When God Gives Us Too Much To Handle

I cringe when I hear these words, "But God will never give you more than you can handle." I literally bite my tongue and start twitching. I've heard it said to others and it's been said to me more times than I can count. The intentions of those words are meant to be encouraging, but they aren't. Because if you are anything like me, when you are standing in the middle of the darkest season of your life, it IS too much to handle. And saying those words and believing them is just plain, bad theology.

When those words are spoken, they often are referring to the passage in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." We're talking about temptation here, not suffering.

Jesus tells us all throughout the New Testament to not be surprised when suffering comes. He tells us to even expect it. He invites us to "share in His suffering." Suffering is something we all experience. No one can escape it. Sometimes we think God's ultimate plan for our lives if for us to be happy. When really His plan for us is to be stripped of ourselves so only He remains.

That's a good Father. Giving His children what He knows is best for them... Him.

So when I hear those words about Him not giving me too much to handle, it can send my brain and my heart down a dangerous path. Because if He's a good Father, He knows me and every detail of my life, and wants only for me to look more like Him, then He knows the suffering I am enduring is too much for me to handle.

He knows because He watched my heart break over and over when I saw those negative pregnancy tests. He knows because there were days I couldn't even watch commercials on TV without aching to be a mom.  He knows because He saw my heart break when I heard those results yesterday.  He knows because He watched me melt in the shower. He sees me broken and crushed. And He and I both know it is too much.

But yet, in His goodness, that's exactly what He wants for me. When it's too much, He becomes more, and I become less. When it's too much, those rough pieces of my heart begin to be refined. The parts of me I continue to hold more dearly than Him, begin to slip away as He helps me open up my hands to Him.

When it's too much, I am exactly where He wants me to be. I nestle up in His lap, my weary head rests on His chest, and I am able to hear His heartbeat.

When it's too much, I run to my Daddy.

Of course He gives us too much to handle. If He didn't we wouldn't need Him. We would do hard by ourselves. Our hearts would continue to grow more independent of Him, and any victory would be for our glory, not His. We would miss out on the privilege, the honor, of knowing intimately the Creator of the universe.

I'm glad He gives me too much to handle. It takes all the pressure off of me to perform and allows me to put it back on Him, the Savior, the One who redeems, the One who has already done it all.

Let me tell you sister, God gives us too much to handle.

And He does it in the most loving way. His intentions are truly good, wanting us to become more like Him. So if you're like me today, standing in the middle of what feels like total darkness, with no end in sight, feeling like it's absolutely too much, just know it is.

So run to Him. Or crawl. Or stay where you are and He'll meet you there.

Let Him scoop you up in His big, strong arms. Rest your weary head on His chest and listen to the cadence of His heartbeat. Breathe in His nearness. Savor the smell of His faithfulness.

And let Daddy handle it.

Because He can.

Beautiful by Pain

Some nights when the fighting was too loud for me to sleep, a little bird would chirp outside my window. In the middle of the night. In the dead of winter. And I always knew it was Him.

Even as a little girl, I knew Him to be safe. He was safe in the midst of the chaos I grew up in. I came to know Him when I was only five. Although I only saw tiny glimpses of Him, I knew He would always be enough.

I was diagnosed with a heart disease when I was in high school. I had many doctor’s visits, heart surgeries, and just plain hard days. But even in my physical weakness, I found Him to be strong. I could rest in Him when my body was so tired. I am still finding Him to be faithful in the day to day of living with this disease.

But it wasn’t until that one, lonely pink line showed up month after month.

All of my friends were posting pictures of swollen bellies. It seemed like every time I checked the mail, I was invited to, yet another, baby shower. I could not escape the longing to be a mother. It would find me in the isles of the grocery store, in the middle of a commercial, or especially, in the silence of the night.

That’s when I really found Him. In the hard of infertility, He met me there. He met me in the brokenness of my story, in the empty parts of my heart, and the barrenness of my womb. I found Him there, in the hardest days of my life. He saw me. And after hormones of every kind, a year of infertility treatments, and accepting I would never carry biological children, I realized just as a little girl, He would always be enough.

I am incredibly honored to be writing over at my friend, Hayley's blog. Click

here

, to finish reading. And go ahead and follow her while you're there. Her heart is beautiful.

*Photo by

Rachel Ackerman

*

The Healing Garden

I had been up for a solid 72 hours.

