Growing up I always took a lot of flak for believing things that turned out to be untrue.
"I can't believe you thought that was real!"
"You seriously thought I was telling the truth?!"
"You're so gullible!"
Most such statements were followed by gales of laughter at my expense.
Haha. Very funny.
In my youth, I found it embarrassing. But for many years since, I've latched onto something my dad told me in high school,
"You're not gullible. You're trusting."
Can I just say how much better that makes me feel?! Gullible carries with it the connotation of being an idiot. I often questioned along with my peers, "why did I believe that? How could I not see it wasn't true?!" I am much more confident now in my non-idiocy:)
I think that it is inherent in everyone to trust. I'm not sorry that that tendency in me is alive and well while many seem to have had theirs squashed. I am sad that I continue to see and deal with lies and deceit.
Which brings me to my story. Have you heard of baby April Rose? April's story is a sad one. She was diagnosed as terminally ill in utero; not to survive long after birth, if she made it that far. Her mother started a blog about April's story, posting beautiful things about being pro-life, forgiveness, Jesus, and dealing with the prospect of losing a child she hadn't met yet. She gained a huge following, of which I was one for about a month. I prayed for April and April's mom. One afternoon, I read a post about April being born alive, but getting weaker by the hour. The next day I return to the blog to see what the latest was and the blog no longer existed. Weird...So I did an internet search for April Rose and the truth came out.
There is no April Rose. Never was. No such person, no such pregnancy. The stories on the blog were just lie after lie after lie. Turns out the woman who wrote the blog was outed after she posted pictures of "April." She used pictures of perfectly healthy newborns and dolls. What a story, eh? What a bummer. Word on the street is that this woman lost a baby a few years back, started the blog as a strange way to grieve, couldn't stop lying, and is now getting psychiatric help. Whoa.
Do I set myself up to have my emotions used like this with my trusting ways? No. I refuse to believe that my believing when someone else lies to me is a mistake on my part (within reason, of course). I don't think I can risk being a skeptic. There are good people in the world. There are people who need prayers and emotional support. I don't want to go through life second-guessing everything. I shouldn't have to, but such is life in this world.
Why can't we all just tell the truth?