“Can We Really Trust God?”
By Victoria Clarizio
My name is Victoria Clarizio and I am honored to share my story with you. I’ll be blogging on here every week and sharing with you how I’ve grown to trust in the Lord’s loving plan for me. That hasn’t been easy, and is something I am still learning. God has asked me to do some crazy things so far throughout my short life and I haven’t always responded with graceful surrender.
Can we really trust God? This question has haunted me for my whole life. This was the question that started the whole mess of original sin and it’s the doubt that Satan tempts us with every time we experience hardship. The Catechism of the Catholic Church gets at the heart of sin when it says:
“Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.”
God makes a lot of promises in the Bible and to each one of us personally. Sometimes it looks like he is going back on those promises or taking a really, really long time to fulfill them. It’s easy to lose faith at times like these. When God says “My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts” he really means it! Sometimes his ways are so mysterious and we can’t understand what he’s doing that we start to question if he really does have our good in mind.
The first time I started to doubt God’s goodness my reaction was to decide He didn’t exist. When I was thirteen years old I looked at the world around me and decided that a good God could not exist. I questioned for the first time, Who made me for this life, Whose plan I am following, and where following Him had gotten me so far.
I looked at buildings blown to smithereens, children half a world away starving to death, recovering alcoholics in the halfway house my dad took me to. Where is God? I didn’t see Him anywhere. My heart raced as I stood on the edge of a decision. I looked down into the chasm, wondering if I could get back if I decided to step over the edge. My Christianity was safe, it was what I had always known. But it was not making a difference in the world. It was not giving me the passionate and adventure-filled life I so longed for. It was not giving me the answers I sought as I awoke to the senselessness around me.
God does not exist.
I opened my eyes and giggled nervously, expecting to be caught red-handed. The world didn’t seem any different. I hadn’t been struck by a lightning bolt. The next Sunday I convinced my parents I was too sick to go to Mass.
Yet, as much as I tried, I couldn’t not believe in God. I felt like Jonah, trying to hide from a God who I know can see me no matter where I go. I knew He is real. I don’t know how, but I just knew. His presence was tangible. It pressed itself against me. The air was electric with His presence. I felt like He could see right through me. And I wanted to believe. I wanted Him to be real…
For part 2 of my journey, click here.
Author Bio: Victoria Clarizio is a Catholic writer and teacher. She blogs at One Pearl about prayer, scripture, Ignatian meditation, and Jesus the Bridegroom. She encountered Christ in a deeper way through praying with scripture during her time discerning with a religious community and hopes to help others do the same. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University and is working on a memoir about her spiritual journey. When she’s not writing, Victoria is hanging out with her rambunctious ninth graders(mostly boys!) at the homeschooling co-op where she teaches. She lives in Connecticut with her parents and is excited to see where God calls her next.