pause with Floss, which I only completed yesterday, got me thinking about what great or notable person or events I am awaiting and so I've decided to base my Pauses on some virtues or blessings that my life would benefit from right now. This week I think the next thing I need more of in my life is trust.
I have always found it exceptionally difficult when others do not prove themselves to be trustworthy. This is not to say that I don't manage uncertainty, as my life and work have all been based around responding to and managing uncertainty and effecting change. The kind of trust that I am reflecting on is having the security of trusting, of retaining a personal faith that my life is proceeding as it should be. I think we can underestimate the role of trust in our relationships. Love, in its most encompassing sense, is always held to be the ultimate achievement but perhaps it is a more random or incomplete emotion than it first appears. It seems that it is possible to love someone yet not entirely trust them; however, if we wholeheartedly trust someone then love seems to reflexively coexist. Till I wrote this I didn't even know that I thought this, so there may be flaws in my reasoning on the love/trust comparison.
I am not sure if I really believe that God actually orchestrates events to some predetermined plan as too many awful and inexplicable things happen in life. If he is the ultimate loving architect, or 'man with a plan', then you'd hope he'd have done a better job than create a world where his beloved are condemned to pain and suffering as a way to returning to him for eventual paradise. I can't quite rationalise that aspect. Instead I think that His power and strength is in guiding and supporting us to deal with what we face.
If I reflect over the past year, key events have made it very difficult to see His hand in guiding events or being there for me. I accept that bad things happen but I also have a belief that God places the right people and opportunities in your path as you need them and this belief is part of my trust with God. I have always felt the sentiments in the Footprints in the Sand poem were how my relationship with God worked. Sadly, over this year in particular this trust has been eroded, and it has been difficult not to acknowledge the frustration and hopelessness that have emerged at significant points with little to mitigate them or sense of a shared purpose.
I feel part of achieving or regaining trust needs a corresponding 'attitude of gratitude'. By this I don't mean trite Pollyanna-isms but real, genuine and heartfelt gratitude that there will be a resolution. However, sometime that the constant effort of making lemonade from life's lemons and reframing every disaster wipes authenticity from your life by not acknowledging the true reality of situations which can be just as damaging.
So, in moving forward through Advent this year, I would like to regain my confidence in trusting that my faith in God has simply become rather obscured and that by making time to reflect, to communicate and to create shafts of stillness in which I can hear His love and support that our connection will be re-established. I truly want this to provide hope for whatever follows and to allow me to mindfully find joy in the everyday.