Jesus, I (Sometimes) Trust in You
We’ve all seen that billboard while driving on the highway. That picture of Jesus with two rays coming from His heart and the words “Jesus, I trust in you.” Millions have seen this image, but the significance and beauty of it is often missed. My love for the image of Divine Mercy has grown tremendously over the last year.
About a year ago, while in prayer, the Holy Spirit revealed a deep wound in my heart of distrust. It had been a couple years since the source of the problem, and life went on. I thought I was completely over it and Jesus and I were solid! But God revealed that all I had done was brush it under the rug, out of sight, out of mind, and there was some healing that needed to take place in our relationship.
All of a sudden I had an overwhelming awareness of the hurt, and I HATED it. If I heard “When God says He’s going to do something, He does it. He follows through on His promises,” my mind would respond with “Not necessarily.” The sentence “God provides” would be finished in my mind with “but only sometimes”. Any Bible verses along these lines were heard with this same doubt and negativity. I hated that I didn’t trust Him. I hated the hurt. I hated my skepticism. I hated that I couldn’t just shut it off and brush it under the rug again, and that Jesus was asking me to embrace it. For months I begged Jesus to heal the wound, to help me grow in trusting Him, to restore my faith. For months, nothing changed.
I knew He didn’t want me believing these lies and that He wanted me to trust Him wholeheartedly. I asked Jesus why He wouldn’t just heal my heart already. The response I got was, “Just stay with me.” Jesus was asking me not to run away from it, not to run away from Him. He knew how hard it was for me to remain in the wound, to be patient, and to be still. Another month passed, and it was in that desperation that He led me to the book “33 Days to Merciful Love” by Fr. Michael Gaitley. It’s a “do-it-yourself” retreat in preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy. In short, Fr. Gaitley describes a consecration to Divine Mercy as a self-offering to God (a setting apart of oneself for God) for the specific purpose of glorifying God’s mercy. I thought, “What better way to combat distrust head on than by consecrating myself to Divine Mercy, with the signature phrase ‘Jesus, I trust in you’. This has to work! Right?”
In this book I learned that we all have a trust problem (to one degree or another) as a result of original sin. We doubt God’s goodness and trustworthiness, and that’s why we sin. It discussed Abraham’s and Mary’s examples of faith, how they “hoped against hope”, believed God was faithful even when it seemed impossible, and how God uses Mary to heal our wounds of distrust in God. I learned how St. Therese of Lisieux’s “little way” teaches us that the more broken and imperfect our humanity is, the more God wants to flood us with His ocean of mercy, if only we open our hearts to receive it. It actually pains Jesus when people don’t want to receive His grace and mercy.
This book led not only to healing my heart, but giving me a deeper love and trust in God than I have ever known before! It taught me to truly live and trust God in the present. You see, I’m a planner, and being with Jesus in the present has always been hard for me. But this deeper trust has allowed me to be okay letting go of control, knowing that God will take care of everything perfectly. Doubt may try to creep in here and there, but I can always go back to the lessons of “33 Days to Merciful Love”: Hope against hope. Keep trusting and keep trying. Jesus, I trust in you.
Sometimes God asks us to walk through the fire and wait out the storm. Sometimes God lets the wound remain. But it is only because He wants to lead us to something greater and into a deeper relationship with Him. So, if you find yourself in a place of hurt, lacking faith, lacking trust, or really just about any other circumstance you could find yourself in, I could not recommend enough consecrating yourself to Divine Mercy. Read up on Divine Mercy, read “33 Days to Merciful Love”, or watch documentaries on Formed.org. His Divine Mercy is truly an incredible gift that God has given us! And one that I pray each of you encounter in a very personal way.
St. Faustina, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. John Paul the Great, pray for us.
Divine Mercy, have mercy on us. Jesus, I trust in you.
Written by: Kristin Vankat, YCP Omaha Assistant Director of Finance and Parish Ambassador
“How Much Do You Trust Me?”
This summer I had the incredible blessing of walking the Camino de Santiago along the Northern Coast of Spain. I traveled with 31 individuals, ages 17-77, from St. Patrick’s in Elkhorn. Our past chaplain of YCP, Fr. John Norman, pitched the idea of the trip last fall. Father had a profound experience on the Camino ten years ago. Over Thanksgiving, I was discerning whether this trip would be feasible. I shared my interest of going on the trip with a life-long friend, Tessa. Much to my surprise, two weeks after sharing my interest in going, Tessa asked when the deposit was due for the pilgrimage. I was overjoyed by her interest in joining the group! We committed to traveling additional weeks beyond the Camino, including a trip to Fatima for the 100th year celebration of Apparitions. I could hardly wait to embark on this adventure!
My most profound “take away” from the Camino was Jesus gently asking me to give over control. There were multiple instances where this message was made clear. A few examples include: my flight being delayed out of Omaha, causing us to arrive in Spain later than the group; the co-ed sleeping arrangements, especially with camping bunks and snoring throughout the night; and eating warm canned tuna and white carbs multiple times a day. I had to learn to be grateful for these moments when God tested my trust in Him! It was through being uncomfortable that I was reminded to give over control and allow the Father to lead me.
During the pilgrimage, I was dating someone and often thought about this man throughout the trip. I grew immensely in my desire for holiness and knowledge of being vulnerable throughout our time of dating. After dating long distance and making a few visits back and forth, it was made evident that our relationship was not supposed to continue. It was painful to close this chapter of my life, but again I heard Christ state, “Trust me, I want to give you what will make you the happiest”. It was my experience on the Camino that allowed my heart to have certainty in Christ’s timing.
Growing in my trust of the Father led me to a deeper docility to the Holy Spirit. This became more evident to me a few weeks ago during the visit of YCP’s founder, Jennifer Baugh, to Omaha. Jenn has become a dear friend of mine over the last few years. I admire her devotion to the mission and trust in times of adversity. Just before her stay, I purchased an icon of Our Lady of Fatima as a gift from our Leadership team. I wasn’t sure what to purchase, so I called upon the Holy Spirit for guidance. Jenn adored the image. The next morning, she spoke about the image with our team at brunch. Jenn stated, “Rachel knows me so well, buying a Fatima image. Cody and I were married on May 13th!” My jaw dropped. I hadn’t made the connection that her wedding day was on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Naturally, Our Lady would be pulling on our hearts to draw closer to her through one another!
Young Catholic Professionals has helped me gain a new confidence in my abilities. After all, it was through Fr. John Norman’s invitation to go on the Camino pilgrimage that I began to develop a deeper trust in the Father, open my heart to the Holy Spirit, allow the Lord to strengthen me, and encounter Our Lady in such a personal way. Through my prayer life, friendships, and occasional discomfort, I can see that allowing Christ to lead my life is far more rewarding. My “yes” to bringing the mission to Omaha has resulted in life-long friendships and hundreds of lives being touched by the work of the Holy Spirit. I encourage each of you to trust that Christ’s plans will ALWAYS turn out better than yours! Trust that He will always have more for you to experience! St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us.
Written by: Rachel Toner, Vice-President of YCP Omaha Outreach