Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Than I Can Handle

Today, for some unknown reason, I was reminded of some wise words that were shared with me shortly after Lily was born.

Most of you already know that our Lily Bird was a bit of a surprise for our family.

Adjustment number one.

Then on Day Two of Life, she quit breathing for about 30 seconds - just enough to shake us up, not to mention the nursing staff.

Adjustment number two.

On Day Five of Life, she quit breathing yet again, which led to a panicked 911 call, a midnight ambulance ride and the discovery of a hole in her heart requiring open heart surgery, and a host of other physical conditions.

Adjustment number three... and four... and five...... and one hundred.

Then at 18 months of age, the loss of skills such as speaking, eye contact, and smiling for a camera.

Adjustment number... infinity.

Anyway, I was sharing my overwhelming feelings of fear and inadequacy with a very wise woman and I said something along these lines to her:

"I just don't know what to do anymore.  I am at the end of my rope and I just can't take one more thing. I keep thinking of that Mother Teresa quote 'I know God's not going to give me more than I can handle, but I just wish He didn't trust me so much!' and that's exactly how I feel."

This sweet lady looked me straight in the eyeballs and said these words:

"Lana, listen to me.  That quote sounds great but it's simply not true.  God WILL give you more than you can handle.  Because He doesn't want you to handle it.  He wants you to trust Him.  He wants to take your burden and handle it.  If you could handle everything that came your way in life all by yourself, you wouldn't need Him."


It was a true lightbulb moment for me.

I cannot tell you the sense of relief that flooded through me.

I don't have to handle everything.  Nor should I expect myself to be able to handle it all.

That's God's job and I was more than happy to delegate it right on up to Him.

Now, that doesn't mean that God's going to show up and make lunch.  Or drive Lily to yet another therapy or doctor appointment.

But it does mean that in those moments when I just don't think I can go one more minute without having a breakdown, I can keep going.

When I think my heart cannot be twisted and stretched and tugged anymore without being totally broken, my heart takes more.

On those days when I think I cannot deal with one more bit of bad news, I deal with it.

And when my prayers are nothing other than "Please, God....", He shows up.

I'm not a Superwoman.

But I am a child of God.

And He is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.



  1. Wow. I sat in stunned silence after reading this. Thank you for this so-honest and so-true reminder. What a blessing to have a friend who is so wise. What a blessing to have a friend who would stop you and say, "think about what you're saying." Thank you for this reminder that God wants us AWARE of our TOTAL dependence on Him. And thank you for reminding us that we don't have to "handle" it because He can, and - more importantly - HE WILL.

  2. Amen. Thank you for sharing. Your words always come from your heart straight to my heart.

  3. WOW! I too was shocked into silence as I thought about what that wonderful wise woman said!! I will definitely use this as the occasion arises. I too have said the very same thing to myself, and to others. Just shows how easily we can be deceived when we don't think about what we are saying. I can't say enough AMEN's on this one. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. May your "wise woman" be blessed tremendously because of her touching your life so specifically.

  4. AMEN to what Mary said as well. We need to be aware ALL the time of our total dependence on HIM!

  5. Yep! God tends to knock me in the nugget just to remind me that I CAN'T do it alone...sometimes painful...always loving ..:)

  6. Thank you; that is just what I needed to hear. God is so good to give us just what we need when we need it. His grace is sufficient.

  7. I was thinking these same thoughts this morning. Except you are much more well spoken and concise. Thanks for getting it boiled down for me.

  8. Thanks to all of you for your sweet words. This is definitely something I have to remind myself of each and every day - sometimes multiple times a day!

  9. THANK YOU for sending this to me! I may need to read it over and over :) I really know all of that in my head, but it's so easy to get caught up in all the struggles, all the heartache and all the feelings of helplessness and live like I don't know it! I can feel God maturing my faith- drawing me closer to Him- strengthening my understanding about all of life...

  10. I can't believe how similar. I guess we all have to learn this lesson at some point. We just learn it in different ways based upon our unique set of circumstances. Beautifully said!


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