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The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary help Erin McCole Cupp face her deep mistrust of God.

The phrase “trust issues” is cliché only because it’s so true for so many people. Actually, it must be true on some level for all people. Each one of us is fallen. Each one of us hurts others at one point or another. We carry around the shame of having thrust our shame upon others, and we carry the shame that others have thrust upon us.

People who were called to nurture us fail. We don’t trust the future to be any different. Why should we? We have failed the people we were called to nurture, and so we don’t trust ourselves. Why should we?

For all my trust issues, I’m a terrible liar. To be fair, it’s just my fear of criticism that keeps me on the straight and narrow. Thus my tendency towards transparency isn’t exactly a virtue if I’m only doing it to escape the discomfort of being discovered. Surprisingly, this ill-gotten trait has made it easier to win against my family at poker. They know that if Mommy raises high, you’d better fold, because she can’t bluff for love, money, or poker chips.

If my kids know I can’t bluff, then God certainly does. So for most of my life, I’ve been all but unable to utter the words, “Jesus, I trust in You.” After all, I really don’t want to lie to God. He of all Persons would call my bluff.

I don’t trust Him when I look at what was supposed to be and hold it up against what actually is. We were created for Eden, a perfect garden of pure communion with God and each other. Instead we live in slums of torment, of broken promises and lies so convincing that we think we have to believe them in order to survive.

I need love from people, I don’t get it, and as a result I don’t trust God. What kind of racket is He running here, anyway? What could He possibly get out of putting us with each other, if He really loves us so much?

In spite of all this ache and mistrust, I still pray the Family Rosary, and that’s where God meets me in my mistrust. One night, it was my turn to lead the Third Joyful Mystery: the Nativity. It was on a day when I’d been struggling mightily with God, my lack of trust in Him, and with knowing but not quite believing the reality that He’s the only one I should trust. He may have allowed the Fall, but He didn’t cause it.

As I prayed into this mystery, I tried picturing Jesus as a sleeping baby, wrapped in rags, eyes scrunched shut in that way babies do.

trusting the baby-erin mccole cupp-1229-2

God came as a baby who could not lie, who grew into a boy who could not betray — because Truth was and is His very nature. #catholicmom

Can I trust a baby?

What can a baby do to shame me, harm me, reject me, deceive me?

Nothing. Pure nothing.

Every Monday and Saturday, every Christmas season, at every Mass, we are reminded of the Joyful Mysteries of the Incarnation: God with us. God is with us in this slum of betrayal we created for and against Him. He came as a baby who could not lie, who grew into a boy who could not betray — because Truth was and is His very nature.

So maybe today I can’t trust an all-powerful God who could have rescued me from all my pain right now and just hasn’t. I can, however, trust a helpless baby who can only cry Truth. The Son called Emmanuel will never shame, harm, reject, or deceive.

Baby Jesus, I trust in You. Because of Emmanuel, I can go all in.

Copyright 2020 Erin McCole Cupp
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