God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. If you sat in one of my therapy sessions, you’d know this cliche has a way of clawing under my skin. Every time someone says this to me, I want to crawl into my shell to never come out again. I want to share war stories as my ego gets ignited by the need to over-explain. It drives me crazy. If you ask my therapist, its one of those things he listens to me rant about, nodding and half-smiling at me as though he has a secret he’s waiting for me to discover. What could be more annoying than that? 😂 He graciously manages to annoy me and endear himself to me at the same time.
He is so patient with me. I am no further along than Episode 2 of the running list of arduous events that God has omnipotently overseen [insert sarcasm here], probably explaining how I felt being painfully aware of the worsening symptoms that afflicted me, ultimately leading to the moment I felt my brain break. Before I get completely carried away, he says his famous line, Let’s break that down into its simplest form. Did I mention he makes me laugh?
1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Does this sound familiar? What I’m coming to accept is the crucial difference between the words handle and endure or bear. God doesn’t give me more than I can bear means something different to me.
When I think of endurance, the power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way, perseverance comes to mind. The scripture doesn’t clarify whether it’s explicitly referring to worldly temptations, or if trials are included. It doesn’t explain whether beyond what you can bear means something different from merely staying alive. But then again, people die every day from things that their bodies cannot endure. Just ask the young man, newly married to the love of his life who, in one short year, is now a widower and single father. I realize this is morbid, but please bear with me because it gets better.
God didn’t say that life is going to be without troubles. He didn’t tell us, for reasons bigger than ourselves, that some of us would face hardships others only see in movies or read in books. The way I’m seeing it now is that God says He’s with me and He’s faithful no matter what I’m facing. [I] can rejoice, too, when [I] run into problems and trials, for [I] know that they help [me] develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens [my] confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For [I] know how dearly God loves [me], because He has given [me] the Holy Spirit to fill [my] heart with His love. (Romans 5:3-5)
Life has been full of traumatic events that have forever changed me. I have a slew of PTSD symptoms I face daily. My brain has changed. My nervous system is deeply dysregulated. [In enters faith.] I can’t possibly have all the answers. Perhaps, the greatest thing my mom taught me as a child is that our human brains can’t ever thoroughly comprehend God. Not even close. I imagine we’d explode into a million particles of dust if we somehow had that knowledge. Our brains aren’t made to hold it all, so He gives us bite-size pieces, a little at a time. I like the quote “He gives me just enough light for the step I’m on.”
Sometimes, in a bittersweet, emotionally polar-opposite way that only happens after the trial is over [insert laughter here], I’m thankful for who I’ve become. It means everything for me to be someone people feel safe with. I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s alright. I’m learning to be okay with that because the ones who need me to exist are the same ones that my heart is drawn to anyway, the often overlooked ones. We understand each other and I hope by this common thread, that my faith might inspire a tiny seed to grow.
On the days when I wake up to a world that seems to have lost all of its color, or the sky could fall at any moment, or a crisis lurks behind the door I need to open, I hope I’ll remember that God is right there with me, loving me dearly. He is faithfully giving me the tools to heal. In the quiet moments, He shows me what He sees in me. Its in these spaces that the noise of the world doesn’t sound so loud and I rejoice in these gifts of sweet, sweet clarity.
One thought on “False Clichés”
“The way I’m seeing it now is that God says He’s with me and He’s faithful no matter what I’m facing” – Yes!
“He gives us bite-size pieces, a little at a time. I like the quote “He gives me just enough light for the step I’m on.” – he doesn’t show me the future I would be too overwhelmed, he just shines his light ahead enough so I can take the next step!
“I’m thankful for who I’ve become. It means everything for me to be someone people feel safe with. I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s alright. I’m learning to be okay with that” – thank you God for helping Emily rebuild her self esteem!!!
“I hope I’ll remember that God is right there with me, loving me dearly. He is faithfully giving me the tools to heal. In the quiet moments, He shows me what He sees in me. Its in these spaces that the noise of the world doesn’t sound so loud and I rejoice in these gifts of sweet, sweet clarity.” – thank you God for giving her these moments of clarity and the ability to feel your presence, your peace and your love!!!
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