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Do You Trust Me? One Woman’s Wrestle to Trust God with the Unexplainable

Woman with her head down, sad
Picture credit: Verne Ho

A guy once approached me after I’d spoken at a conference, telling me how his faith had been rocked by the loss of his young son. ‘I tell people that I trust God,’ he said, pointing to his head. ‘But I don’t really trust God,’ he added, pointing to his heart. If you have gone through a deep grief, or know someone who has, you’ll probably understand what he means.

That’s why today I’m publishing an entry from someone’s private journal – someone who has walked that same wilderness between head and heart, someone who has wrestled with God while learning how to trust.

What Happened in the Chapel

For the past few years I’ve had the privilege of leading an annual retreat at Scargill House in North Yorkshire – a place of beauty, community, laughter and healing. One afternoon Sandra and her husband Kevin asked to meet with me. Having read Resurrection Year, they’d come on this retreat hoping to move on from their own broken dream of childlessness. But the retreat was unearthing some uncomfortable things for Sandra.

‘Kevin and I sat in the walled garden yesterday,’ Sandra said, ‘and as we talked I found myself wondering if our infertility was God punishing me somehow – for an abortion I had years ago, or a divorce I went through later. Maybe I’m just unworthy of being a mother. Maybe God knows I’ll let the child down somehow and so he’s keeping me from having one. But why then have I had prophecies and pictures about having a daughter? It’s all so confusing. I thought I’d dealt with all these feelings before too,’ Sandra added. ‘But maybe I’ve just buried them.’

Later on, Sandra went to Scargill’s chapel to pray alone and reflect on some scripture passages set for the retreat. What follows comes from her journal, written while in the chapel, which she’s given me permission to share.

Notice how the dialogue with God, and the repetition, leads Sandra gently to a new place.

***

Sandra’s Raw and Honest Journal EntryWoman with journal, reflective

Picture credit: Kinga Cichewicz

Reading 1 Samuel 3 about Samuel hearing from God. Crying, tears falling on the floor. Had to go and find tissues… God, my heart and spirit are broken over this. I need to find peace. 

Reading Ephesians 5 and Ephesians 3. Pondering the immensity of God’s love. I can’t comprehend it.

Reading John 21 in the first person, as if Jesus were speaking to me rather than Peter.

Back to Ephesians 3…

Do you trust me?

Yes

Do you trust that I am holding you in my hands?

Yes

Do you believe that I know what’s best for you?

Yes

Do you believe that I have your best interests at heart?

Yes

Are you content with your childlessness?

No 

***

Do you believe that your childlessness is punishment for the abortion or the divorce?

No

Do you believe it’s punishment for something you or Kevin have or haven’t done?

No 

Do you think it’s because I don’t think you are worthy or capable of bringing up a child?

No 

***

What about the pictures given to me of having a daughter?

Do you trust me?

Yes

Let them go. Release them. Cling onto them no more

***

Do you trust me?

Yes

Do you believe that I’m holding you safely in my hands?

Yes

Do you believe that I know what’s best for you?

Yes

Do you believe that I have your best interests at heart?

Yes

Are you content with your childlessness?

I’m trying to be

***

What about the pictures given to me of having a daughter? 

Do you trust me?

Yes

Let them go. Release them. Cling onto them no more

***

Do you trust me?

Yes

Do you believe that I’m holding you safely in my hands?

Yes

Do you believe that I know what’s best for you?

Yes

Do you believe that I have your best interests at heart?

Yes

Are you content with your childlessness?

Yes

***

I can use you better childless. Will you let me use you?

Yes

Follow me

***

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