydiving.  I had no idea that His eradication process would consist of moving back home or admitting to my community one of my issues.  I never imagined this post being apart of the plan, but yet here we are.

Let’s start from the beginning.  I am preacher’s kid, I grew up in church memorizing and reciting scripture.  I’ve probably heard the term “Trust the Lord” more times than I can count.  So much so, that the phrase became a cliche and Proverbs 3:5-6 was just another reminder of my childhood Sunday School class.  I don’t think I’ve ever come into a place of complete trust.  The majority of the years of my fellowship with God have been marred by skepticism.  I would declare trust only to get into circumstances that revealed that I truly didn’t believe that He cared about me deeply.

Whoah.. that moment of transparency was a lot but let’s continue.  So, why my lack of trust?  Fear.  I was afraid to trust again.  I’ve placed my trust in individuals and experienced disappointment, in churches and left broken, in systems that have failed and I think over the years I’ve equated all of the heartbreak with trusting in God.  My lack of trust stemmed from a fear of shame.  Even last night, I had a need. I’ve been praying for the longest and last night was the deadline.  I remember saying to the Lord, “I’m not trying to be out here looking embarrassed.  You got me out here in the middle of nowhere proclaiming that you’re with me and if you don’t come through, I’m going to be so ashamed.  I’m not placing trust in you to end up humiliated.” If I was Him, I would have been so offended.  I mean God has done so many things for me: time and time again and I still didn’t fully trust Him to keep His Word.  I mean let that sink in… homie has proven himself even died on a cross and we’re still at this crossroads of trust.  Yet, in gentleness, he spoke these words to me:

Those that place their trust in me will never be ashamed.  If you trust me, you have no need to be afraid.  I won’t let you down.

I surrendered to his request to trust Him.  The need was not met last night but it was provided for this morning.  He came through, just like He said he would.

I have a friend that one night in a rehearsal began singing “You always do what you say you’ll do.”  In a moment of vulnerability, he began to sing that line over and over proclaiming that God could be trusted.  That line came back to me this morning and I began to sing it too.  The fact of the matter is, God is trustworthy.  I can’t say the same for every person, or job opportunity or even my own logic or reasoning, but I can say that about the one who has not switched up on me even when he had every reason to.  I can be a lot.  A lot to deal with, a lot to console, a lot to journey with.  I can be really headstrong, stubborn sometimes, petty on my good days and unforgiving on my bad days. I’m a lover of justice and my pride will convince me that I can be both judge and jury but that’s not my job.  I know me.  So for God to stick with me all these years is a testament of His love.  He loves me beyond me and that amazes me every single time.

Early this morning, I prayed a simple prayer:  “Lord, will you help me?  I want to trust you and those you’ve given me.  Can you please teach me how to trust?”  That was step one.  Now, I’m leaning into him. I’ve chosen to trust Him and share my journey with each of you in spite of the risk.  At the end of the day, He got me and He’s going to make sure I’m good!

Friends, will you let him speak to your fears? To deal with your issues?  I know it uncomfortable and there is this notion of risk involved in healing but what is the alternative?  Living life alone?  Worrying about everything all the time?  Always viewing people and situations through the lens of skepticism?  Dr. Matthew Stevenson III stated that “everything we need to receive is funneled through trust.” Every gift in a person or relationship, every prophecy, every amount of healing comes through trust.  We cannot get what we need if we do not trust.  I think this is why God is dealing with trust within me because He’s promised me some things that will only come if I place trust in Him.  I can’t go to my next outside of trust.  I encourage you to be honest with yourself and ask some hard questions. For example: Do you really trust God?, Do you trust anyone?  If not, what is the fear that’s keeping you from trusting in God’s love for you?  And lastly,  do you want to be able to trust?  All it takes is an honest conversation with God and community and I promise He will help you!

May you find the courage to be honest and the strength to trust in the One who hasn’t switched up on you.

Xoxo,

Simone

FIC :https://cdn-images-1.medium.com//max/1200/1*XfamT0OI3iaB8yS_s40XoQ@2x.jpeg

“Trust Issues” sermon by Dr. Matthew Stevenson III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znoJoFw0f00

 

My Name Meant Disaster… (Erica’s Story)

Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers- 

Today is “Freedom Friday”, and I am going to share with you my best friend Erica’s story.  Erica is the “E” I am always referring to and we have been friends for almost 8 years.  We have had our ups and downs but we have conquered the world together.  I was so elated when she decided that she wanted to share her story with you.  I got the opportunity to video chat with her last night and she began to share with me her life’s story- she has given me permission to share that story with you.  I hope you enjoy her story and realize that there are people out there in the world who has dealt with the  things that you are dealing with.   You are not alone.  Well here we go, Enjoy!

