When I was 12 years old, one of the closest people to me did something that made me question everything about the people I thought I could trust.
Trust is such a fragile thing. Some people give trust out right away, and allow others the freedom to operate in that free trust, knowing it could be taken away. Other's make you work for trust. They sit back, let you in little by little and wait for you to prove you are trustworthy. And then there are some that pretend to trust you, but really, they know they're just fine on their own so in case you do let them down, they kind of already figured you would and it's actually okay because they never really trusted you anyways.
Sadly, I more often fall into that last one. I love people, but I just don't depend on them. Which means I rarely lean on them, hardly ever let them in, and find myself completely fine with only a couple of "close" friends, while having dozens of others held at arm reach- only to be surface level friendships.
You know those girls who talk about their "best friends' a lot? You know, the ones who get engaged and know right away who their maid of honor is, and actually might have a couple in the running to choose from? Well, not me. Kind of figures, right? Well, I actually have never really connected the dots until a little more recently. Instead for the past few years i've always just shrugged it off as 'I get along better with guys', or 'I just don't know how to interact with girls and that's why I dont have a best friend'.
As i've gotten married, had a child, and moved from one side of the country to the other and then back again- the realities of life have become a little more real, and the dots I used to connect are starting to connect with others as I learn a little more about myself.
One of the many things i'm really honing in on about myself right now is that my lack of trust actually stems from fear...
It is soo important we think about the things that rocked our boats and hurt our delicate feelings as a child because the chances are, you're still dealing with the destruction it made and have probably learned how to live a life around it.
My destruction came when I was 12, and there has been many other instances to add to the pile, but for now I can look back at that time and let it teach me a little about my current struggles.
Why do I have a hard time letting people in, trusting that they are telling the truth, believing that they actually care when they say they do? Because a long time ago I was hurt. Someone I loved and trusted dearly was hurting, and their struggle came out and affected me in a way that made me feel unsafe and broken when it came to ever letting someone back in. As a child, I couldn't reason or process their pain and the fact that their actions had nothing to really do with me- I was too young to shield myself. Too young to speak truth where satan quickly ran in with lies.
You can't trust even the closest person to you.
You think you might know someone, but in fact they are actually very capable of being someone totally different.
People don't actually care about you.
You're not enough.
Your'e better off alone.
This can't happen again.
And here I am, on the cusp of turning 27, and still listening to those same lies. Except those lies now sound more like my own voice. They are familiar. I've made a home for them. I've learned to live my life to appease and satisfy those lies so they can be comfortable in their long-extended stay in my heart.
Now thankfully, I follow a God that doesn't want you to live your life in bondage, held back by the chains pain and fear have wrapped around your neck. He wants to see me free! He wants to see me become the person He created me to be before all the pain, before all the lies of satan that have pushed me into a corner of fear, and timidity, and doubt.
It's been too many years of fear. It's been too many years of holding people at an arms distance. It's affected my friendships, it's affected my work, and it's affected my marriage. Can you believe that the most harmful wedge this distrust and fear have made are between me and my husband?? Man, it's made for some pretty tough years. But you know what? Those years have been a work of refinement. The work only the promise and seal of marriage could hold me close enough in to work through when in any other cases I would have just ran.
The thing is, even your best friend, husband, co-worker, family member are going to let you down. The only person you can trust to never let you down and never fail you is God. So by trusting Him, you can live fearlessly and trust others because you know that when they do let you down (and they will), you are covered by the grace and love of Jesus, and you get to then cover them in that same love that says 'it's okay that you let me down, I won't push you out because you made a mistake. Because you're human, just like me. And you deserve a second chance. You deserve to be trusted. And you deserve my friendship'.
Life sucks when you don't let others in. You start to lose parts of yourself that can only be expressed in the midst of friendship and community. You (and me) deserve to have friendships- heck even best friends! And those friends deserve to have your friendship- 110% of it. Friendship and trust is only a fraction of the havoc fear has had a hand in.
So let's start working on trusting others. And trusting God! Find the rooted fear that keeps people at a distance. And then spend time retelling and rebooting your brain with TRUTH.
Because the truth is, FEAR IS JUST A LIE.
"Always be joyful. I say it again-rejoice! Be considerate in all you do. Remember the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience Gods peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus, Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable, right and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keeping putting into practice all you have learned and received from me. Everything you heard and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you". Ephesians 4:4-9