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Oct 12

Can I trust? Can you?

There has been a recent pattern in my life asking me to trust God. I freely admit I have some issues with it.

I continue to be reminded that “we make plans, and God laughs.” I make goals for my (side) business, but as with many other aspects of life, there is only so much I can control around whether those goals come to fruition. Meeting those goals would mean a particular income stream, which would mean that I could extricate myself from a supplemental income source (which could otherwise be unceremoniously removed from our budget at any random time). Not meeting those goals then leads me to question whether I’m working hard enough, whether I should be developing other income pathways and whether God even wants me working that business.  (He does; he’s encouraged and supported it the whole time.)

My biggest trust issue is around money, specifically whether there will be enough at any given time. A good friend asked me to consider if I’ve ever had so little money that my basic needs were NOT met.  I have not, so I therefore should be able to trust that God will continue to provide for those needs.

“Should” is the operative word here.

I found it was a lot easier to trust that everything was going according to His plan *before* things got scary. When my husband was in a very bad situation at work (which lasted, on and off, for 2.5 years), I trusted that if he left his job – as I encouraged him to do – another job would manifest, and we would be financially fine. Things finally reached a breaking point, and he left the job. Now I am doing my best not to freak out and to trust that the right job will come along.

Has God ever really let me down? No. In fact, I have been surprisingly well cared for throughout my life, in many different ways. Does that mean that trusting God to continue to care for me comes easily? Ha – not so much.

And yet – when something completely out of the ordinary comes at me, and God says, “This is what you should do,” I don’t hesitate.

Speaking with two friends from my meditation group, one was talking about women’s ordination within Buddhism, I was talking about the potential for a residential retreat center nearby, and the third said that she knew of a place. Less than a week later I was walking the grounds of an abandoned convent, then emailing the city planner, then emailing the developer. I emailed the developer (owner, really) one evening, and I received a call from him at 7:30 the following morning. We spoke that afternoon, and by that evening I’d drafted and sent out an email to a very large number of people, many of whom I don’t know personally, to see about finding some funding to turn this property – which is slated to become condos – back into the spiritual retreat center that it ‘wants’ to be.

I have no idea whether a financial backer (or group of financial backers) will materialize.

I’m not feeling emotionally involved with the result of this project. I will feel a bit sad if the project doesn’t happen, but I haven’t lost anything by sending out inquiries.

I know that the project – Bhavana House – would be a wonderous thing for God and the people of our area if it were to happen. I also am okay with it not happening, if it’s not what God wants right now.

I don’t know why God would ask me to send those emails and put myself ‘out there’ if it isn’t to get this project to happen, but I can trust that if it *doesn’t* happen, there was another reason for this idea to make it into someone’s inbox.

My job isn’t to speak to each person individually and try to convince them. My job is just to follow God’s instructions for my next step, one step at a time.

I know what I’m writing here. I can see the logic: if I can do this with this huge, very expensive retreat project, why can I not do it with my own (much less expensive) life?

Hmm. Obviously I still have some work to do.

What about you? How do your spiritual life and your material life interconnect? Can you trust God to provide for your physical, emotional and spiritual needs? Can you trust God to help you have what you need financially? Or are you caught in the trap of “God wants me to be poor; that’s what the blessed are the meek line was about”?

 

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