This is the first installment in my "Response To Readers" series.
"I've had a very painful past with my father leaving our family for another woman when I was just a little girl. Because of that, I have a very hard time trusting people and feeling secure. I recently started seeing someone. He has given me no reason not to trust him, but I can't help but wonder when he's going to leave or when will he want someone else. And I hurt his feelings by feeling this way. He understands my past, but it still hurt.
How do I stop having trust issues when he has been nothing but trustworthy?"
This was probably one of the most heart-breaking questions I've received. "Trust" is such a big part of life and I've never been in any sort of situation to experience such betrayal and pain as this girl had.
I sat here, staring at my laptop, for a good ten minutes, wondering just how I was going to reply to her. I seriously had no idea how to say everything I was thinking - and if what I was thinking was even a good answer. I feel inadequate to be answering such a deep, painful question.
To the girl who submitted this question:
Thank you for trusting me enough to ask it. I know it's a painful part of your life, and I feel touched that you would ask my advice on it.
Sweetie, even if your father hurt your family by leaving - and continues to hurt you by ignoring your letters and phone calls - your Heavenly Father will never leave you. I know it's hard to try to grasp the concept of the Creator of the universe being there for you, but it's something that none of us will really understand how and why.
But it's a promise that He gives us in His word.
"I will never leave you or forsake you".
The boyfriend you have in your life right now sounds like someone special. It sounds like you think a lot of him and that he has become a prominent person in your life. But if you're still struggling with trust issues, it may be wise to back away from him for a little while. If he understands your past and has given you no reason to not trust him, then he must respect and care for you a great deal - and will gladly do whatever you feel is best for you at this time.
For you to "stop having trust issues" isn't an overnight thing. It takes a lot of time, patience and love from the people around you. If your boyfriend is still hurt with your difficulty on trusting him (even though he knows about your father), that's not your fault. If he's a good guy, he'll give you the space and time you need.
My biggest suggestion and advice is that you strive to grow closer to God through this time. Seek God's will for your life. Trust Him with your life. He loves you more than any mortal man ever could. And He cares for you more than your father or boyfriend ever will.
If you still feel insecure about who to trust, and if someone you grow close to will soon just decide they don't like you anymore and not want to be around you, you need to bury yourself even more in God's Word. And I'm sorry to say that you will encounter people like this. People will come and go. It's a part of life. It's a part of growing up.
But I promise you that the ache and pain of betrayal and denial won't be as sharp if you remember that God is within arm's length from you.
Stay grounded in His Word. Stay focused on Him. Rejoice in His love for you. Trust that He will never leave you...
'And they that know Your Name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek You.'
- Psalm 9:10