in our parents or caregivers as helpless infants. We are fed and kept warm and dry. Not only that we connect with our caregivers. We often hear of the importance of eye contact especially while the child is feeding. These needs are met or a basic mistrust develops. In extreme cases we hear of the “failure to thrive”. This has happened in orphanages in third world countries when the infant or child has little human contact even though they are well fed and sheltered. Other stages of development have their trust challenges as well.
When trust is violated, we respond. As adults we have an emotional reaction and we have a rush of thoughts as well. We feel frustrated, angry, and disappointed. We feel upset with ourselves for trusting and angry with the person who broke the trust. Children are violated by adults, people in a position of authority that they often depend on. It is certainly confusing and produces fear. This usually is overwhelming and the anger is downplayed or suppressed. That violation affects relationships for years to come.
Trust issues with others in different kinds of relationships are affected. I hesitate in my relationships because I’m not sure how trustworthy a person is. I distance myself even from good friends when I need to reach out. I calculate the risk of talking about my issues. Will someone even want to spend time with me if they think I am damaged? Will I get hurt again?
Trust for God is affected as well. Survivors ask God why, where was He and often reject God and religion. I still have problems trusting God. I grew up in an evangelical church and knew Jesus as my savior. So there is the conflict, having a relationship with God and yet having the biggest questions about His trustworthiness. The unique thing about Christ is that He can come into our memories of the abuse and take on the offense. Prayer for the specific memories and healing of emotions brings the supernatural power of God into the picture. This is the healing Jesus offers. It is spiritual but affects the emotions and memories. This doesn’t mean there is no need for professional help. It enhances counseling and touches the spiritual part of our being.
As for me, my trust in God is growing. I have made decisions to follow what he has asked me to do. Sometimes I have avoided those decisions. I have worried about my finances a lot through this. I was unable to work full-time for a lot of my adult life until recently. I had difficulty making ends meet. But looking back, God provided for me. He provided jobs, public assistance, and help through the generosity of family and friends. I didn’t need to worry about it, but I often did. I grew to trust him more for my physical needs as He met all my financial challenges. When God challenges me to move into a new area of healing, I don’t always respond right away. I hesitate. I have to think it through in my mind instead of seeking what He wants in my spirit. It’s that mistrust. I’m still learning to listen to God’s voice and trust Him more in my life.