Trust is hard. To trust in someone, to trust in something, is scary. It’s difficult. It’s hard. It involves so many unknowns, but more than that, it requires making yourself open to so many vulnerabilities. And that’s scary. When we choose to put our trust in something, we have no way of knowing if that trust is misplaced, whether our hopes will pay off or whether they will be crushed.
We trust our hearts to those we love not knowing if we will be heartbroken in return. We trust that people who care for our loved ones, who are in positions of authority, will not harm or violate basic human decency, but time and again it happens. And yet, somehow we still manage to trust. Our trust may be fragile at times, it may be easily broken or damaged, but it’s very resilient. When you learn to trust again after pain, it’s simultaneously terrifying and rewarding.
For me, taking the plunge to convert involved a lot of trust, mainly in myself. Now, this might seem like an odd thing to say, but I’ve trusted in other faiths before and ultimately come away disappointed, back at square one. To trust that this really is the right path for me is downright difficult and scary at times. I had a moment last night when looking for potential birthday present suggestions to send to my friends that I’m really doing this. Somehow, by looking at pieces of Judaica I hope to acquire (challah plate, havdalah sets, kiddush cups, etc), it makes it that much more real. And scarier.
But I have to trust that the initial spark of Judaism that was lit when I was all of twelve years old never went out for a reason. If it’s lasted from the ages of twelve to twenty-seven, then I have to trust in that. I’m exploring unknown parts of myself, engaging in introspective and sometimes quite painful or difficult discussions as I go, but I trust that this is right. That this time is for real. And so I take a deep breath, calm down, and continue to soak up this wonderful faith and to make it my own.