I have started writing this post so many times. I keep typing a few sentences, then deleting them. Try again. Start over. Say it differently. I can’t quite fathom what it is that keeps me second guessing my thoughts, but this one, this one is hard to write.
It has been nearly 2 years since I wrote this post about trust. At that time, we were listing our NY house for sale. It was a move of trust. I was so excited for the prospect of selling and using the profits to pay off some debts and moving forward. But the question, “What if it isn’t everything I hope for?” seemed to be the answer we were given. Our house didn’t sell, so we leased it instead. And it was a only about 3 months before we got news that this had happened.
Look at all those kind police officers lined up outside my house for a cup of cocoa. Just kidding. They weren’t there for cookies and cocoa. This is a police raid on my house because our tenants and their friends were actually committing armed robberies in the area. They may have been running drugs out of our property too. I was never given a copy of the police reports. I was sent these photos by our property manager of where they shot tear gas through the windows so they could get in and forcibly remove the suspects.
We were hoping for freedom, what we got was more chains. If you, like me, and millions of other people, live paycheck to paycheck, the kind of setback that several thousands of dollars worth of damage can do is unnerving. As we were repairing the house from this to try again, the Lord spoke to me and told me to start declaring this our year of Jubilee. Now that was a word I could hold on to. I knew the Year of Jubilee meant all debts forgiven and all captives set free. What a beautiful promise. And for a few months I said it all the time. I yelled it at my doubts and my fears.
Then life started handing out more bad news. Some small, some huge. From broken down cars, to leaking roofs. Family members with major heart problems, parents’ houses flooding, more home repairs on our house in New York. Somehow the cacophony of chaos drowned out the voice of the Holy Spirit whispering Jubilee over my life. Every time we would catch our breath, someone would throw another crap pie in our faces. It has been an endless cycle trying to scramble out of the pit, only to have the walls collapse under our feet.
This week Holy Spirit reminded me again of this word of Jubilee, as I wondered if we would have enough to cover groceries before the next check came in. He followed it up with this simple question, “Do you trust me?” My first response was a resounding yes. But then He asked again, and again. And it became easy to imagine what Peter felt like as Jesus asked him, “Do you love me?” My heart says yes, my soul cries yes, but my reality – if I am truly honest – is no. I trust that His promise is true, in the big picture, all things for good and all that, but in the daily, my trust is weak. Discouragement and fear of how this will all work out has left me with a poor excuse for faith. It keeps me treading water when He is inviting me to walk upon the waves.
This morning, as I laid in bed, enduring the agony of physical pain (one more crap pie in my life) I read Jesus speak to Peter, “Do not yield to your fear” and I realized that my battle strategy may have been wrong. I have been striving to be unafraid, to be encouraged in spite of the piles of poo around me, pushing down the dread and hoping that joy will spring up in its place. This has left me feeling so defeated every time something else goes wrong. Today I am choosing to look that discouragement in the face, stare down my fear and say, “You don’t have the final say in my life.” It is a stepping stone, refusing to yield to my fear. It is the first move into a trust that puts blinders to all the circumstances so that my eyes can only see my Father whose perfect love casts out all my fears.