Sometimes it’s even harder to trust yourself than to trust others.
I think we start off trusting our gut instincts more as kids, and somewhere along the line, we are made to believe we can’t trust our guts.
Usually something makes you this way, some events in life try to teach you to doubt yourself, or some people in your life speak that over you. You’ve been fed lies about who you are. Or you just get frustrated because to try to explain why you make certain choices or feel a certain way without a real reason besides “I just knew,” or “I just don’t think it’s right” isn’t satisfying enough for some people. They want explanations. They want reasons. They want evidence.
Years ago when I first went on staff with Young Life, I had to take a type of personality test, the kind that tells you what kind of environment you work best in, etc., and it’s part of how they ended up placing me overseas with Club Beyond in the military world. After you take it, the designer of the test calls you personally and you go over your results and get more feedback or action steps for about an hour. I don’t remember the whole conversation, but one thing stuck out and has stayed with me for the entire past six years:
“You need to trust your intuition more.”
He told me that I had very strong intuition, and not only that, but that most of the time, it was right. Trust it. Even if you can’t explain it to most people.
This is hard for me, especially as a recovering people-pleaser. I fight all kinds of lies when it comes to this.
For example, someone once told me that I could “choose” to trust them. At first, I thought they were right. But I quickly realized that they were dead wrong, and this type of thinking was actually quite dangerous. You should always, always, let trust be earned. Otherwise, you can get yourself into some pretty scary situations. Not everyone should be trusted.
Of course, doesn’t mean you should walk around paranoid all the time. For the most part there are some trustworthy people in the world, and not everyone is out to get you. However, trust has to be proved over time for someone to be a safe person, physically and emotionally.
If you struggle with trusting others at all because of deep betrayal, like I have in my life, a good friend recently told me: You can trust others again because you can trust Jesus. He is your safety. Remember that.
Additionally, people will tell you that your reasons for things you do or say or decide are invalid; that a “feeling” is not enough. That’s a lie. God gave you a gut instinct and His spirit for a reason, and just because you don’t understand the why behind it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust it. To be honest, I don’t understand what God is doing half the time. But I trust Him. Do the same with your intuition because it has proved itself over time. Think about situations where you “just had a bad feeling” about something, and it turned out that you were right. Or when you met a friend’s boyfriend and thought, “He seems like bad news.” Or a time when you thought, “I feel like I should go say hi to this person.” Think about how following your intuition ended up being the right call. Maybe you ended up seeing that friend get hurt by that guy, or you ended up finding out that person you started a conversation with needed to share something significant and life-changing and needed your help.
You don’t always have an explanation for these feelings. You can’t always tell your friend the reasons why you think their new boyfriend isn’t a good guy, or why you felt like you should go talk to that person, or why you made a decision, but think about how often you’ve been right. Your intuition has most likely earned that trust. So you can trust it, even with big decisions, as long as it’s not leading you against a Biblical idea or teaching. You have no idea how many cool God-things might come out of it, or how much pain and harm your God-given intuition will save you from. It really comes down to trusting God and the wisdom and discernment He’s given you.
Oh, how He protects and guides and provides for His children!