I know it's cliché to include the dictionary definition of a word in one's essay but there it is. Trust defined by Google: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. And since the most common mantra in my head (and out of my mouth) of late has been Trust The Process, the word lifted itself to the top of the list of words I was debating for directing my soul in 2013.
2011's word was Enough. I had had enough of the physical clutter and mental noise in my life and I set about to tackle it. It worked. From my pantry shelves to my Pandora play list, I made cuts and cleared space which resulted in more clarity and calm.
2012's word was Create. Not being a crafty person I stretched myself through some on-line courses and began playing with pencil and paper and paint. I tried to bake-along with this group but quit in June when we spent the summer back home. Eventually I became a Smash-booking fool (literally ~ which means I stocked up on books and supplies and they are still awaiting my appearance at the craft table ~ which I do not have anyway). Then halfway through 2012 my creativity fizzled and even the words which normally dance through my head daily melted away like snowflakes in springtime. At a loss for the desire to create outwardly, I began reading and letting other's creations have their effect on me. Reading became a refuge and I discovered Audible.com (sigh). So much good writing out there and so little time.
For 2013, I felt the word I needed was something intangible. A state of mind word, a signpost marking the way I should go. A word that would sum up my soul's desire for growth over the 12 stepping stones of months ahead on my path. We each get the same months, weeks, days and hours and I want to find myself in a better place by the end of that inevitable journey.
Another phrase I love is don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle, i.e. trust the process. (The process is the something referred to in Google's definition of trust.) These two mantras are linked in my head and I keep reminding myself of them in moments of fear and doubt and wanting to give up. No dieter can be successful if he does not trust the process. No child learning to read can do so without following the process. As my team prepares to present our women's retreat in April, we must follow the process that has been given us and has been successful for the past 20 plus retreats at our church. Yet we struggle, we try to control, to go faster, to jump ahead and skip to the urgent rather than allowing the path to unfold and to simply follow where it is designed to lead us. Trusting the process is hard, laced with doubt, but it works.
And then, of course, there is the someone mentioned in the definition of trust.
Finding this verse in Proverbs 3:5-6 crystallized my certainty that trust was the word for my soul. A little goofing around in PicMonkey and I made this image which now serves as the background on my computer ~ a daily reminder to trust. What a relief to trust in the Lord with all my heart, to seek his will in all I do. My favorite part is the advice to not depend on my own understanding. Thank goodness because there is so much I do not understand.
And so I have determined to work on trusting more, trusting better, trusting right away. I don't want to be one of those people who only decides to trust God when everything material has failed. God is not my last resort. He cannot complete his work in me without my requesting his help along the way.
And what does it look like to trust God? How does one allow him to show you your path? First and foremost I believe there must be silence. Not literally as that is very difficult to come by these days, but figuratively. Find a few moments each day to listen inwardly. To listen inwardly. Trying to still the mind and silence our own internal narrator is a huge challenge. The rightness of this action is always confirmed by the mind's desire to avoid it all costs. Ignore the chattering voice telling you to do the laundry, pick up the toys, run to the store. That all can wait. Your soul's longing cannot. Stop and listen. If you do, your heart's voice will softly speak into your spirit. The more you do this, the more easily you begin to access that voice in turbulent times. Even if there is no clear sense of an answer, I believe a feeling is an answer in and of itself. Peace. Calm. Certainty. Love. The absence of fear.
So, I will take my word to heart. I will see it each morning when I turn on my computer, think on it when I worry and fear, rest in it each night as I recall the day and see flickers of how my path was made straighter somehow, some way. Hopefully this is a word that I can stick with this year.
Trust. Seek. The path awaits.