Confidence in God by Bartolini (Detail; photo: Wikimedia Commons).

Confidence in God by Bartolini (detail; photo: Wikimedia Commons).

Last December, I began a quest to trust God more. It started with my reading The Way of Trust and Love by Jacques Philippe. You can read my original post on St. Therese’s trust here. (I know I link to this post a lot, but that’s because I consider it among my best. Trust is the Lesson from the Carmelite Saints that is changing my life.  If you haven’t read it, I strongly encourage you to do so.)

Later, I told you how I was focusing on trusting God in the ups and downs of my day during Lent.

More recently, I have worked on entrusting my future to God. This next step began with my reading Diary of a Country Mother by Cindy Montanaro. It’s the journal of a mother reflecting on the life of her young son who has recently died. As I hinted in my review, I have struggled with entrusting my children’s futures to God. I hear of so many parents who have lost a child. Two of my siblings died in childhood. My former roommate’s daughter died at age four.  Some of my readers have blogs about their losses.

Then there are the adults I know who have left the faith. Three people in my immediate family are non-practicing. Most families I know have at least one wayward member. (My husbands’ family is a rare but encouraging exception).

Shortly after finishing Cindy’s book, I picked up Left to Tell: Finding God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza. Immaculee lost nearly all her family to genocide. Friends and neighbors turned into deadly enemies. Yet, not only did she keep her faith–she was able to forgive the murderers.

Tragedy could happen to me too

File:St Therese of Lisieux - stained glass window detail ... - geograph.org.uk - 1140602.jpg

St. Therese (Photo Credit: Zorba the Greek, Wikimedia Creative Commons).

Reading such books makes me feel extremely vulnerable. If it happened to Cindy and Immaculee, it could happen to me or someone I love. How can I trust God to watch over us? Why should he protect the Rossini family, when so many others have suffered?

And lurking behind the fear is this question: Do I really believe in life after death, or is it  just a nice fairytale?

Since turning 40 a few years back (okay five–you wanted to know how old I am, right?), thoughts of death have plagued me. I believe this is common. I probably have fewer years ahead of me than behind. I am no longer young. What if I am wrong, and the world is meaningless–tragedy and death are the end of man, and I can do nothing to stop it?

St. Therese’s night of faith

St. Therese experienced a dark night of faith at the end of her life. Writing to Mother Marie de Gonzague, she said an inner voice taunted her, saying, “It’s all a dream, this talk of a heavenly country, bathed in light, scented with delicious perfumes, and of a God who made it all, who is to be your possession in eternity! You really believe, do you? That the mist, which hangs about you, will clear away later on? All right, all right, go on longing for death! But death will make nonsense of your hopes; it will only mean a night darker than ever, the night of mere non-existence.”

But at the same time, she told the Lord that she would gladly die for her belief in Heaven.

It strikes me that Therese was like Abraham. She hoped against hope. She believed even when she could no longer believe, if I may put it that way. That is what I aspire to.

For now, these three women–Cindy, Immaculee, and Therese–have strengthened my trust in God, They have taught me I must have confidence in His goodness when every circumstance and every voice, including my heart’s, tells me to doubt Him.

And I am at peace.

Connie Rossini

Share with us: How have you struggled to trust God? Who or what has strengthened your trust?

Note: Don’t forget to download your free copy of my e-book. Five Lessons from the Carmelite Saints That Will Change your Life.  If you have subscribed by some other means than the new mailing list, please email me to receive a copy.

Written by crossini4774

    18 Comments

  1. SaintlySages June 25, 2013 at 7:38 am Reply

    Interesting post as always, C. So, you think YOU are no longer young. Hmm. If I asked for a birthday cake, the number of candles on it would adversely impact global warming. 🙂 God bless you and yours!

    • Connie Rossini June 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm Reply

      Do candles really affect global warming–or is it only warmer until they are blown out? Pardon my ignorance, it’s not my area of expertise. LOL. Thanks for the comment.

  2. 8kidsandabusiness June 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm Reply

    If we were to be completely honest, I think most of us would admit that we have difficulty trusting God. The good news is that our difficulty doesn’t stop us from daily (hourly?) asking (begging) for the grace of childlike trust. That action in itself is a form of trust, I think.

  3. Mary N June 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm Reply

    I thought 45 was old a couple of years ago too – until I passed it that is 😉

    Thanks for the honest post. I think it helps us all when we realize that the spiritual life is not smooth sailing for anyone…not even the saints.

    (I loved the book Left to Tell!!)

    • Connie Rossini June 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm Reply

      Your avatar looks much younger! St. Paul said, “We must endure many hardships to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” But even the hardships can be sources of peace and joy.

