April 11, 2019 | By Ali Robinson | Faith, Religion, Spirituality
Growing up, my go to advice for friends or family who were going through hard times would always be "God will never give you more than you can handle". I would drop the mic style and word vomit this quote like it was a profound truth and then expect the recipient to feel like that was all they needed to hear. Society puts this phrase on shirts and inspirational book marks and unknowingly convinces us that it is from a book in the Bible or another source of truth. First of all- how did I ever think that I could be the judge of how much someone could "handle", and then tell them that somehow, whatever they were going through, didn't max out this threshold on their particular lifetime of hardships. It was not until this kept getting offered to me by people who were trying to help over the past six months, that I decided to do my own research to figure what in the world gave God this idea that I could "handle" so much. Turns out, the phrase is a load of crow that unfortunately was falsely created by and for believers to feel as though maybe, just maybe, the "worst" wasn't in front of our face. Don't be discouraged; this may not be my most inspirational blog post, but I promise it goes up from here.
If you had told me at 25, or 19, or 15 years old, that when I was 31 years old I would give birth to my longed for son, and he would go to Heaven at 3 weeks old, I probably would have had a very strong reaction of disbelief. I would have feared that there was no way that I could make it through such a tragedy, and probably feel very compassionate for my future husband who would also have to say goodbye to his son. Each month is harder, and at 4 months post goodbye, we are faced with an all new realization that our longing for Brooks will never be lessened. It will just be maintained and we will learn to self soothe and look for joy in the tiny breaks of sadness. Surely God can't expect this much of me to think that this tragedy was something on my life plan vision board that would make sense and be totally do-able. Of course not. Just like I've said, He has cried with me and held me as I have walked this road of child loss that He knew about long before I did. Maybe His version of "handling" something ends in a reliance on Him that can not be achieved any other way. Maybe one day, before I even get to Heaven, this period of heart break will seem like a dark, distant memory that will be slightly overshadowed by new joy. For those who don't know this feeling, it is hard to explain the before and after that divides your life when you encounter such a tragedy.
I think of Job when I hear of someone "handling" tragedy. Job had a good life. I believe he would be considered pretty wealthy and was extremely blessed with lots of children, a wife, and a happy home. Unfortunately, Job lost it all. All of his family and possessions were taken from him, and I can guarantee you that he wouldn't be cool with someone telling him that God wasn't giving him more than he could handle. This was WAY MORE than anyone could handle. It was terrible, and he even asked God why he wasn't "hidden like a stillborn child, like infants who never saw light? There the wicked cease from troubling and there the weary are at rest." He was making it very clear that his life sucked so bad at the time, that he would have rather never been born and gone straight to Heaven then deal with what was happening to him. I feel you, Job. I get it. God gives us more than we can "handle". A lot more. It is not fun, and I will never smile at the thought that losing Brooks was a justifiable exchange for me possibly becoming a better person. I do know that I am patiently waiting on His promises, and He comforts me through the highest highs and lowest lows. God is the same all the time. Regardless of how angry, selfish, sad, disloyal, or unfair I am to Him, His love is the same all the time.
So maybe God gave me and Justin way more than we can handle, but Brooks went straight to peace at 3 weeks old. God considers this a blessing, and one day we will, too. He got to skip the awkward tweenager years, the first job interview nerves, the unfortunate first love heart breaks. He didn't have to deal with the cruel world that me, Justin, and Job probably wish we could skip out of. Brooks never had to find out what he could or couldn't handle. Maybe you have been pushed to your limit of pain and suffering. Maybe you have had a happy life that hasn't seen heart ache and struggle. Whatever life you are living, please know that although God tests us and definitely gives us more than we ever thought we could handle, you can do this with Him. Keep your eyes forward and ask Him to hold your heart even when you are breaking His by going astray. It is not that God doesn't give us more than we can "handle", it is that we can handle way more than we ever imagined by trusting in Him and His dreams for our lives.