People tell me I’m too trusting.
They throw that line out like it’s an accusation, like being too trusting is a flaw or a disease.
They utter, “Be careful.” They say, “You’ll get hurt.”
Perhaps in life, I have been too trusting.
To me, though, I see being trusting as being the opposite of fearful.
And if there’s one thing I’ve never been, it’s fearful.
I’ve never been afraid to take a walk with the homeless man to talk about his life. I’ve never been afraid to walk up to the lonesome soul on the street and offer them encouragement. I’ve never been afraid to sing karaoke in a room full of people. And I’ve never been afraid to give someone a second chance.
And my trust in these situations has never failed me.
I’m a sentimental person. Always have been, always will be.
I keep track of important dates in my mind.
They’re a baseline of sorts, rolling around in my memory like a measuring stick. “Last year, you were here.” “See how much you’ve grown this year?” “Oh, how much can happen and change in just a year!”
The last 365-days have been about trust.
And never regretting my giving of it to even, arguably, the least deserving people of it.
The last 365-days began with my trust being completely destroyed. Shattered, broken, eliminated. By someone I trusted more than anyone.
There were sleepless nights. And a lot of tears. And many “Why me’s?” And some, “How did I let this happen’s?”
Slowly, but surely, though, trust was restored.
In the strangest of places.
Trust was restored 17-days later, when I got on an airplane alone and went to Haiti. And I saw faces that had been saved from the pit of hell. And they had smiles on them.
They had smiles on their faces.
Trust was restored 27-days later, when the little boy that God put in my life finally found out the date of his birthday and got to celebrate it. With cake and candles and love.
He was beloved.
Trust was restored in the minutes, days, weeks, months and now year that followed.
It was restored by the little and big glimpses in which I saw God working in my life. And in the world.
The things that happened to me over the last year are just too big to be explained by coincidence. They’re unlike anything this little, short life of mine has encountered.
There were the people that came into my life that encouraged me. People who seemingly came out of nowhere. There were the notes that people sent me telling me that they loved me and that I mattered and that they believed in me. They said they were blessed and grateful that I was part of their lives.
And somewhere around Day 100, my guard came down. And slowly, but surely, the girl I used to know came back to life.
I was alive again.
In the last year, I’ve seen more rainbows pop up in the sky above my head than in the 30 years that preceded the last 365 days. Everywhere. Rainbows in the craziest of places. Rainbows in the least expected of places. Rainbows, always, in my neediest of times. Never failing. Always there.
“When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life.”
The clouds came. Oh, they came.
But the rainbows, and the sunshine, and the life, and the people, and the joy?
They overcame the clouds.
On day 363, I realized where I went wrong.
On day 363, for the first time in my life, I realized I put my trust in the wrong place.
I went to church and the preacher preached a sermon that hit me like a semi-truck. It was a sermon about trust. And how we get hurt when we put it in the wrong places. We can’t trust man to save us. When we do, we will only be hurt.
And that’s when the clouds come.
On Day 17, I started fully trusting God.
I laid down my plans. I picked up His. His crazy, perfect, inexplicable plans for my life.
And the clouds parted. And joy returned.
And 365-days later, I can thank Him for it all.
My trust has never failed me.