Too Much and Not Enough

Last night Cadence had a complete meltdown.  Screaming, smacking her head with her fists, crying, the whole bit.  When these things happen, my other kids run to the hills. Especially my youngest girls.  They go and hide in their rooms or under the kitchen table.  It scares them.  And truthfully, it scares me.  Cadence is bigger than me and taller than me and stronger than me.  I’m thankful the other kids have learned to get out of the way because in those moments the most important thing is that nobody gets hurt.  Not them.  Not her.  Not me.  And it is my job to make sure that it doesn’t happen. So far, so good.

In those moments there is not time to waiver or hesitate or contemplate.  Only to act.  And when those moments are over it is equally as important to turn from protecting to comforting.  To let my little ones tell me how they feel and to be honest about the fact that they are scared.  Then I try to get things back to “normal” as quickly as possible for the sake of my kids so that they can feel secure and safe in their own home and know things are in order.  So we go back to whatever we were doing before the meltdown….homework, reading, crafts, etc.

For me, that means no time for heartache or tears over the fact that something tormented my daughter to the point of a meltdown.  She wasn’t GIVING me a hard time, but she was HAVING a hard time.  And no time to grieve the fact that my first born daughter can sometimes scare my little ones.

But in the sanctuary of my shower this morning there was no more strength to hold the tears back.  So the hot tears mixed with the hot water and I told God the truth.  The truth is that some burdens in life are too much.  And sometimes there’s not enough in me to be equal to the task.  As Christians we have this trite way of saying, “just trust God and everything will be ok”.  But some things just aren’t ok and won’t be ok.  If it were as simple as trusting God then Cadence wouldn’t be autistic and she would be helping her little sisters make duct tape purses and babysitting them instead of scaring them to death.  It’s not ok.  It is too much for me.  For them.  For our family.

And in the sanctuary of my shower I tell God all of this.  And I tell Him the truth about me too.  That I don’t know what I’m doing.  That I haven’t a clue how to make things better.  That no matter how much I try I never seem to have enough smarts, enough time, enough energy, enough health, enough patience or enough money to get the things done that I need to get done.  There’s not enough of me to go around to meet the needs of all the people in my world that depend on me.  Life is too much and I’m not enough.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not mad at God.  I’ve been there and done that early in this journey and it was an eye opener.  God showed me the truth.  The truth is some trials are too much and more than we can bear and we don’t have enough resources within us to fix everything.  That some things are never going to be ok on this side of Heaven, but that God. Is. Always. Enough.

Psalm 17:1 says, “Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from an honest heart.” (New Living Translation).  Being honest with God opens up the floodgates of His grace.  It might not change our situation at all, but it changes our ability to handle them.  And if I’m going to handle the life I’ve been given then I have to be honest with God because He is the only one big enough to do anything about any of it.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (NLT) I’m counting on that.  All my eggs are in this basket because I am not equal to the task and I know it.  If God’s power shows up when I’m weak, then He has plenty to work with and I need His power.

Sometimes I watch my kids try to pick up something too heavy.  They struggle and strain with it and the burden is just too much for them.  That is until I step in and help them lift it.  I use my strength to help them carry it or I carry it for them or sometimes I carry it and them.  When we are honest before God about our weakness, then His grace steps in and helps us carry the burdens that are too heavy.  God never said our burdens wouldn’t be too much to bear.  He said He would be enough as we carry them.  And sometimes He uses His strength to carry us.

One thing that God often reminds me of in these moments of trial is that this is not all there is.  This life and these trials are just part of our story.  A very small part.  Our story, as God’s children, goes on forever.  This life is like 1 inch of a marathon.  It is only like a fleeting mist, a vapor, a puff of air.  Then it is over and we will spend eternity in Heaven where things will be ok.  Better than ok.  Things will be made right there.  There won’t be sickness or heartache.  There won’t be goodbyes and death.  There won’t be misunderstandings or conflict.  There won’t be meltdowns or fear.  In the meanwhile there are burdens to carry.  Better to be honest with God and let Him help you with His strength than to carry them on your own.


Photo credit: free batjko via VisualHunt / CC BY