When we’re growing up, we imagine how our lives might be. I was one of those realistic kids. I’d seen my mom, in particular, overcome some tremendous hardships in her life. I knew that life would have its ups and downs.
I knew that chances were high that we might struggle with jobs or finances or kids or our health.
I guess even with all my realism, I didn’t really expect to struggle with all of them. At the same time. We are very blessed in many ways. I know that and I’m very grateful for each and every one. But so many times, even with all our blessings, it can all seem completely overwhelming.
“Oh honey. Bless your heart. Remember God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
We’ve all heard that, right?
Well guess what?
God gives us more than we can handle all the time.
One day a few years ago, when both of our cars were falling apart and the bank account was in the red and my RA was flaring and we seemed to run out of everything at once and autism had me out behind the woodshed again and Jake was gone 24/7 for school, I found myself sobbing on the floor in the kitchen.
It was more than I could handle.
And I sat on the kitchen floor and I cried out to God for help. For mercy. For comfort. For peace.
And that’s when I (eventually) realized that, of course, this is more than I can handle. I was never meant to handle it alone. It was time for me to humble myself and admit that I couldn’t do this on my own.
I hope you’re not thinking that this story ends here with my admission suddenly causing things to magically fall into place and bring about a sudden reward for having learned my lesson. Maybe it happens that way in the movies. Not in real life.
I begged God for some kind of encouragement or special word that would show me that He heard my desperate appeal.
It didn’t happen that way. Instead? Different Bible verses popped into my head. Scripture that talked about God’s promises of peace, hope and His plan for our lives. But still…Instead of me suddenly feeling all better with the warm fuzzies, it was more like if I repeated them enough, they would eventually take root.
I realized this was one of those times when my faith is shown by choosing to believe it. Even when I don’t necessarily feel it. And I was reminded that one of the reasons I need to study the Word is so those promises and reassurances are somewhere in my stressed-out brain when I find myself overwhelmed and broken.
I love this song by BarlowGirl that says, “I cry out with no reply and I can’t feel you by my side so I’ll hold tight to what I know…You’re here and I’m never alone.”
Faith isn’t always about feelings. It’s about choosing to believe even when (especially when?) those feelings aren’t there.
I don’t have it all figured out. One thing I’ve learned for sure is that we’re never done learning.
“I don’t know how you do it.”
That’s another one that I’ve heard quite a bit. And the truth is that I don’t do it. I couldn’t possibly. Not by myself.
I hope this post hasn’t come across as preachy because that’s not how it’s meant and I’m definitely in no position to preach. I just hope it might possibly be a small encouragement to someone else who might find herself sobbing on the kitchen floor.
If that’s you today, take a few minutes to listen to this song and breathe. Because no matter how strong we are, we’ll never be strong enough to do this whole life thing on our own. And we don’t have to be.
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