Before I jump into today’s post, I want to share some exciting news about the progress of my book! Yesterday I finished up the book proposal! Of course, I still need to edit it, research publishers, write query letters and… finish the book! But, right now I’m celebrating this next milestone in the process of writing my first book. As a reader of my blog, I’m grateful for your ongoing support and encouragement during this process!
As I shared recently, I’ve had the practice of choosing one word to help guide my life since 2017. So far I’ve chosen gratitude, explore and open. I don’t push any of them aside when the new year rolls around. Instead I keep adding to my list. Gratitude is part of my daily rhythm. I always want to be in a posture of exploring, both my outer and inner world. Being open to what life brings is important to me too.
Now I’m adding another word to the list. My 2020 word is Trust. 2020 will be about learning to trust, not others, but myself and God.
I struggle with trust, which is probably why I chose it. Now, I trust others just fine — sometimes too much. I assume goodness in people. My husband is the opposite. Yet one more reason we make a good match!
So, it’s not relationships that I need to trust more. Instead my struggle with trust comes with the unfolding of my life — maybe you call this God or Universe. I struggle with trusting that my life will blossom without me constantly working to make it happen.
My brother and his wife are flower farmers. They hand plant seeds, one by one. The seeds begin to germinate in the safety of the grow room. Eventually the seedlings are moved to the high tunnels and are transplanted into the soil. Every step of the way my brother is carefully watching and adjusting to make sure the plants have what they need to survive.
Trusting is Hard
Sometimes I feel like I have to do this with my own life. Instead of trusting that past choices are benefiting me today or that current choices will benefit me tomorrow, I’m always second-guessing myself. I struggle with trusting that my life will blossom if I take a rest. I think my need to be constantly doing something is related to my lack of trust. And that’s something I want to pay attention to in 2020. By focusing on learning to trust, I can rest more and let go of my tendency to control.
Even as I write this I’m starting to wonder if trust is the right word. I suspect my hesitation toward the word is even more confirmation that it is the right one for me.
So, what will paying attention to trust in 2020 look like for me in practice?
Trust the Process
I want to trust the process. I’m close to having the first draft of my book proposal completed. I’m going to spend a week in the Dominican Republic with my mom in a few weeks, with the intention of writing several hours a day. I’m quite driven to get myself a book contract in 2020. It’s possible that I’ll become so driven that I forget to trust the process. I don’t want to do that — I want to trust the process created by my book coach, I want to trust the process that brought me to writing this book in the first place. So, when I feel myself rushing or forcing, I will slow down. I will take a break. I will ask my group of writing friends to remind me why I’m writing this book in the first place.
Trust this Good, Full Life
I want to trust this good, full life. Sometimes I try to force my life into being good and full, rather than just letting it happen naturally. I look for moments and think “oh, that could be a good, full life thing” — thinking more about Instagram posts than just being present to the moment. The other day we took our nephew bowling for his birthday gift. Later my husband asked if I took any pictures (I didn’t). He was surprised, thinking I’d want one for a post or something. This grabbed my attention. Am I taking pictures because I want to truly remember the moment or am I taking them to prove something about my life?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with me showing others how it’s possible to have a good, full life in the midst of infertility, but I don’t want that to be the only reason to document my life. When I find myself more focused on posting than living, I will take my camera out and take photos just for the fun of it!
Trust My Worth
I want to trust my worth. Oh… this is a hard one for me. I worked hard for good grades in high school and received recognition for that. I did the same in college and then in seminary. I found my worth in good grades and complimentary comments from professors. Later I found my worth in pulling off big events at church. I received thank you notes from parents and youth telling me how meaningful my work was to them. Even now, I find my worth in comments, likes and shares. I hate admitting this, but it’s true.
I know I’m a Beloved Child of God. I know it in my head, but I’m not sure how much I feel this in my heart. This year I want to trust that my worth is found purely in my existence… not in my content creation or clean house or medals acquired or praises received. In 2020 I will live into the trust that I am loved now and forever just because I was born. Full stop.
Learning to Trust
Ultimately, I want to trust that my life is beautiful just as it is — infertility and all. I know this in my head, but I’m ready to feel it completely in my heart. 2020 is about trusting myself, my life and God.
No wonder I wanted to find another word! This one is going to challenge me in ways the previous three didn’t. I think that’s a good thing. I’ll keep you posted!
Do you choose a word for the year? If so, I’d love for you to share it with me!
4 thoughts on “Learning to Trust”
Thank you for your willingness to share who you are and your struggles. On different levels I had connected with what you have written.
This post is particularly good for me. Having chosen retirement from ministry last year. In the midst of all the lasts and the firsts waiting to be experienced I looked back at my career. If you went to the conference journals or the church records I did not accomplish the great things I had dreamed of. I did not take any church beyond what they imagined for themselves. I did not break any attendance or participation records. In fact I took three churches from full time to part time pastor status.
My worth as a disciple of Jesus can be found in the connections I made to those on the perimeter or outside the church. Records do not record the Karen’s, the Tammy’s, those whose lives will be forever connected to mine.
But I had an identity in the community I sought to live up to. Now in retirement in the home we had dreamed of for 30+ years I am once again seeking my identity, my worth in this life I have left.
I thank you for sharing your word trust. I think it is what I need to put front and center in 2020. Trusting I have done what God asked me to as a good and faithful servant. Trusting that in retirement I have purpose and am still called to be a good and faithful servant in each day as it presents itself.
Thank you for all you have written. You have touched me in many ways. May it be a blessed new year for you.
The many seasons of life… just when we think we’ve figured one out, the new one begins. It’s amazing how we hold this one identity – the core of who we are – in the midst of the various places and callings. Trust is asking a lot of me this year. Sounds like the same is true for you, Jan. Blessings as you learn what this new season is asking you to trust.
Congratulations on getting the book proposal done – what an amazing accomplishment! And YES I choose a word – or rather the word chooses me. This year the word “Rhythm” has been coming to me over and over. Last year was about finding “Order + Flow” and I realized that combined they equal Rhythm. I’m not sure what it looks like for me and am looking forward to exploring this word.
Trust is a HUGE one and something I have struggled with as well. I am closer today than I have ever been, but it is an every day effort to allow intuition to guide – which is ultimately self-trust!
Love and light to you Anne! ~ Dawn
Thank you, Dawn! A friend of mine chose Rhythm as her word as well. I like the movement it creates… and in order to create a rhythm, rest is necessary. There’s so much to unpack in that word! I look forward to seeing how it develops for you over the coming year.