What does that word mean?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” I’m going to talk about trust, specifically trusting in God, and how it’s been a part of my life recently.
It was back in early July of this year, and I was just starting training for the upcoming cross country season. I was playing basketball with some friends on the 4th of July, and I slammed my left knee into the metal pole of the hoop. (It was an intense game; we were going ham.) It was hurting pretty bad, and I half-jokingly said “Wow, I might not be able to run for a few days!” Little did I know what kind of injury I had sustained. For the next week or so, I took it easy on the legs, which I thought would be all the time it would need to heal.
Soon after, I left for a week-long Catholic camp and packed my running clothes, expecting to get some workouts in while at camp. Still, there was lots of pain when I tried to run. I’ll be honest; I got pretty frustrated with God in prayer. Summer training is so important for cross country, so why was He letting this happen? I thought. Even just walking around involved pain, but I still just tried to ignore it.
However, something really clicked for me during adoration one night at camp. I realized that as I was kneeling, the pain went away. Physically and anatomically, this didn’t make sense, but I think it was God just sending a message: when you’re on your knees, you are healed. That was enough to make me realize I’d been wrong. I thought I knew better than the creator of the Universe. Yikes. Talk about not trusting. I ended up at confession the next night, and the priest had some really solid advice. He said we often turn our activities and sports into idols and let them define us. Then, if this thing goes away, we feel worthless. That makes so much sense, and it goes along with surrendering your life to the Lord instead of the world. By the end of camp, my perception had really changed. I had no idea what was wrong with my knee, but it was part of God’s plan, so I just had to trust.
That trust was tested even more when I got home and went to the doctor for an x-ray. Turns out the cartilage behind the kneecap was bruised, and since that healed slowly, I wouldn’t run for at least another month. It was like a punch to the stomach hearing that. I would be missing the rest of summer running, and even into the beginning of practice. However, not again was I going to fall into the trap of placing a sport above God. I prayed more than I ever had before. I started talking to new people when school started since I now had more free time. I got to hang out with my siblings more; this injury was all of a sudden was a blessing.
Eventually, I was back to running, and I somehow made it to enough practice that I was able to make the 2nd meet of the season. Crazy things happen when you give it up to the Lord. Looking in hindsight, I’m grateful for that knee injury, because it helped me understand that Jesus carries the cross with us. It’s also important to know God really has a plan for every one of us. It just comes down to us letting Him show us.
I’ll end with a quote from St. Padre Pio, “God will never permit anything to happen to us that is not for our greater good