I will trust in YOU

This week officially started a new chapter in my life as a Shabbach Master's Commission student, and it has already been such a life-changing experience for me. We started the week off with a small ceremony, where Pastor Michael talked about how we each came here with baggage, and that it was holding us back from giving our all to God. We then each had to choose a rock that we thought resembled the size and weight of the baggage that we each brought with us. We had to take that rock everywhere we went this past week, and also write on the rock anything that we think we have dealt with that has kept us from truly devoting ourselves to God.

My rock was huge.

And let me just say, carrying that thing around everywhere for an entire week was interesting. Once I actually wrote on the rock and gave names to each piece of baggage I found myself carrying, it made the scenario real to me. Yes, this rock was heavy. Yes, it was beyond annoying and hard to carry around. Yes, I got tired. The same emotions I've felt from the weight from my past.

So why was I carrying all of that "weight" around emotionally? Why had I not asked God to take these burdens away, to ease the difficulty of walking through daily life with these weights on my shoulders?

The biggest word on my rock (literally took up a whole side), was the word TRUST. When I wrote it on my rock, I wrote it because I have a very hard time trusting in people, because I have a fear that they will either reject me, hurt me, or leave me (or a combination of them). Because of this, I rarely let people in or talk about what's bothering me, until I am very confident that I can actually trust them.

So I walked around for a week, with the issue of trust (along with many others) physically weighing me down. But I wouldn't let someone help me carry it when they offered. Why not? Because I was afraid they would judge me because of my rock. Because of how ridiculously heavy it was, and how many words were written on it, and the choice of words that were on it. I didn't trust anyone with it.

Until I had to.

It took me until Pastor Michael picked up the rock, put it directly in my face, and said "Look at it." When I had to face everything that I wrote. I had to realize that there was an even larger trust issue than I had thought. It isn't just that I don't trust people, its that I don't completely trust God.

That's a smack in the face. I thought I trusted Him. I thought that me being here in this program would be so eye-opening because I'm following where God is calling (don't misunderstand me, it completely is and will continue to be eye-opening). But if I don't trust the people that He has surrounded me with here, how am I trusting in the plan He has for me here? How have I ever fully trusted in Him if I haven't ever trusted the surrounding He has given me?

The answer is: I can't. My issue isn't that I don't trust people (which I don't). My issue is that I don't fully trust in God to take me where I need to be and be okay. I've lived my life the past several years in fear of not being accepted, not being loved, not being enough, and getting lower into a life that I don't want. So I, naturally, run from my issues. I keep to myself. I don't let people in.  I attempt to stay as emotionless as possible.

I'm tired of living life that way.

By the end of the week, I was tired of holding that rock. My back and shoulders hurt, and my arms literally couldn't take it anymore. We had our covenant ceremony, and during that we were to finally get rid of our rocks. I walked down by the lake where all of the leaders were waiting, my huge and obnoxious rock in my hands. I was told to hold my rock out in front of me, arms completely extended... and I couldn't. Physically and emotionally, I was done.

It was in that moment that I finally understood what my rock was supposed to teach me. I couldn't hold that rock on my own any more, to the point that both Pastor Michael and Pastor Glenn had to help me hold it out in front of me. So why did I think I could handle everything from my past on my own? Why was I holding all of those things back, when I should be giving them to God, and let Him take the weight off of me.

When I threw my rock in the water, it didn't come back up, and I didn't dive in after it. I gave that rock to the lake, never to be seen again. But more importantly, I gave those issues to God, and I have faith that they will never weigh me down again. It will take some work to finally be able to say that I'm over each of the things that I had written down, but I'm finally TRUSTING in God to bring me through it.

"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." -Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

During our chapel service this week, God brought this verse to my attention. I was reminded that God is working on molding me in to a new creation, into the person that He is calling me to be. All I need to do now is trust in Him through it all, no matter how lonely or hard it is for me. He's holding me in His hands, and I'm suddenly finding an extreme sense of peace in that.

- Paige