We named our youngest daughter, Tress, because she is the third daughter (tres means three) plus she had tons of hair (tresses is another word for beautiful hair). I love everything about her name except for the fact that many people mispronounce it because of its uniqueness. One young man in her high school never got it correct. He always called her “Trust” rather than Tress. Well, moms and daughters, if we are going to be called by a new name, “Trust” is a great one in God’s eyes! When this same daughter was learning to write, she wanted to copy Proverbs 3:5-6 on a piece of paper. But because of her large “preschool penmanship” all she could fit on the page was “Trust in the Lord with ALL!” Now, that’s truth we can trust! This month’s From the Heart Blog written by Judith Grazette will encourage us all to Trust Fall into this new season.
Have you ever been a part of a team building exercise called a Trust Fall? You trust someone (sometimes a total stranger) enough to close your eyes, cross your hands on your chest and deliberately fall backward into what you hope would be waiting, strong arms capable to holding up your weight.
This “Team Building” effort is not necessarily one I subscribe too, but I learned something as I watched a coed group of 4th and 5th graders recently as they attempted the trust fall exercise and was surprised at how many kids hesitated or flat out refused to trust anyone to catch them – even the adults in the group had a hard time convincing them to ‘trust’ them. After the game we sat ‘crisscross apple sauce’ in a circle and some of them shared that they thought they would fall; that the person might not be able to catch them; or that they had a previous bad experience that made them doubt the person who was supposed to catch them. The overwhelming reason for not participating was “fear”.
Trusting God sometimes requires us to “Do it Scared!”
But there were other kids, (the minority), that shared using words like fun, crazy, exciting, exhilarating (well, actually that’s my word and they all gave me a blank stare when I used it) – I was trying to sum up someone in the group’s description of a trust fall being similar to being on a really good roller coaster. But one kid said something that aptly described the feeling in a way that I could relate too, especially after the events of the last few weeks of summer. She said “… even though it’s scary to trust, you should still DO IT SCARED ‘cause it can turn out good in the end.”
So what do trust falls have to do with my summer? A lot!
I must admit that this year I got busy with ‘all things Summer’ and procrastinated on thoroughly investigating my daughter’s back to school options. My last minute effort to make up lost ground included scheduling a private school tour a few days before school actually started, initiating conversations with a public high school counsellor literally the day before the first day of school and attending a virtual ‘homeschool your high schooler’ informational session. I even hijacked one of my dearest friends and her entire family, one Saturday evening after dinner but before dessert, for some godly advice.
There were lots of decisions that needed to be made that I had kicked down the sidewalk hoping that they would fall into place by some divine intervention or there would be an epic revelation of how we should proceed with the question, after a year and a half away from in-person instruction – where should our daughter start the last four years of her grade school experience?
Maybe some of my indecision wasn’t so much about trust as much as it is about procrastination (that’s true too) and if it was just about making a mad dash to accomplish back to school shopping, I would have had that covered, but it was not that simple. At least not for me. I had entrusted my only child from Pre-school, through elementary and parts of middle school (prior to Covid) to people I didn’t know initially. I drove away after every first day and never wondered if I had made a mistake. I closed my eyes, crossed my arms and trusted someone would catch her, and me, but for some reason high school seemed different.
This was the final frontier, the last opportunity to impact her life before sending her off into the ‘world’. A world full of agendas, points of view, sexuality, racism, pronouns, worldviews, inappropriateness, etc. Should I shield or should I coach or should I trust? Not trust in myself though. Should I trust that God really has this under control?
“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him and He will make your paths straight and smooth (removing obstacles that block your way).” Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP
I have a lifetime worth of birthday cards, letters, post it notes and other random things that my mom wrote different versions of this verse on. In my early years, I would always ask her why this verse appeared on just about EVERYTHING she could sign. Every time she would just smile and say “it will come back to you just when you need it”. In this season of trying to raise a godly girl, and disciple a tribe of godly kids, I have come to understand the legacy she sought to leave me through the power of this verse and its meaning has become so much clearer. I have learned that hearing God’s voice means that the Word needs to move from the page to my heart, and from my heart to my mind, and then to open my hands in release to let God have control.
Trusting God needs to be applied!
In each phase of parenting with all its unknowns, I recognize that I truly need to place my own trust in God. This summer Proverbs 3:5-6, not only leapt off the pages of my bible and all those weathered precious mementos, but the truth that God had laid this specific verse on my mom’s heart to pass along to me assures me that He truly knows ME. (Jeremiah 1:5)
As we continue to move forward with the decision we have made for freshman year, I am reminded of another verse that caught our attention in our Heart of Womanhood Mother Daughter Portraits Bible Study of Proverbs 31.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” Proverbs 31:25
When there are so many negative outcomes and influences, God wants all his daughters to be ‘clothed’ in His strength and dignity and as a result, be free to face the future confidently and with joy and laughter, because He is directing our paths and our faith and confidence in the future comes because we are raising kids who we pray will “fear the LORD.” (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)
The ultimate trust fall is to fall back into God’s everlasting arms!
The ultimate trust fall is to close our eyes, cross our arms, and fall back into God’s everlasting arms! Be assured that He not only won’t let you fall, but God truly has the best in store for His children. Whatever stage our kids are; kindergarten, entering those middle school years, going off for the first time to college, or even if they are adulting, be reminded to laugh without fear of the future and trust in His plan.