Trust Fall

I trust fall. Crisp air that facilitates deep breaths and profound pauses. Trees changing colors right before your eyes, supporting the notion that seeing really is believing. And pumpkin everything, proving that if you build it (cookies, muffins, lattes, candles, cute baby costumes, etc.) they will come. I trust fall because in the midst of change, the #basics remain the same.

I’ve been praying about trust. How does one “trust”? I can say with complete confidence that I trust in God. I trust in His plan and I trust where He has me in my life. I trust Him.

I continued to pray. What’s the deal then? Why do I worry so much? Why do I constantly question my choices? Why is it so hard for me to make choices? Why is it so hard for me to fall into the arms of those who love me?

I realized that the trust I desire is a verb, not just a noun. Ha. It’s an action word. It involves taking a step and believing that if you fall and bruise your knee, you’ll still be okay. Heck, you might even learn a thing or two about walking at such a fast pace. I have to stop saying that I trust and start demonstrating it.

Easier said than done, right? How? How do I demonstrate such an important virtue and really mean it? Back to the drawing board… prayer. (I pray a lot, but I wouldn’t describe it as weird. I’d describe it as a conversation with one wiser than myself.) I started praying about areas in my life where I have demonstrated trust. I prayed about my family, and how even though we drive each other crazy sometimes, we have a deep love and a deep trust. A trust that only comes from countless Christmas mornings, the birthdays and the deaths of many a dog, my Mexican grandma’s heartfelt rosaries, and my Scottish grandma’s grasshopper pie traditions. What was so beautiful and life giving about those moments? What was it about them that built such a solid foundation for trust?

Then I prayed about my many friendships over the years and how these brothers and sisters from other misters have deeply impacted my life. From play practice to bible study, I’ve formed such trust and love for those who share these memories with me. So what was it?

Trust is an action. It’s an action. THINK EMILY. And then out of nowhere, I saw myself in 6th grade again at that crazy cool outdoor education camp with the rope courses and such. I think you know the place. And I saw 6th grade Emily climb up to the platform where the “trust fall” happens. It was my turn and there was so much to remember! The first thing to remember was that as I turned my back to face away from the group they were, indeed, going to catch me. They were going to break my fall. Second thing to remember was that I couldn’t squirm. I couldn’t second guess myself. Because it was precisely in trying to “save myself” that I would “sabotage myself”. Saint John Paul II said that it is in giving that we receive. I needed to give over control in order to receive their love.

Emily. Close your eyes. Trust that they are there to catch you. And push off of the platform without fear. Don’t squirm. Be still.

And BOOM. That was it. I had to be still. That was true of all of my memories of trusting and truly loving. It’s comical, actually. Yes I am saying that trusting is moving forward, and it’s also being still within the movement. That sounds like a contradiction, but it isn’t. I had to take a step before it was possible to be still. We have to be moving before we can demonstrate the trust to be still amidst all of the motion and change. 6th grade Emily had to let herself fall before she could tell herself to be still in the midst of it. I had to run out to the tree on Christmas morning before I could be still in the beauty of those moments with my family. It is in those pensive pauses that we allow ourselves to be grateful for and confident in the steps we have taken. And through that gratitude and confidence, trust is born.

I’ve learned that I need to take more steps. I’ve also learned that I need to take more time to be still. And based on the beauty of this broken life, that sounds about right.

Trust God. Trust yourself. Trust fall (the season and the life changing 6th grade exercise).

“He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away his hand; and if only the will to walk is really there, he is pleased even with their stumbles.”

C.S. Lewis