The previous week, I had only slept at most for two hours at a time. During our fourth hospital stay, they sent my three month old home with a NG tube (a temporary feeding tube, the one that goes down the nose). Long story short, it was nerve racking, I was learning how to use a pump to feed him, and he hated it. I was missing work, frantically calling every person I knew, trying to get us in with Pediatric Surgery in hopes of getting a permanent G Tube placed so my child could survive.

It was our fifth hospital stay in three months. And I was scared, exhausted, and feeling helpless. My back ached from sleeping another night on a terrible excuse of a couch. My neck was sore from the maxi pad pillows that creak louder than the couch. But more than anything my heart ached for my baby.

He hadn't eaten in over 38 hours.

His IV came out.

They tried several times to stick him. Because of that, we weren't sure if he was getting pain meds from the G Tube surgery the morning before. He was uncomfortable and hungry. They kept telling me he was getting what he needed from the IV. And yes, he wasn't dehydrated, but nothing had filled his little belly for over two days. They only way he would not cry was if my husband or I would hold him. That made sleep for us even more impossible. And to make matters worse, although they were only doing their job, every single time we would FINALLY get him to sleep, a nurse would come in to take his blood pressure or temperature. And the whole ordeal started again.

It was the longest night ever.

But really, it was a compilation of three long months of no sleep, mothering a very sick child, and fighting with every ounce of energy in me to get him what he needed to live. I was slowly watching my child starve to death right in front of my eyes.

The daytime nurse waltzed in, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for the day. I was secretly jealous of her rested and put together appearance. Being that I was still in the clothes from the day before, and for the past week, I had seen nothing but yoga pants and messy buns.

The specified time that he had to wait to eat after surgery had come and gone, and my legs couldn't bounce him anymore. Between shift changes, they were behind in giving him meds, and at that point, I was crying with him. I told her how we were past the time he needed to wait to eat after surgery, begged for her to get orders from the doctor to feed him, and to bring him pain meds as soon as possible.

Not knowing the night we had endured, or the previous months of fighting for this baby, she asked me if I needed to take a walk in the "Healing Garden" to clear my head. Apparently I had gone crazy at this point, if she thought I needed a little stroll.

Um, ma'am, no.

What I need, is sleep, for my baby to eat, and get his meds. The "Healing Garden" was the last thing I needed. I started to cry, like ugly cry, and I think she realized that wasn't the best suggestion. She was perfect the rest of the day in getting us what we needed.

I constantly am walking through different seasons with the Lord. The one we just came through was really hard. It was all I could do to make sure we were just surviving each day. But in the end, God was once again faithful. My baby is being fed through his G Tube, we have lots of therapy in hopes that one day he won't need the tube, and he is growing and gaining weight. I have never been more thankful to buy bigger clothes and diapers.

Although our circumstances change with different seasons, really this

whole journey

with the Lord is a walk of healing. In the words of a dear friend, "sanctification is beautiful, but so painful..."

I find myself once again,

praying for healing

. And this time, the "Healing Garden," is exactly what I need.

I have been working through some pretty heavy heart stuff, and it's so hard. It hurts. It makes me angry. And I just want to be over it. Sometimes I move too quickly from things, and Papa brings me back to them and says, "Stay here a while. Let's really work this out. And as we do, I'll make the garden of your heart bloom and grow until there leaves no trace of what held deep roots before."

But I don't like that. It takes too much time and too much energy that I feel I already don't have. It's uncomfortable to say the least. But when I unlock that garden gate, and allow Him to come in, I find Him there in the garden of my heart. Tenderly pulling out ugly roots, and planting new seeds. It's another opportunity for me to know Him. And really, although He knows every part of me, it allows me the opportunity to let Him.

The other night, I sat in the corner of my closet, and asked Him why He hadn't healed that part of my heart yet. I've been asking Him for some time now. After a good cry, and my husband praying over me, I closed my eyes for the night and trusted He saw me there, crying in my closet earlier. He gave me a dream that night, and in the events of the dream said to me, "I am not a God who loves you and leaves you. I am not finished with you. I will come to you."

Photo by

Rachel Ackerman Photography

He will come to you, dear sister. He isn't finished with you. And although opening the gate to Him in your healing garden is so hard, and extremely painful, He will not love you and leave you. He will meet you there, in tenderness, on His knees, lovingly working through the old and replacing it with new.

I'm not sure what's in your garden, but I know just like me, you have one.

And I'm praying that He will give you and me grace, even now, to invite Him in.

“Come, let us

return to the

Lord

;

for

he has torn us, that he may heal us;

he has struck us down, and

he will bind us up."

Hosea 6:1 ESV