If anyone is like me and grew up in Sunday school they remember hearing, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I used to cling to that, pretty sure I had it written on my trapper keeper, but then life came and I found that I had far more than I could handle. Hurts came, loss came, lies came, and the words in cursive letters on my middle school notebooks didn’t hold up. I had far more than I could ever handle.
I’m not really one to ask for help, I like to tell everyone about my life but I don’t like asking other people to step into my mess. Independence has always been my mantra, most likely a product of being the third child in a house full of boys but relying on others has always felt scary. So I liked the idea that God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle because then I could keep my faith and trust in myself.
Then I became an adult.
I don’t know when it actually happened, it’s a lot like puberty, it sneaks up on you one day at a time. It was probably somewhere between the marriage and two kids. I realized that while the Sunday school answer looked really pretty on my binders it wasn’t true. Blame it on God or just life but we constantly have more than we can handle. Our worlds are full and busy and a lot of time they are full of pain and burdened with worry. I have come to learn, after many a break down, that the point isn’t to be able to handle it, the point is to rely on our heavenly father to get through it all. Now I know, that sounds equally as churchy but there is something beautiful about realizing you need help. When we stop trying to hold all the pieces of our life in place we accept the beautiful surrender of a life full of God.
When I started this whole writing bit I was 23… I was newly married, in a town where I knew no one, and worked part time. I spent most of my time writing at Starbucks and snuggling with the dog who now lives outside. I was so anxious for God to use me. My schedule was wide open and I pretty much spent two years waiting on a Yes. Then the book happened, babies happened, sleep deprivation happened, and all the sudden I had plenty of people asking me if I would say yes. However all I wanted to do is stay in my yoga pants and drink copious amounts of coffee and hope it inspires me to get out of the house.
Right now, I am in a season of not being able to handle all that comes across my plate and I am constantly asking God why. Why not three years ago when I didn’t have kids and had an open schedule? Why now when I have so little energy and emotion to give? Why now when all the good babysitters seem to have vanished (joking)?
His answer always seems to be the same…. Because you need me now. And its true. Safe in my cozy pre kid life, I was ready to do ministry… for me. I didn’t have bad intentions or dreams of fame but I wanted to perform. Now I just want a solid night’s sleep… kidding… what I really want is a faith that will change my family (and a solid nights sleep). I honestly don’t care at all if my “ministry” fails as long as my need for God doesn’t diminish. I might have started with a slightly skewed view of what my future held but, in my new reality, I have come to accept that I can’t do this thing without God. Any of it. I can’t be a good wife, I can’t be the mom my kids need, and I have no message to give without his grace, love, and mercy pouring out on me. So each day I’ll offer up my desperate prayers and thank him for knowing that my life will only be as great as my need for him is.