Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trust



My cyber friends, Peter Pollock and Bridget Chumbley, are having a blog carnival today . This week's blog carnival hosted by Bridget and Peter is all about Trust. Funny that yesterday Peter was sharing stories about his Dad and being a dad yesterday, because thinking on trust I kept coming to a story from my youth that involves my daddy (who was an AWESOME daddy by the way, in case any of you missed the few dozen entries I posted which say that...)

I was in eighth grade. I had to take the constitution test. Now, I have no idea why the teacher (who was ONLY my teacher for Social Studies, and ONLY during the Constitution Test. He gave the prepared and tested all three eighth grade classes) was like this, but Mr. Michals (NOT his real name. He died years ago, and can't explain his thoughts.) insisted that NO ONE passes his Constitution Test the first time. He gives the test three times, first one essay (which nobody ever passes), second one multiple choice, and the third one true/ false. No more after that. The only one that counts for a grade is the first one. The others are merely so that we can pass eighth grade (Illinois law) and go to High School. He seemed to take satisfaction in the fact that we will fail.

This truly upsetted me. I studied hard, but with a tension and anxiety that made it hard to actually concentrate and remember anything. My dear daddy, of course, noticed...

The discussion went a lot like this...
(Knock, knock)

Helen: Come in...
Daddy: What are you doing?
Helen: Studying...
Daddy: You seem upset...
Helen: Didn't Momma tell you?
Daddy: I'd like for l you to tell me...
Helen: Mr. Michals says that NO ONE will pass his Constitution Test, and it will count for a grade, and...
Daddy: Wait there...He actually said that NO ONE will pass the Constitution Test..
Helen: Yes. He said no one ever passes it the first time...
Daddy: Did he say why that is?
Helen: Yes. He said because it is so hard...
Daddy: And?
Helen: No one ever passes...
Daddy: But did he say that YOU won't pass?
Helen: He said that NO ONE will pass, not just me...
Daddy: Honey, I can't tell you why he makes a test he thinks no one will pass. But I can tell you, that if he believes YOU won't pass, it is because he doesn't know YOU.
Helen: Daddy, I appreciate the faith you have in me, but you shouldn't..
Daddy: Helen, I took the Constitution Test to become a citizen in these United States of America (He always said it like that) after only knowing English for two years. I still talked in Croation or Hungarian most of the time. I passed. I'm a citizen.
Helen: But Daddy...
Daddy: You will still be a citizen whether you pass or not. (Smiling). You don't have as much to lose as you fear. AND you are smarter than Mr. Michals or you give you credit for...
Helen: But he wrote the test. He KNOWS...
Daddy: He knows the test. He does NOT know you, and he does NOT know me!
Helen: Daddy, you aren't going to go talk to him...
Daddy: No. I am not. I am not going to try to change the test, or the teacher. I AM going to do everything I can to help you, short of taking the test for you. (Smiling). We can do this.
Helen: I don't know..
Daddy: Who are you going to believe, Helen? Your daddy, who knows you, or Mr. Michals, who doesn't. Are you gonna trust the daddy you know, or the teacher you don't?
Helen: (quietly) Okay, Daddy..
Daddy: So where do you want to start? The Preamble? The Bill of Rights?


I wish I could say that all my anxiety left at that moment. But it didn't. It was, however, suppressed a bit. I studied. I told myself and others that Mr. Michals knows his test, but he doesn't know me. I told myself and others, that my daddy knows me, and he says I can do it. (I was never ashamed to show myself to be a daddy's girl.)

And you know what? I passed. With and 86%. So did one other kid...a boy I had a crush on, and was only too pleased to study with during any free time :-) He even got the same score! (No, we were not sitting near each other. Trust me. I'd've noticed ;-) I am not sure whether someone gave him a similar pep talk, or if he was just that smart or confident.

What does this have to do with trusting God? For most of my adult life, I have considered John 14:1,(which are words spoken by Jesus) to be my "life verse."

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me."

No, this isn't my life verse because I am so good at trusting Him (when I master trust, I get a new "life verse" I do believe), but to remind me that I can...

A little later in the Chapter, after Phillip asks Jesus to show him and the other disciples, Jesus said...

"9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."

The Father has in mind a task for me. He has it in mind for all of us. But sometimes I don't trust that I can do it, just like I didn't trust that I could pass the constitution test. But just as my daddy knew I could, my Heavenly Father has promised that He knows that I can, too! He hasn't given me tests that he believes I can't pass, but tasks that He knows I can. With His help.


(BTW, though it has nothing to do with this carnival, I would like to commend those of you out there who are father's and are involved in the teaching and loving guidance of your kids in countless ways. By your actions, you give your kids a window (peephole?) to what God is like...I look to the memory of my wonderful daddy every day, know that God is even more awesome, and am just bowled over and amazed. )


Two weeks ago, I ended my post with a youtube video. Well, maybe this one is not appropriate in EVERY way, but I do love this song...

20 comments:

Wendy said...

Teachers like that really bug me. Big egos have no business teaching. That being said, I'm glad you listened to your dad. Smart man. :o)

Bridget Chumbley said...

What a great story and an amazing daddy!
I love the stories I'm getting to read about him... thank you for sharing!

R. Holloway said...

Thanks Helen. Cool story.

sherri said...

Great post Helen. I love your Daddy and I never met him. My Grandma spoke Croation too- a beautiful language .

The trust illustration here is beautiful. Thanks.

pathfromtheheadtotheheart said...

Thanks for sharing the story, Helen. I love that you love your daddy (and that you still refer to him as daddy). I am a daddy's girl and always will be. This was a great story!

katdish said...

I can't wait to meet your daddy in heaven one day. We'll sit around and talk about proud we both are our our Helen. I loved this post.

Jojo Agot said...

Your Daddy is a smart guy. He sure knows how to talk sense.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

What a great dad - I will try to think of God like that. God knows me better than others do, so I can trust him over their words about me - yippee!

Thanks!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

I knew from the git go that you'd pass that test. I felt your daddy's heart here. So many times when my kids were intimidated by things they were told by their teachers, perhaps unintentionally, but the words really stuck. I so loved this post. I hope my kids have good "mommy" stories some day.

Marni said...

What Wendy said...

And I'm so glad you had a daddy who laid the foundation of perserverance and self-confidence in you. What a blessing he must have been to you :-)

jasonS said...

I can't tell you how much I love this story. What a spiritual parallel and definitely what a great dad. :) Thanks Helen!

Billy Coffey said...

Wow, Helen. That was amazing. That's the sort of dad I'd love to be.

Jaime said...

That was a beautiful story, Helen! Thanks!

Rebecca on The Homefront said...

Your dad sounds like a wonderful man, Helen...and he was so right! That teacher obviously didn't know you or your father. Great post, thank you!

Peter P said...

WOW! That was an amazing story and an incredible post!

Makes me feel woefully inadequate as a father!

Chris Sullivan said...

Helen, you are unique in the best sense of the word. Great post. Love your perspective on life

Chris Sullivan said...

Helen, you are unique in the best sense of the word. Great post. Love your perspective on life

Anne L.B. said...

Helen, I'm smiling all over for you. How blessed you are to have had such a papa. He gave you an incredible gift. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Joyce said...

Oh I just loved this post...a father's love is such a powerful thing. I think that is true particularly when you're talking about trust. I feel blessed to have also had a wonderful father in my life. Have a wonderful day!

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

What everyone else said. I love to read your posts honoring your amazing daddy. And I agree; a dad like that lays such a strong foundation for trusting in God.

Thanks for sharing it!

Oh, and while I was writing my post yesterday, that Billy Joel song was constantly running through my head.