More Than I Could Handle...

This is a church gym...but not just any church gym. 

No, this is the church where Curtis and I attended during our fertility struggles.  This is the church where I grew more as a person and a Christian than any other time in my life.  This church will always hold a special place in my heart.  

I have so, so many wonderful memories in this gym.  Looking at this picture, a particular memory/thought came to me tonight, so I thought I would share it with you all.

During our time of infertility, we got a lot of advice.  One of the things I heard a lot was, 

"God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Um, no.

So many people say this, and I know that they mean well.  They want to say something that will make you feel better, something that will encourage you.

...but this phrase isn't Biblical, at all.  This popular saying likely stems from this verse about temptations: 

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13  

Infertility is hard.  Really, really hard.  Absolutely no fun at all.  I have nothing nice to say about it.  If you read my book, then you know, but it was a really dark time for me.  

...When we finally got pregnant, I remember standing in this very gym.  I spoke at a basketball game, and my devotion was on this misconstrued saying.  

I talked about how people use it to give you comfort.  They mean well, yada yada...but this saying leads people to think that they alone have the ability to overcome hardships.  They are personally responsible to get themselves through the tough times.  I said this in my book, and I'll say it again - this saying makes "being strong" a bad thing, because that means a lot of bad things could come your way!  Who would want to be strong if that were the case?!  That's a lot of pressure, guys!  

Really, though, the Bible says this: 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."Deuteronomy 31:6

God never promised that life would be easy, but He did promise that He would always be there.  We will never be left alone during the hard times, the dark times, the really crappy times.  

We aren't alone during the fertility struggles.

We aren't alone in the autism diagnosis.

We aren't alone when the isolation of living with a disability makes us feel lonely. 

We aren't alone when we experience fear and worry about raising a child whose future is uncertain.  

We aren't alone in *insert whatever difficult thing you're experiencing right now.*

I feel like our lives are a perfect example. 

God has always been there.  

Sometimes He was telling me, "Not yet," when I wanted "right now," but He was always there.  

Sometimes He didn't answer my prayers,  because my desires were not in His plan for us.  I may never know why (in this life), but He does.  I do know that He has used every single "bad thing" for good.  

I look at that picture up there and see my son.  My son, who I thought might never exist.  The son who I hoped and prayed for in this very gym seven years ago.  

I am thankful that he is here.

I am thankful that his brother is here.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful people who God has put into our lives to help us through the difficult times - because I know that I am not strong enough to do it alone!  We have so many people that I call "our people:" family, friends, friends who are like family, therapists, teachers, the list goes on.  We are so very fortunate to have the amazing support system that we have - we couldn't do it without them. 

I am thankful for the people who took time out of their weekend to provide this outreach for special needs families.  I am thankful that these people are a part of our village.   (You know, that village they always talk about....the one that it takes to raise a child!)  

So while I have experienced more than I can handle, I'll be okay.  

I'll be okay because God is always with me.

I'll be okay, because He has provided amazing people to help me through life's sometimes "more than I can handle" moments.  


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