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