When I was a teenager, my aunt shared a tragic story that has stayed with me. It's about my aunt's close friend who was in a horrible car accident. In a second, her life was forever changed when a car hit her and her family head-on. She looked aside and saw her husband in the driver's seat and instantly knew in her heart he did not survive.
Then she called out to her two children sitting in the backseat. Neither responded. Through her pain, she tried her best to wiggle through the debris that she was trapped in to try to touch her children since she was unable to turn around. When she finally was able to touch them, she could tell by their lifeless little hands that they had both passed away.
In that moment, she became a widow. She would no longer be referred to as a wife nor would she hear the word "mom" ever again from her two precious children.
I just can't imagine the depth of grief she experienced. Her role as a mother and wife was instantly taken away. The people she loved the most were gone.
That is why the common statement "God never gives you more than you can handle" really bothers me.
My aunt's friend had MUCH more than she could handle.
A few years ago, I was going through a hard trial, even though it was not nearly as difficult as my aunt's friend. But this particular trial tested and stretched my faith like no other in my past.
Throughout it, several people would make the comment to me, "God never gives you more than you can handle."
All that did was make me feel worse and like a failure. It made me feel like I was supposed to be better and stronger than I was. Other times, that statement made me angry at God and I thought, "Why would God allow all of this to happen to me? How strong does He think I am?"
And then my angel of a friend (Traci) instantly strengthened my faith. She gently said to me, "Tamara, God doesn't give you what you can handle, but He helps you handle what you are given."
That was powerful! What a release! No more guilt that I wasn't strong enough. God wanted me on my knees so I would lean on Him and depend solely on His strength to help me through the fire, valley, desert, or whatever else you'd like to call it.
So I'm here to tell you that if you have a child that requires much more attention and patience than the average child and you think parenting is more than you can handle, you are definitely correct.
If you are homeschooling and are questioning how you can do it all as a mom, wife and now educator and you feel it is more than you can handle, you are certainly right.
If you are a teacher and have a class that is extremely challenging and it leaves you exhausted and depleted, and you feel it is more than you can handle, you are absolutely correct.
Does that mean God wants you to stop parenting, homeschooling, or teaching? No, it does not. It means that God will help you do it if you trust and lean on Him for guidance and strength.
Deborah Wuehler shared God's word on not quitting in this week's TOS newsletter-
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength" (Isaiah 26:3,4).
1. Our MINDS need to be stayed: focused, kept, and continued on HIM. Take your mind off your circumstances and put it on HIM. Magnify HIM and not your difficulty.
2. Our minds are able to stay on HIM because we TRUST in HIM. Do not trust in what you see or feel. Trust in your God forever--He is the onlyunchanging thing in your life!
3. In HIM is everlasting strength! Tired, weary, discouraged? You need strength and you don't have it in yourself. In the Lord alone is everlasting strength.
Deborah also share some more wonderful advice in this article- Before you say, I Quit! After you click over, use the arrows on top of this virtual magazine to read the full article.
I'd like to leave you with this poem that I have enjoyed for decades. I have shared this poem with many children that have crossed my teaching path, as well as with adults who needed some encouragement to keep persevering. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.