Friday, January 20, 2012

You've Got This, God

One of my very favorite things about having a blog is connecting with other special needs families.

After doing my morning post here, I often spend the next hour making the rounds to all my bloggy friends, just checking in to see how things are going in their neck of the woods.  I gain so much insight from the fellow parents who are slugging it out in the trenches just like me.  The understanding and encouragement is simply priceless.  And I usually laugh out loud at least once because our kiddos can do or say the funniest things.

But it seems like ever since the holidays ended, I've detected a note of discouragement in several of the posts I've read.

Maybe it's the winter doldrums.  Maybe it's wacky barometric pressure.  Or just getting back into the daily grind of things after a long break.

But for some of my sweet online friends, it's additional pressures like caring for aging parents and making hard healthcare decisions.  Dealing with the loss of a loved one.  Unexplainable aggressive or sad behaviors in our kiddos that try as we might, we simply cannot fix.  And oftentimes, the guilt that we're not doing enough, the fear of the unknown future, and the anger that we have to deal with all this in the first place.

It's simply not fair.

I took a little trip back into the archives of this blog and found something I needed to hear again.  Maybe you can get a little something out of it, too.

More Than I Can Handle - A Post from June 2011

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."

Wow.



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.

Amen.



When the world says, "Give up",
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
Anonymous

19 comments:

  1. It's cheezy, I know... but your post reminds me of the poem "Footprints." I need to get a copy of that and post it so I can remind myself of your advice.

    Thank you, Lana. ((hugs))

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    1. I haven't thought about Footprints in a while - but you're right. It's a great reminder that we're not alone even though we feel that way sometimes.

      And hugs right back at you! :)

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  2. I'm not super spiritual, as you may have picked up from your perusal of my blog posts. But I will say this. . .

    If God WERE to make lunch, I betcha that shit would be some IRON CHEF caliber stuff.

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    1. Alright Jim, if this is your way of saying thanks for the reminder that God loves you (yes, even you!), then you are welcome, sir! :) And, if God DID make lunch for you, it would be the best meal you ever ate with plenty to go around.... just sayin'.

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  3. I've always been a bit bothered by the phrase "God will never give you more than you can handle". It's not in the Bible. Your friend is right, he will give us more and it's up to us to go right back to him for assistance because we do need him. It's an easy thing to forget in this season of life with all the hustle and bustle of raising kids. Thank you for the reminder my sweet friend.

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    1. It's something I have to remind myself of almost every single day!

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  4. Thank you for this. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this...or maybe you did. Thank you.

    xo--L

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    1. Words seem so trivial when people are faced with such hard, hard circumstances but I was hoping that this might ease your heart just a bit.... Praying for you. And I mean that.

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    1. Glad it was helpful. Thanks for the comment!

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  6. I know I'm not a parent of a special needs child, but I so needed this beautiful reminder today!!!!!
    God never told us life would be easy - actually He reminded us that there will be trials - So thankful that He is the blanket of comfort and the giver of Strength if we just give up our own power trip. --
    ... and exahale.

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    1. It really doesn't matter what the circumstance is, life is just hard sometimes. That's why I constantly have to remind myself to let it go and let God do His thing. And then comes the peace...

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  7. I'm glad you posted this today- and I really like what your friend told you about that Mother Teresa quote. It's so much more comforting than the expectation that somehow I'm supposed to be dealing with this OK on my own. And when I think about what I've learned (so far) as a result of having autism in our lives, one of the biggest lessons has been trusting God in a situation that I can do very little about. Easier said than done, right?

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    1. Definitely easier said than done - especially when He doesn't do things they way I would! :) But that just means He's got something even better than what I can dream up. I just have to "pass the baton" and trust Him to do what I can't.

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  8. That advice is just - stunning in it's truth. Even though I know that's how I'm supposed to think - I think there are things I have never given God the chance to show me that yes, He is actually taking care of things quite nicely, thank you. Love this! Stumbling it and G+.

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    1. You're so right, Jen. God is working each and every day but we can miss it if we're only looking for one particular thing. Thanks for the comment - will be checking out your blog!

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  10. Oh yeah, thanks a lot. Now that I've wiped away my TEARS! This is so beautiful and I SOOOO needed to hear it. I know, in part this was for me and I am so grateful. I too, have been thinking of "Footprints" and I know He is giving me strength by little things that happen during my day, by the number of times T has made me laugh while I cry, by the sunsets and the rain... I'm surprised at the strength I find in the dusty corners of my heart, just when I think I cannot make it another step. Thank you Lana, really.

    And, what?! He's not gonna make me lunch? Even my cooking has been a little better lately (check out the Taco Cupcakes I pinned on Pinterest!) ;)

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    1. This was definitely chosen with you in mind, Miss Karen! I hope that your week goes much better. Now I'm going to look for your taco cupcakes.... interesting... :)

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