Erica was born with a name that simply meant disaster.

 It was like her life was orchestrated prophetically by the meaning of her name.  Her life was a disaster from the very start.  Some individuals are graced with stable parents who teach them how to love and how to live in the world around them, but Erica seemed to draw the short stick of life and instead was born into the world’s most dysfunctional family.  

A family filled with drug and alcohol use.  She was the black sheep of the family, the one who was destined to be pregnant early, a druggie, or dead.  For her, the option of being alive by the age of 21 was not available and she began to accept her fate- her disastrous fate.  Erica has always felt the need to protect herself.  She was her own parent. When her parents were on drugs, life became synonymous to hell – grim and torturous but when her parents were sober, they were amazing.  It was like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex– life was always changing but as a child, she recognized the patterns of the lifestyle she was born into, she knew when the tides were changing. 

With the “absence” of a paternal presence, she sought for validation in people and destructive things,  Her father was present but he wasn’t.  His body was there with her but his mind and soul was in another place, this led to a season of resentment- Erica began to resent that her parents weren’t there for her the way she sought for them to be.  Erica had to take care of herself.  She wanted an out, a way out of the life that was given to her and she even contemplated ending life to get that way out.  As she grew into her teenage years, she became more lost in the jungle of identity and she was a child still seeking for someone to validate her.  After while, she stopped coming home.

Erica began to date a young man and she fell in love with him, seeking that validation that she needed.  She desperately wanted to believe that she was loved, beautiful, desired but even in this relationship there were trust issues.  She didn’t trust men because of her relationship with her dad and because of the men she saw enter in and leave her mom’s life.  She didn’t trust anyone, especially men.  She stayed with her boyfriend, moving from household to household- lacking true stability.  Her life was unstable.  She went to school for one more year and then she dropped out of high school to work a full time job and be with her boyfriend.   She states that “dropping out of high school was the worst decision of my life.” She even said “If only someone encouraged me and told me that I could have done it, if only someone believed in me.”  Erica needed someone to believe in her- just someone

Erica’s boyfriend at the time was an entrepreneur of the illegal kind– a drug dealer.  This introduced Erica to a whole new world of the fast life. She lived life always looking over her shoulder, running from the law.  Even though she was not in the crime game, because of him she was on the run having to protect himself.  According to her the relationship died the second year in but because she wanted a family unit so bad, she stayed with someone who was not good for her.  

She was twenty-one now still seeking that validation, still seeking that perfect family, still seeking something other than the definition of her name.  Erica wanted something more and she craved to be loved- she wanted her life to be something other than a disaster.  

Erica remember learning about God as a child but because of her living conditions, God would come in and out of her life. She even had a friend as a young child that would take her to church and she loved it – it was her time away from where she was. God didn’t become more real to Erica until she was twenty-two years old.  It was during this time that she heard God speaking to her, telling her of His love for her.  She wanted to be validated to be loved, and He did just that.  She gave her heart to Jesus and her life changed- it changed for the better. Erica got her GED and she is in the process of going back to school for social work or daycare administration.  It is her dream to have her own daycare business .  Erica also want to help children get out of bad homes and into homes where they are loved, so that they can have opportunities that they never thought were possible. She works in ministry at Open Door Ministries ( I tell ya’ll my church is amazing!), where she is known as Prophetess Erica. God has changed her name from “disaster” to “breakthrough”.  God is her Father, her Lover, He validates her and she has found that she is complete in Him.  God has saved her life.  

The girl that didn’t think she was going to live past 21 is 27 now- I just celebrated her birthday with her.  

I have watched her grow into an amazing woman.  She has broken through everything that has tried to keep her down and she has conquered the world around her, one day at a time.  

Erica shared her story with you to let you know that no matter where you come from, family background, past circumstances, etc. – God loves you and He wants to use you for His kingdom.  She wanted me to invite you to come to know the person that changed her life, Jesus,  and to allow Him into your heart so that He too can change your name.  Your life may have been filled with pain but He can bring healing. Your life may have been filled with sadness but He can fill your life with joy.  He can change your life the same way He changed Erica’s life.  God has no respect of persons, you don’t have to be perfect for Him to love you.

 He loves the rich and the poor; those with homes and the homeless; those with college degrees and the drop outs.  He loves the drug addict and those who have never picked up an illegal substance to their lips.  He loves us all the same and He wants to change all of our lives and bring us closer to Him,  He loves you right where you are!  

Until next time,

 Mo ❤