What does trust in God mean to you?
In January, I had the privilege and challenge of preaching a retreat on the theme of, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” from Proverbs 3:5. This was before the coronavirus invaded our lives. It was before we learned there was a St. Corona or that Lysol wipes would become something I carry in my purse. Even though some things have changed since January – many things stay the same and for me, trust in the Lord is one of them.
What does trust have to do with our Vocation blog, God Calling?? Well, I think it has a lot to do with discernment, prayer, making a commitment to religious life and living our vows each day. I know that when I was discerning my call to religious life, I had to learn to trust God and to trust myself also. I did this through prayer and through experiencing God’s abiding love and presence in my life.
Now, I would challenge you to pause for a moment or longer in your reading and think about a few questions:
- What does trust in God mean to you?
- Do you trust God? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Think of the people in your life. Who do you trust?
- Who trusts you?
- Do you think God trusts you?
- How can you grow in trust?
A definition of trust is: “It is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Similar words that convey trust are: confidence, belief, faith, freedom from suspicion/doubt.
So, to answer a few of the questions above –
- What does trust in God mean to me? I believe that to trust God means to know that God will always be with me, even if I can’t feel that presence. It is based on faith – which is similar to trust but deeper because it is based on things I can’t really see. I believe trust is a gift. I pray that God helps me to grow in faith, especially in times like now that are difficult and challenging.
- Do I trust God? Yes, I trust God. Well, most of the time. I must admit though that at times I have doubted. One time, in particular was when I was on retreat in preparation for my first profession of vows. I was in the chapel praying before the tabernacle. The scripture verse was from Jeremiah 29:11: “I know the plans I have for you. Plans for a future full of hope” (paraphrased). As I prayed, I felt empty and that God was far away from me. I stuck it out and stayed for the full hour, as my retreat director had recommended. I stood to leave and said to Jesus, “Where are you?” In that moment, as I turned from the sanctuary, I felt a warm presence envelope me, as if I was being hugged by a person who was right behind me. I knew it was God in the person of Jesus embracing me. I stood there for a long time savoring the consolation before thanking him for his abiding presence with me. I knew in that moment that Jesus was affirming my decision to make my vows. This is one of those “touchstone” experiences I recall whenever I need reassurance or lack trust that God is with me.
- Who do I trust? Who I trust and who trusts me have become life sustaining and lifesaving in this time of social distancing, caring for one another by adhering to hand washing and other disease reducing protocols. Today, as I ventured to the store for some necessities, I washed my hands several times, kept using sanitizing wipes and thanked those who were working in the store. Another sister and I picked up some essentials for our sisters in a neighboring convent so they wouldn’t have to venture out.
I’m still working on the other questions I posed above. So, I will end here, but I encourage you to continue to reflect on the role trust plays in your life and to think about the faith of St. Joseph which we read about in today’s Gospel from Matthew 1:18-21. Pray with St. Joseph and ask him to help you and all of us to grow in faith and to trust God to lead us in all ways and always.
In the meantime, if you feel God calling you to religious life, contact us to begin a conversation with one of our Vocation Ministers.