Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fragile Trust

Why do we think if we trust God too much He will fail us
Nothing has come when I chose that its me I'd trust...

I don't regret choosing You
And I'm not ashamed
That it's You who holds my heart 

--BarlowGirl, I Don't Regret

Nearly four years ago, Mr Amazing Dude went off to war.  We'd only been married a few months and his deployment orders came up very suddenly--mere days after getting engaged actually.  Our first few weeks as husband and wife were blissful, but stressful.  And I was certain beyond a doubt that God would get us through this.  

I had no idea was I was in for.

We opted to marry before he left.  We weren't fresh out of high school; we knew the other person was our forever partner, so it wasn't ever a question that we would wait until after he returned--if he returned. Better to marry now. I wanted to send him him off and welcome him back as a husband--in a full embrace without restraint.  Also, there is more recognition for a widow than a grieving fiance. Financial benefits do not fix the death of a spouse, but not having to worry about money for a while relieves a lot of stress.

Better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.

The first weekend after he left was the worst of my life.  God had given me a happy, relatively uneventful childhood.  Trust in my Lord came like second nature.  My faith was unshakable, yet little tested.  My emotions evened out some as the weeks of our separation wore on, but something felt deeply off.  Disturbingly so. It took me all year, almost to the end of the deployment to define what it was.

The silence of God.

He wasn't absent.  I sensed Him often.  But it wasn't THERE like He'd been before.  I expected Him to rush in a fill the void of Mr Amazing Dude's presence.  I craved reassurance from God that everything would be ok--not only would it work out, but that it was the BEST thing.  But it didn't come.

There was no response to my gut-wrenching cries at night.  He was there, but silent.  God had failed me.

Mr Amazing Dude made it back safe and sound.  I, however, was a wreck.  I didn't recognize it at first.  The relief of having my husband back over-shadowed all the fears of the past for a short time. Later, the depression, the anger and terror came. Depression from over-taxed adrenal glands running on stress way too long.  Anger at God for not coming through as He'd "promised." Terror over the fact I'd been this close (on more than one occasion) to losing my husband.  After broaching the topic of "what if you died?" with my spouse, the question mark lingered indefinitely, haunting me every time he left for work or to hang with friends.

The healing has been a long process. Nothing dramatic has happened. No Damascus Road experiences.  Yet, I know now that God did not fail me.....and conversely, I had not failed Him.  There is no earning merit or losing merit with Him.  Still, He hasn't answered all my questions about the deployment (or my PTSD fallout after).  Maybe all of it was an intentional test of my faith, but it wasn't punishment for not measuring up.  Nor was it a gauntlet (although it felt like it at times) as if God were capricious. (Let's see how she responds if we do this!)  *Insert Evil Cackle Here*

I am so much stronger than I was two years ago.  This only comes from God.  He is still restoring my faith in Him, sometimes through small stresses (like weird, random health issues).  Quietly, He has crept back into my prayers, making them alive with hope again.  He challenges me daily to trust Him.  And each morning I must choose whether to trust Him.  Not just trust him, but believe that He is Good.  And He rewards those who seek Him.  

I do not regret my angst and weakness during the deployment anymore.  Of this I am glad.

I'm learning that I cannot trust Him overmuch.


  1. Thank you. It is good to know that visits to the "darkside" of God's presence take years to completely sort out. I couldn't help but remember an analogy in a book about Eastern Orthodoxy that Thomas I read. The author compared God to darkness. When we are darkness, we cling to what we know. As we follow God, there are lots of things we don't understand about Him, so we hang on for dear life to what we do know. And hanging on is trust.

  2. Thanks for your honesty here... I would love to talk about this stuff more in-depth if you ever want to unpack these thoughts any further. Take care, friend!

    -abby @


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