Tag Archives: Trust

Jesus, I Trust in You

Bridgid Smith, Anchor Senior Intern

As an Arts and Letters major I take great delight in reading hundreds of pages by multiple authors that cover a variety of topics, finding the common threads in all of them, synthesizing the most important points and finally focusing in on crucial themes. Though it can be a somewhat taxing process – one that a person might be tempted to skirt by seeking summaries – it does involve an element of excitement and discovery when that “light bulb” moment comes and things just begin to make sense and fit together.

Carrying over this practice of finding common themes over to my life in relationship with Christ I’ve noticed that trust has been coming up over and over again. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’m a second semester senior and really have no idea what I’m doing next year.  It’s comforting, I guess, to say “I trust that something will work out,” but stopping there would be selling trust much too short. The simple prayer, the mere five words Jesus, I trust in you have kept me rooted in faith despite all of the heartache, uncertainty, restlessness, and doubt that comes in college. Though sometimes I believed it and other times I struggled to do so, I’m learning more and more that cultivating trust in Jesus has impacted my time at Notre Dame more than I will probably ever know.

When I felt lonely and isolated and absolutely overwhelmed as a freshman who didn’t know anyone, I prayed Jesus, I trust in you. I trust that you have brought me to this place and you will not abandon me.

When I was rejected or things didn’t go according to my plans, I surrendered and said, Jesus, I trust in you. I trust that your plans are greater than my own.

When I felt heartache and hurt I turned to Jesus and cried, Jesus, I trust in you. I trust that You will bring healing and peace in your perfect time.

In schoolwork, in summer experiences, in community, in friendships, Jesus has asked me to trust in Him, to trust in His plan, to trust that He is who He says He is and works all things for my good (Romans 8:28).

And He has shown me that this trust, this hope in Him does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). He has opened windows when doors closed. He has led me to friends that make me more of who He created me to be. He has healed brokenness I never thought possible. He has helped me find a community I feel so blessed to be part of. Cultivating trust has not meant my life is somehow magically easy and smooth: I still have lonely moments; I feel uncertain; I definitely haven’t learned to avoid hurt or heartache.  And yet cultivating trust has transformed these things from being mere obstacles in faith to occasions for my faith to grow stronger. Taking trust in Jesus seriously has been one of the most painful things I have ever opened myself up to but it has also given rise to a peace and joy and confidence in knowing that I am loved, protected, and never left alone.

The theme of trust in my life is very much a daily endeavor, a work in a progress.  I must constantly remind myself to trust in Jesus. The following prayer has helped me to nourish this trust, to make it more and more a part of my life. I pray that in some way it might do the same for you.

 

The Litany of Trust

From the belief that I have to earn your love

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear that I am unlovable

Deliver me, Jesus

From the false security that I have what it takes

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear that trusting You will leave me destitute

Deliver me, Jesus

From all suspicion of Your words and promises

Deliver me, Jesus

From the rebellion against childlike dependency on You

Deliver me, Jesus

From refusals and reluctances in accepting Your Will

Deliver me, Jesus

From anxiety about the future

Deliver me, Jesus

From resentment or excessive preoccupation with the past

Deliver me, Jesus

From restless self-seeking in the present moment

Deliver me, Jesus

From disbelief in Your love and presence

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of being asked to give more than I have

Deliver me, Jesus

From the belief that my life has no meaning or worth

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of what love demands

Deliver me, Jesus

From discouragement

Deliver me, Jesus

That You are continually holding me, sustaining me, loving me

Jesus, I trust in you

That Your love goes deeper than my sins and failings, and transforms me

Jesus, I trust in you

That not knowing what tomorrow brings is an invitation to lean on You

Jesus, I trust in you

That You are with me in my suffering

Jesus, I trust in you

That my suffering, united to Your own, will bear fruit in this life and the next

Jesus, I trust in you

That You will not leave me orphan, that You are present in Your Church

Jesus, I trust in you

That Your plan is better that anything else

Jesus, I trust in you

That You always hear me and in your goodness always respond to me

Jesus, I trust in you

That You give me the grace to accept forgiveness and to forgive others

Jesus, I trust in you

That You give me all the strength I need for what is asked

Jesus, I trust in you

That my life is a gift

Jesus, I trust in you

That You will teach me to trust You

Jesus, I trust in you

That You are my Lord and my God

Jesus, I trust in you

That I am Your beloved one

Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.

~ Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, SV

With God, There is Peace

Imanne Mondane, Senior, Anthopology major and African Studies minor

In deciding how to center this blog post, I found myself torn between many different topics. However, after debating with myself for long hours, I realized that as a student at Notre Dame (as rewarding as it may be) I am well-versed on a familiar topic: struggle. Most – if not all – Notre Dame students have experienced the universal hardships of living and studying at this top tier university. Whether a failed exam, empty pockets, financial struggles, familial issues, social awkwardness, depression, racism, roommate quarrels, lack of a social life, endless drama, lack of motivation, illness or health issues, we have each been blessed with our own, unique cross to bear. Notice that I said BLESSED. Yes, as hard as it may seem, struggle, strain, tears, hardship, pain, and storms are a part of our life’s blessings. Such moments of great challenge present us with the opportunity to obtain and share our testimony. In these occurrences we experience God’s love, grace, and mercy the most.  Through the storms he is already pulling us out of, we should give him the honor and glory he deserves.

Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame

A friend of mine gave me a brief, priceless piece of advice, which motivated me throughout what I consider to be the most difficult week of my entire 21 years of life. After facing disappointment and heartbreak, and shedding a countless amount of tears, I felt that I was in an eternal place of darkness.  I had lost hope for change and deliverance. As I shared this news with my friend, she told me the following: “Christ bore the cross for us. And although things may be hard now and the pain seems endless, there is still beauty in suffering. We cannot reject the tests and trials that God blesses us with. We have to embrace them just as Christ did. We have to embrace our cross because once we embrace it, we are also acknowledging that God is still in control and that our faith and trust in him enables us to hold out hope for the light that always follows darkness.” These words meant the world to me. They not only enlightened me, but they reminded me of the ways in which I had given up on God’s authority and mercy. I had forgotten that his will is greater than anything I can will for myself. Although the situations and feelings of sorrow that I was facing did not end immediately, this reminded me that God is Lord over my life and was enough to fill me with hope and faith in my Savior.  I could worship him through the rough times just as I worship him through my triumphs. Hearing this from my friend, as well as words from my mother reminding me of the victories that God has declared over my life, encouraged me that day and every day to come, and I hope they are able to do the same for you.

Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

Always remember that we serve a God who has already declared victory over our lives. There is no mountain that he has not conquered, and no obstacle that he has not overcome. He placed within each of us the will to fight, to persevere, and the strength to defeat the enemy. He has equipped us with the tools to tackle each test and turn it into a testimony. We serve a God who has conquered the world; thus, when you’ve reached your lowest of lows, and the stream of darkness seems never ending, I encourage you to remind yourselves of the following:

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5: 2-5).

Finding Peace in Uncertainty

Brianna Casey, Senior

One Sunday evening early this semester, after a particularly demanding week, I stepped into the Lewis chapel to join my community for mass. I felt emotionally and spiritually drained, which was probably much of the reason I felt that my heart wasn’t fully “with” what was happening in front of me. Over the past several days, I had been struggling with intensified feelings of uncertainty regarding my faith. As I listened to the scripture passages, I began to feel the all-too familiar pangs of doubt. What if we’re wrong? How can I be certain what I believe is actually true? I was frustrated—somehow, the reasons and experiences I had previously used to give rationale to my faith seemed suddenly insufficient, and at that moment I didn’t know what I believed. Still, I dropped to my knees during the Preparation hymn, and I prayed—not to be given the answers, but for God to free me from my anxiety and reaffirm my trust in Him. Instantly, I felt a wave of peace wash over me like cleansing water. In that moment, I was reminded of the awesome power of God to transform hearts and release those who turn to Him from the crushing weight of uncertainty. My questions still remained, but I was able to perceive them with new eyes, without the paralyzing anxiety that had accompanied them only a few moments prior.

brianna
Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame

Doubt, of course, is not something confined to our understanding of the nature of God. We can experience uncertainty when discerning our vocation, career, or any decision that affects our lives. Although as I’ve journeyed through my four years at Notre Dame I’ve become increasingly certain that my calling lies in a career in medicine, I must admit that I still have doubts, as terrifying as that can be. Yet, what keeps me moving forward is trust in the notion that what matters is not so much what we do but the person we become, and I believe that by remaining receptive to Christ we can allow Him to work through our lives in amazing ways, regardless of our particular profession.

I’ve known many people in my life who don’t adhere to any type of religion because of their doubts. They think there may be some validity to believing in God, but they aren’t quite sure, so they don’t want to fully open themselves to the possibility just yet. But I would argue the only way to combat this uncertainty is to take the initial step and enter into a relationship with God. If, when faced with any other decision in our lives we acted only when we were absolutely certain, it is unlikely we would accomplish much of anything or leave room for personal growth. Just as you can’t know if you truly want to be a doctor until you begin to follow the path of medicine and discern as you go, it is impossible to come to know God apart from God. We need to be willing to trust despite our uncertainties and at the same time present our doubts to God in prayer and allow Him to work through them.

I’ve encountered moments of uncertainty regarding both my faith and my vocational path time and time again. Yet I’ve come to see these periods not as failures but as an opportunity to grow. Consider this—each of us carries a unique personal philosophy and a particular representation of the world. When we have an experience that doesn’t fit neatly into our paradigm, we have the option to either reject it or alter our philosophy to accommodate it. This is the reason why we can be so sure of our beliefs at one point and be overcome with doubt later on. New experiences require us to reach a new equilibrium, and it is in this way that uncertainty allows us to break down our prior understanding of God and build a more perfect one. Thus, experiencing doubt doesn’t make our faith weak; rather, it can actually serve to strengthen our beliefs and challenge our faith to reach a new level.

Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame
Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

To all those reading this today who are experiencing doubt in any aspect of their lives: do not despair. But also, don’t try to overcome your uncertainty alone. I encourage you to take your fears and inhibitions to prayer, asking God to transform your heart and grant you clarity of mind. I won’t promise the answers will come all at once. But I do hope you will be able to find peace and deepen your understanding of what is True. It begins with trust, and trust strengthened by prayer.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6