A Trust Issue

Hello, dear friends. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of sharing my thoughts and feelings about a variety of subjects that directly affect us as widows. What a privilege!

As I write today, we are anticipating this evening’s first presidential debate. The subject of trust has been a key component throughout these months of interviews and personal appearances. Both candidates have said that the other one can’t be trusted for various reasons, and we wonder if we can believe anyone.

Our ability to trust others began in infancy when we were completely dependent on our parents for every need. That learning process continued through our teen years and into adulthood. We may not have realized it, but the dating process was part of learning to trust that other person. Then trust grew into love. Some women say they knew they loved their husbands the first time they met them. I know that’s possible, but for me, love was a growth process that included an aspect of trust.

As widows, it’s hard to know who to trust these days. I learned quickly after my husband’s death that all business people couldn’t be trusted. It was a hard lesson that even cost money and made me suspicious of the person who touts his/her trustworthiness. I learned a few simple things in this process that have helped me in business dealings.

Be cautious of the person who insists the project must be done NOW. When anyone tries to rush you in making a decision–whether it is a car salesman or an exterminator–step back, get another opinion, and ask for advice from a trusted friend. The owner of the company that removed a termite-infested tree shortly after Tony’s death pegged me as a vulnerable widow, and I trusted his expertise too quickly. I knew those termites were only in the tree and could eventually get in my home, but it was not true that very soon they would be in my house causing mass destruction. There would have been plenty of time for me to get several other opinions. Last week when someone tried to push me into a purchase, I simply smiled and said, “Thank you,” and walked away. I guess we sometimes learn the hard way.

Be wary of the person who offers to fix something inexpensively. I’ve fallen into this trap more than once since I’m a penny pincher, and I’ve learned that the cheapest option may not be the best. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. In fact, write out your questions and check them off as they are answered. Ask if the person is bonded, about the quality of materials being used, and how long the project will take. A well-defined contract is also essential.

I’ve learned that God is concerned about my everyday decisions, and nothing is too small to ask for His help. Sometimes I learn months later that He protected me when I sensed to  decline a purchase or a certain repairman.

For me, God’s Word is essential when seeking guidance. I’m grateful for Solomon’s wise advice: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).