      • Mary N June 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm Reply

        Photos hide a lot of wrinkles 😉 (Oh yeah, and did I mention the avatar on my blog is three years old? Lol.)

  4. cinamonty June 26, 2013 at 4:52 am Reply

    Connie, dear,
    I am in a McDonalds on the road to a mega family reunion and escaped the sleeping family for a cup of tea and some solitude. Imagine my surprise to see my name and that little reference to my book. It was a great moment of grace for me, I can tell you. Yesterday was an all day ride with three teenage grandsons and my eighty something parents, all of us packed tightly into the same vehicle. I was not at my best by the end of the day, as you can imagine.
    Your post is an encouragement to me to keep on practicing the trust I espouse, especially in the difficult moments.
    Another book that has had a most profound influence on my unbounded trust in God’s providence is I Believe in Love, that wonderful book that is a retreat on the spirituality of Therese by Fr. d’Elbee. I read and reread it and prescribe it to others for all sorts of difficulties, the chapters focusing on confidence being my particular balm.
    I will be sending along my prayers for you, your family and blog readers as I square my shoulders and drive on today. Thank you!

    • Connie Rossini June 26, 2013 at 8:49 am Reply

      Cindy, I have given away I Believe in Love twice–the last time to someone who had just lost her husband to suicide. I need to get another copy for myself. I recommend it to everybody. I read all these websites that are debunking the idea of St. Therese as just a sentimental saint, and I think–what? People could only have that misconception if they’ve never read her writings. She was little, but she was mighty.

      Blessings on your family reunion. They can be stressful as well as wonderful.

      As for encouragement–what goes around, comes around. 🙂

  5. melanie jean juneau June 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm Reply

    I have awarded you (and quite a few others on this site) the Best Moments award with a twist
    – no rules except to pass it on

    I am calling it the D.O.M. Best Catholic Moments Award

    http://melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/deo-optimo-maximo-the-d-m-o-award-the-catholic-best-moment-award/

  6. Caroline June 27, 2013 at 11:32 am Reply

    Connie, this is so beautifully transparent and I found Imaculee’s book very inspiring as well..
    She has became a model to me of how to forgive…right up there with one of my all time hero’s Corrie Ten Boom ..
    Blessings and +

    • Connie Rossini June 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm Reply

      I’m also a fan of Corrie Ten Boom. We read The Hiding Place aloud as a family when I was little. Later, my sister did mission work based in Holland.

  7. Patricia A. Arthur December 18, 2017 at 9:57 am Reply

    Hi Connie, You asked for areas where we find difficulty in trusting God … well I particularly find it difficult to trust that my 2 sons will return to the Church. Neither of them (raised in the Church by the way) seem to have a particular understanding or belief in the One True faith and they are both currently living lives totally incompatible with the Church and her teaching. I keep praying though, and telling myself it will happen in God’s perfect timing, but in the back of my mind, I wonder and question and possibly even doubt.

    • Connie Rossini December 18, 2017 at 12:10 pm Reply

      Are you praying to St. Monica for help? It was perhaps her perseverance in prayer in the midst of temptation to doubt that brought about not only her son’s conversion, but his sainthood. Offer your doubts for your children’s salvation. Tell God (and strive to live it) that no matter how hopeless things might appear, you will only believe that He will have mercy on them. Dedicate them to Mary’s protection. Pray to their guardian angels. Recently my aunt who married an atheist 60 years ago and stopped practicing her faith was dying. My mom made sure she received the anointing of the sick. At that moment, 2 days before her death, all our prayers over long decades were answered. All I can say is, believe, believe, believe and I believe God will answer you.

      • Patricia A. Arthur December 20, 2017 at 7:01 am Reply

        Thank you Connie for all of your advise. I do have a devotion to St. Monica, have given them to Mary and pray to their guardian angels. I’ve not offered my doubts for their salvation though. And I don’t recall telling God that no matter how hopeless things might appear, I will only believe that He will have mercy on them. I will do both of these things. I know God hears and answers prayer, I prayed for 18 years for my husbands conversion before it happened. I guess I’m just impatient. I’m very happy for your aunt. Thanks again and God bless you Connie for all that you do!

  8. Mary Ellen Roemer December 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm Reply

    I see your point about the fear that can come from hearing stories of such great suffering and loss people have had to endure. I also think of the horrible deaths some of the martyrs have endured, past and present. I pondered many times the questions of how they could face horror and tragedy. I could not do it.
    I prayed many times that God would not bring this type of suffering to me because I would never be able to make it through because I am a coward. But the God made me see that so were they. The reason it was not noticeable to others is because they received the grace to endure at that moment in time.
    God gives the grace, if we trust Him, at just the right moment.

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