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God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

I hate the cliché “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I’ve spent a decade as a single mom and I’ll assure you this isn’t true. God has given me, or at least allowed, more than I could handle. Some days were soul crushingly more than I could handle.

I know the sentiment is to reassure people, but I’ll be honest and say it didn’t reassure me. And I won’t boldly say God gave me all of my problems, I know that I created most of them on my own. So this isn’t a blame game, but more of a reality-check.

The problem with the quote is the YOU, more specifically, “YOU can handle.”  

We aren’t expected to handle everything alone. Jesus said his grace is sufficient, so we could know we need his grace. We also need the people around us, and that is really painful for those of us that have been abandoned on some level.

I struggle with the sin of pride and if we start talking honestly, I‘d say many of us do. The pride of thinking we can handle everything on our own, so much that we don’t even want anyone to help. You see I’ve gotten quite good at providing by myself and I’ve gotten quite good at shutting people out. Part of that comes from a place of necessity and part of that comes from a place of pain.

I think this is a huge problem in society. Look at the high levels of people on medication for anxiety and depression. Look at the suicides and broken homes. Look at the fall out of us thinking we could do things all on our own. The pressure is so high and people are cracking under it.

Jesus cried in anguish when the apostles fell asleep. The living God needed people to be there for him.

St. Teresa of Calcutta so boldly set off on her own at the prompting of God. But it wasn’t to be alone. The sick and suffering were what sanctified her soul and led her to sainthood.

We need each other, both to help and to be helpers.

I’d like to re-write the quote to say, “God will provide the grace, strength and help that you need.” He will and he has for me repeatedly. I’ve always known I wasn’t alone in raising my children alone because Jesus was helping me every day. I know without his grace I would have never endured the hardship of so many trials. I know without the people in my circle, I couldn’t have covered all those shifts, practices, dinners, payments, appointments, court dates, homework, etc. We were created to love each other and help each other.

God will absolutely give us more than we can handle. That’s not to say he will leave us abandoned, but it is to say we will have days or seasons that are too much. We aren’t called to walk this life alone.

We were created to be the body of Christ and to help each other and to lean into God’s grace. We have to help build the body of Christ to come together with all of our strength and struggle. We weren’t meant to be self-sufficient, we were meant to need help, both Heavenly and earthly. By God’s design, He will give you more than you can handle, but He will provide the grace, strength and help that you need. May God bless you!

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Janalin Parenting

In the Eye of the Storm

Our real life storm lately has been our baby’s diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes. And although this ‘storm’ isn’t our first and most certainly won’t be our last, it did bring to mind how I need to be more mindful to care for others who might be facing their own storm. 

The strangest thing about being in the eye of the storm has been watching everyone else continue on with their life as normal.  I’ve heard a friend of mine describe this same feeling where it’s almost like you are alone and watching the rest of the world go ’round.  In this solitary time we have been immensely blessed by several family members, friends, and parishioners and I thought I would share some ways that you can care for someone going through a trial of their own. 

1) Pray and have Masses offered. Not only pray but also let your friend know that you are praying for them.  Have Masses offered in your friend’s name. 

2) Communicate.  Some of the biggest joys that we encountered in our daily struggles have been calls, texts, visits, and notes in the mail.  The saying “it’s the little things in life” is so very true on a hard day.  

3) Take meals. One of our homeschool mamas organized a meal train for us and it was such a relief to not have to think about feeding everyone that first week home from the hospital.  She used an amazing free web service www.mealtrain.com.  Don’t forget to drop off paper plates as well! 

4) Offer to help. Does the trash need taken out? The grass mowed?  The kids dropped off at an activity? Ask your friend if you can take care of one of these tasks or hire it out for them. 

5) Share a good book. One of my spiritual mothers shared this devotional book and I have been immensely thankful.  This little booklet has brought me words in prayer when they would not come on their own. 

6) Drop off a goody bag for the family  (or mail them a package). Small bags of treats or stickers for the kids, chocolate for Mom and Dad, and a note bring light to a dark day.  The children appreciate this the most because it gives them a surprise during a time when they aren’t getting as much attention as usual. 

7)  Don’t forget to check in.  If you haven’t heard from your friend that is in the eye of the storm in a while it would be a great time to call or send a message. Usually after the first month the initial support wanes and continued contact is more important than ever. 

And if you happen to be weathering your own storm here is my prayer for you today: 

Our Mother of Sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus,
and with tender care you bore Him in your arms, mourning and weeping.
We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you.
We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you.
We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of His passion.
Holy Mary, may we follow your example, and stand by all your children who need comfort and love.
Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs.
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Amen