Humility, detachment, and gratitude of heart are fundamental in growing to trust the ability to depend totally upon another
Anne Mienkowski CONTRIBUTOR
Image: Brandon Frere
Trusting is a risk but with love it’s worth it. It’s easy and safe to put up a barrier by never disclosing your innermost thoughts out of a fear of humiliation and rejection. Yet to truly love another, it is necessary to be able to receive love by allowing another to love you. To love is to be vulnerable. By unmasking the perception of yourself, you allow another the opportunity to prove their unconditional love for you, especially when they choose to love what is imperfect.
Jesus wants to bring us to a place where our love and trust in Him is present, regardless of our circumstances. Even though people in our lives have hurt us, a personal relationship with Jesus is different because He’s the most gentle, compassionate, non-judgemental lover that could ever exist. He patiently invites us to trust Him with our lives and entrust our hearts totally to Him.
Trust can grow through humility, detachment, and gratitude. The first step toward trust is an acknowledgement of our utter weaknesses. It’s extremely necessary to grow in self-awareness by having the courage to reflect honestly on our limitations. St. Therese speaks of a ‘humble confidence,’ which means that by acknowledging our littleness for everything, we are able to become like children. Humility results in an absolute dependence upon God for everything. By casting ourselves into His loving arms, we allow Him to carry us and love us. St. Therese says, “The greatest gift God could ever give a soul is to give it little but ask much of it.” A barrier to this is pride because when we think our own merit is sufficient for overcoming adversity this leads to an unnecessary obsession with perfection. Excessive judgement of oneself leads to an inability to love yourself and to allow yourself to be loved by another. This is problematic because it is not possible to trust someone you do not love.
Detachment allows us to receive because when we’re not holding on tightly to our own plans, we’re able to listen to God. When we let go, we allow God to supersede our expectations. This allows Him the freedom to lavish us with His love and surprise us, so He can fulfill the desires of our hearts that we may not even know existed. Mother Mary’s fiat at the Annunciation is an example of what it means to surrender and allow God to work. Mary knows that everything she had in life never truly belonged to her, so she was able to receive everything as a gift. God does not owe us anything in life, yet if He grants us success, He is giving us the opportunity to see the fruit of His love for us.
Gratitude of heart instills in us an awareness of God’s generosity. Gratitude is important, so we can thank God for whatever happens to us, to truly believe in His goodness. In Pope Benedict XVI’s words: “When we let Christ into our lives he takes away nothing and gives us everything.” Jesus doesn’t simply want us to tolerate a situation, but He wants to bring us to a place where we embrace whatever happens in life out of love for Him because it’s His will for us. He wants us to have joy, a deep awareness of His love for us, regardless of the circumstances. It is an understanding that He is walking every step with us.
When we trust Jesus with our lives, we have a quiet disposition to wait on His timing. It’s no longer necessary to be in control or to constantly fight back. Trust breeds meekness, a gentleness even in adversity, because we have the assurance that Jesus is carrying us. When we’re weak and broken He can heal us, love us, and transform us. To trust God, we should acknowledge our weaknesses, allow God to act without trying to control the outcome, and receive everything as a gift.